Ravenna, 37, Pansexual Trans Woman Living in the Allegheny County Suburbs #AMPLIFY

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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.

Vanessa, 31, Describes Her Transition & Life as Pansexual in Washington County #AMPLIFY

Trans Pansexual Washington County

How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I carry myself allot better that i ever have before, my confidence is much greater and have gained a better sense of living. Being happy that I’m now who i am and not pretending to be someone i never was has lifted a great deal of weight off of my shoulders and has given me hope and something to look forward to.

Amplifying Trans Voices in Western Pennsylvania in Honor of the Trans Day of Remembrance

Trans Day of Remembrance 2016

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: […]

30 Year Old TWOC Noony Norwood of Richmond Murdered Over Weekend

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30 year old Noony Norwood was shot to death in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, November 5, 2016. She died of her injuries the next morning. She is remembered with love by her friends and chosen family. ‘Noony’s energy always brightened the room. She cared about her community and always lifted up and supported her friends […]

Trans Woman Accused of Attempted Homicide in Western Pennsylvania

Claire Wolfever

22 year old Claire Wolfever, a trans woman from Sharon, was arraigned today on charges related to opening fire on a coworker at the Walmart in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. Claire is charged with two counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault, theft, having a firearm without a license and reckless endangerment related to the shooting incident […]

Ciora, 27, Says Trans People Have the Strength of Two Souls #AMPLIFY

Pittsburgh Trans Woman

Name: Ciora Thomas

Age: 27

County of Residence: Allegheny

Preferred Pronouns:  she/her/hers

How do you describe your identity? I’m a Bi Transwomn.

Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? My coming out experience wasn’t really a coming out more so i got caught by my step father and my family then turned on me. I found support in downtown Pittsburgh and the GLCC when it was in Squirrel Hill ran by Lyndsey Sickler. I faced many challenges the main being a homeless trans teenager.

Black Trans Woman Brandi Bledsoe, 32, Murdered in Cleveland

Brandi Bledsoe

It is with great sadness and anger that I read about the murder of 32 year old black trans woman, Brandi Bledsoe. Her body was discovered over the weekend near her Cleveland home.

Brandi had a job, a passion for art and the support of at least some of her family. Yet, she did not escape the cycle of unrelenting violence against trans women. She also did not escape being misgendered by police or the media, the final indignity that weaves it’s tentacle into almost all of these stories of the lives of our trans neighbors.

From Cleveland.com (note – they use her old name)

Bledsoe was found dead about 10 a.m. in the driveway behind a home on Drexel Avenue, near East 108th Street. 

She was wearing only underwear and had white plastic bags covering her head and both hands, according to police reports.

A 5-year-old boy discovered her body while riding bikes with his 12-year-old brother.  

Police also said she had head trauma. Cleveland police spokesman Jennifer Ciaccia said investigators will take her transgender status into consideration in the investigation. She said the investigation is in its early stages and it’s too early to determine of motive for Bledsoe’s death. 

No arrests have been made in the case.

Why People Share Their Stories With #AMPLIFY

LGBT History Month Pittsburgh

In June 2015, we added this question to the Q&A

“What motivated you to take part in this project?”

The responses have been enlightening when I consider why people take 30-60 minutes to share some of their most personal thoughts with the wide world. Their investment isn’t fleeting – the Q&A will live on as our archived collective experiences.

I particularly wanted to participate because I wanted an older perspective to be included.”

RIP Jazz Alford, Black Trans Woman Murdered in Alabama

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Jazz Alford was 30 years old and a native of North Carolina. She was also a black trans woman discovered dead in a Birmingham, Alabama motel in late September. Alford was deliberately misgendered by police (and the media) as part of their investigation process.

Alford’s sister, Toya Milan, who is also a trans woman reached out to media to clarify Jazz’ true identity.

Police have arrested a 23-year-old man, Denzell Thomas for another shooting of a trans woman and he is now a suspect in the Alford case. The other victim survived and is hospitalized as she recovers from her injuries.

TWOC Crystal Edmonds Murdered in Baltimore

Crystal Edmonds Trans

Crystal Edmonds, 32, a trans woman of color who lived in Baltimore died Friday from gunshot wounds to the back of her head. Crystal is the 21st known transgender person to be murdered in 2016 in the United States. She is also the third person whose death I’ve blogged about this week and the second […]