Rev Leonard, 37, is a Black same-gender loving freedom fighter
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue?
I think everyone is affected by our education system. We need to be taught compassion and understanding for marginalized communities. So often the narratives of people of color and people in the LGBTQ community are either not told or not given the equal space of white narratives. It is easy to see people that are seemingly different from you as “others” when you are not exposed to their stories, their kindness, their humanity while growing up and come to the realization that their narrative is our collective human narrative.
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I came out at 26 years old. It was tough. I was on the verge of suicide and I had a 2-year-old son depending on my existence.
I dropped a bomb on my life. On relationships. It was the only way. I had no friends. Nowhere to really start. I just got myself out into the queer community. My personality aided greatly in forming my initial friendship and support base. Those early days were very lonely though.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? Been living openly as a pansexual trans woman for 10 years. I’ve gone through all of the legalities and am quite open in my personal life. I do like to maintain my anonymity in my daily life. I still work where I did through my transition. Work was tough but I fought and survived the experience.
This week, City Council in Butler, Pennsylvania will vote on an ordinance to create municipal level protections for residents based on protected classes (gender, race, religion, etc) including sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. For months, members of PFLAG Butler have been working tirelessly to educate members of council and the larger community about […]
Via KDKA TV, last night I learned about a developing story at Forbes Hospital in Monroeville. Some anonymous female employees at this Allegheny Health Network facility had voiced complaints about a trans woman employee being permitted to use the ladies bathroom. First, the good. Allegheny Health Network is following the law with regard to allowing […]
Name: Avery Age: 22 County of Residence: Cambria Preferred Pronouns: Him/His How do you describe your identity? I’m a bisexual man. I happen to be Latino, and I happen to also be transgender. Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I sort of had two, I guess. I was openly […]
Name: Rach Age: 36 County of Residence: Armstrong, formerly Allegheny Preferred Pronouns: Just me How do you describe your identity? I’m just a girl who is in love with a girl. Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? Was in high school. I found support through my friends. The […]
Name: Nayck Age: 50 County of Residence: Allegheny County, previously Philadelphia Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his How do you describe your identity? That can be a loaded question. I was born in the US, of Dominican parents and grew up in Puerto Rico. I’m of African descent, and consider myself gay. I guess that makes me a black, gay Domini-rican. Please […]
Name: Jill Age: 49 County of Residence: Cambria, grew up in Somerset Preferred Pronouns: she/her How do you describe your identity? Woman, female, lesbian Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I was 23. Married to a man who very much understood me. Met a woman and spent the next […]
Name: Ama Age: 30 County of Residence: Allegheny, formerly Fayette County Preferred Pronouns: she/her How do you describe your identity? I’m American. And I’m Irish. I’m an Irish Catholic (quite the distinction from an Italian, Hispanic, or Spanish Catholic). I’m a girl who likes other girls and who likes guys and many trans variations. I am a lover of beauty […]
Name: Kim Age: 44 County of Residence: Beaver County. Previously lived in Allegheny and Butler counties. Preferred Pronouns: Ms. How do you describe your identity? White Lesbian Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I was 16. I told my mother that I was GAY! She said ” I know, I’ve […]