Pennsylvania Archive

AMPLIFY! Bob Is First Openly Gay Government Official in Northwestern PA

AMPLIFY LGBTQ is a new occasional series of blog posts designed to give a “signal boost” to the voices of our LGBTQ neighbors throughout Western Pennsylvania. We are using a Q&A format and will mostly avoid editing their responses. The questions, however, may change as we ask each participant to tell us what we’ve missed
Category: Activism

UPDATED: Allegheny County Will Terminate Domestic Partner Benefits on June 30

As we explored last year, Allegheny County plans to eliminate domestic partner benefits for LGBTQ employees effective June 30, 2015. Heterosexual employees were never offered access to these benefits. From the County Communications Director, Amie Downs: [This] is correct and those employees will be reminded/given notice again of the policy. Eliminating domestic partner benefits is
Category: Activism

UPDATED: London Chanel, 21, Eighth Trans Woman of Color Murdered in 2015

Very sad news from close to home in Philadelphia – 21-year-old London Chanel was murdered early Monday morning and then promptly misgendered in the reporting. Fortunately, her friends weighed in quickly and the media updated their reporting. How sad that’s part of the ritual of mourning our trans sisters – fact checking the media. A
Category: Activism

Municipal Government and Publicly Out LGBTQ Employees

Does it matter if local and regional government employers hire and appoint openly LGBTQ people to leadership roles? This question has launched many a Facebook chats, unleashing discussions on everything from outing people to privacy concerns to dislike of being labeled as “the gay <insert title>.” These are valid points to consider. In my mind,
Category: Activism

The 44 Year Old Bridesmaid

I’ve never been a bridesmaid. I’ve been the lector (the person who reads during a Catholic Mass) many times over, but never a bridesmaid. Don’t get me wrong, this has its advantages. I can wear whatever dress I want, I often was included in the pre-wedding festivities and my outlay of cash was minimal. But
Category: Activism

UPDATED 24 Year Old Trans Man Dies By Suicide in Pittsburgh

The news about the death of Leelah Alcorn outside of Cincinnati brought to my attention a similar tragedy much closer to home. On Saturday, December 13, 2014, 24-year-old Andi Woodhouse died by suicide near the 10th Street Bridge in Pittsburgh. Andi was from Lebanon, PA. He was in Pittsburgh temporarily for some services and he
Category: Activism

Election 2014 Don’t Let the Trans Community Bear the Brunt of the Anti-LGBTQ Attacks Alone

There are many reasons to vote and many critical elections impacting Southwestern PA. It is easy to give in to the sense of inevitability or futility and not bother to turn out, but that’s exactly what our opponents want to see happen. The act of voting IN SPITE of the odds is an act of
Category: Activism

When A Manager Send You Pornographic Email

While debate rages over the “inappropriate email” scandal in Harrisburg, I am reminded of one much-overlooked fact: this happens to a lot of us in our workplaces. And it is not a pleasant experience, precisely because it typically reflects deeper things about the workplace culture rather than a one time “whoops” scenario. Here’s what’s happening
Category: Activism