An occasional series where we pose some questions to local LGBTQ folks (and Allies) to learn more about their personal experiences with LGBTQ culture. Click here for a complete list of all LGBTQ&A profiles.
Dan Gilman has been involved with City Council for 8 years as a staff person and is now running his own campaign to serve as a member of Council. I’ve known Dan for quite awhile – he’s often been the person I engaged to work on advocacy or other issues. Dan is 30 and it is fascinating to note the incredible culture difference in his generation – being around LGBTQ people was something he *didn’t* know.
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. GROWING UP IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA IN THE 1980s, I WAS RAISED IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT WAS VERY ACCEPTING AND OPEN TO THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY. I CANNOT REMEMBER THE FIRST LGBTQ PERSON I MET BECAUSE IT WAS SUCH AN ACCEPTED PART OF MY LIFE FROM AN EARLY AGE.
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? THROUGH MY WORK AS CHIEF OF STAFF TO COUNCILMAN PEDUTO I HAVE BEEN VERY INVOLVED WITH MANY LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDING STONEWALL, GERTRUDE STEIN, PATF, AND PERSAD. FURTHERMORE, WITH SO MANY PERSONAL FRIENDS IN THE COMMUNITY, I AM ABLE TO HEAR FIRSTHAND REGULARLY ABOUT THE ISSUES IN THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY.
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? RECOGNITION THAT ALL RIGHTS GUARANTEED TO A HETEROSEXUAL COUPLE SHOULD BE A RIGHT FOR ALL COUPLES. THESE ARE BASIC CIVIL RIGHTS.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? REGISTER MORE PEOPLE TO VOTE
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? MITCHELL ON MODERN FAMILY
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? GET INVOLVED. WE CANNOT STAND ON THE SIDELINES AS WE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY AND CIVIL RIGHTS. YOU NEED TO ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES AND GET INVOLVED.
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