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. During Pride 2013, we are trying to feature someone each day.
Bonnie is the only woman I’ve kissed in recent memory, aside from Ledcat. We were at the National Kiss In held during the Netroots Nation Conference in August 2009. She and I were the only women there. Now to be sure, we were both kissed quite thoroughly by the gay men in attendance! 🙂
I first met Bonnie at PFLAG (I think) when I spoke about social media five or six years ago. I’ve since kept in touch with her via social media. She’s one of the people I run into at all of the LGBTQ events – she’s that type of ally – she shows up as often as she can. PFLAG is one of the best organizations ever and I deeply appreciate Bonnie’s work on behalf of multiple chapters. And she’s the first person to complete this survey who actually *has* their own wand!
Name: Bonnie Humphrey
Affiliation: PFLAG New Castle, PFLAG Pittsburgh, PFLAG Butler
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. The first person I met was my brother, but I didn’t really know he was gay until much later. It should have been obvious, but we were children of the 60’s and 70’s, when people didn’t know Liberace was gay. The first person I met that I knew was gay (even though I didn’t really even know what that meant) was a very effeminate boy a year behind me in high school. He wanted to be a cheerleader. Not the macho guy at the bottom of the pyramid, but a jump-up-and-down-and-shake-your-pompoms cheerleader. He tried out and, to the school’s credit, he was granted a spot on the squad. He had a very nice pants and sweater ensemble, and he stood proudly and cheered with the girls. He is one of three people I’ve met in my life who really didn’t seem care what other people thought of him.
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? I follow several LGBTQ organizations on Facebook and Twitter, and I listen to the Michelangelo Signorile show on SiriusXM OutQ five days a week while I’m working.
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? Discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? Pittsburgh doesn’t have an LGBTQ “community.” The nation does not have a “community.” It is a fractured population, where there is bias within, and some LGBTQ groups don’t play nice with others. That’s what I would change with my magic wand. (BTW, I do have a magic wand. And a magic ring and a lightsaber! They don’t seem to work in this universe, however.)
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? I can’t say that I have one.
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? I’ve always said, and will continue to say that one-on-one conversations with those we know and meet are by far the most effective way to advocate, and it’s something that everyone can do.
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