Name: James Age: 54 County of Residence: Allegheny. I grew up in the Pittsburgh area. I now live in Texas. What a difference. Preferred Pronouns: Mr. How do you describe your identity? I am a gay man. I am attracted to other gay men. I look for loving tender relationships. I keep my priorities right. Please describe your coming out […]
In October 2014, a bisexual black male resident of Lawrenceville was murdered in his home and his body then dumped in the Allegheny River where he remained undiscovered for four months. His name was Andre Gray. In addition to this crime, his dog was killed and his home ransacked, his belongings stolen and his vehicle […]
I’ve pondered how to mark this occasion. Most blogs last 2-3 years, so 11 is numerically impressive. We’ve also started the AMPLIFY project archives which is a new direction for us. Then we had a complete blog redesign this year AND were voted Best Local Blog by the Pittsburgh City Paper. That’s a lot of […]
Randi tearfully told me about her fear that he was alone when he died. That’s a terrible heartache for her. No platitude can help, but we can show Randi that she is not alone now by helping her with this task of making final arrangements.
A Facebook friend shared an urgent request to find a winter coat for a young gay-identified female student in the Pittsburgh Public School system. Apparently, the school does not have an excess of coats right now. So I spent a few hours putting out the word and, eventually, a Northside neighbor (and new Facebook friend) named Michelle drove a brand new coat to my house around 9 PM. I took it to the high school Friday AM and handed it off to the teacher.
That’s the person I aspire to be – the person who people ask to help find a coat or addresses some other fundamental need. I really don’t want to be the fundraiser, public face or administrator. I never aspired to be an Executive Director (never, not ever, never never.) I just want to be a social worker/community organizer. It fits.
First, a clarification – Shanique’s surname had been originally reported as Sanders. Today, I realized that the reporting was changed to Saunders. I confirmed that Saunders is the surname of her mother. I am very sorry for the error and am working to determine where the original information was sourced. I honestly don’t know how […]
Her name was Shanique Sanders.
Pittsburgh Stud Shanique Sanders
Shanique Sanders via Facebook
She was 23 years old and a resident of Homestead. Wednesday afternoon, she became the latest fatality in the epidemic of violence when her body was found at 1:45 PM on McKinley Street in the Knoxville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. She had been shot at least one time when she was found and transported to UPMC Mercy where she later died.
Shanique used the name Loyalty Fashigg in social media and self-identified as a stud, according to local LGBT activist Amber Sloan who was a friend and mentor to Shanique. Amber told me that Shanique was born in Garfield, grew up in Homewood and was a graduate of Westinghouse High School.
So I’m going to document the microagressions on this blog. I’m going to make sure you, dear readers, have a glimpse into how the world has shifted for a white, middle aged, middle class, gis gender lesbian on a day to day level. Because it is everywhere, it always has been and I’ve usually been able to acknowledge, but move on most of the time.
But there are too many Confederate flags waving over the trucks and homes of friends of my friends. There are too many Catholic-lite folks who deny the racial divides in Pittsburgh while swigging a craft brew at their favorite food truck. There are too few women in elected office and too many kids not part of the ‘412’ culture. Too many good intentions making things worse while demanding validation for trying. It is the participation trophy demands in social justice work that are draining our resources and preventing us from lifting up the actual contributions from people of color, queer and trans folks, bisexual folks, disabled people, etc. We have too many sacred cows and not enough kleenex for the white tears of indignation and outrage.
Sunday, November 20 is the Trans Day of Remembrance. If you read our blog regularly, you know that we try very hard to honor the lives and acknowledge the deaths of our trans neighbors who have been lost to violence. We encourage you to participate in local TDOR events. You can find our previous posts: […]
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I’m personally very open about my sexuality and my gender identity. I will say that being trans is so much harder than being bi. I never want to look masculine in public or private in any way, and would probably live in stealth if I was visually able. I have struggled more after coming out as trans and living my life than I have ever before. It’s extremely disheartening to get turned down from every job since, and be stared at every day.