County of Residence: Allegheny
Preferred Pronouns: Female
How do you describe your identity? I’m a compassionate person who is a white, female, lesbian artist.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? All the way out
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? I’ve known gay people all of my life. The one person who most impacted my life and brought me out/ opened my eyes, I met about a year and a half ago. It was exciting, overwhelming and heartbreaking all in a short period of time. I’m still trying to get my bearings really.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Ellen
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? News, Facebook and friends.
Describe your geographical community. Suburban
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. They have taken me in and provided a wonderful community of support and friendship.
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. No never. The people who I work with were among the first people I came or to. As expected, they were very supportive.
Describe your community in terms of being LGBTQ friendly (or not) I think my community is very gay-friendly.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? I’m not sure.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Give us a protected classification to stop all forms of discrimination.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as a LGBTQ person in your community. Very few people realize I’m gay unless I tell them.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? I think people are confused about what gay means to them within the context of their relationships with gay people. The only time orientation really matters is if you want to date or hook-up with a person. Everything else is irrelevant.
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? I’m not sure.
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Job and housing, but also violence.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? To be so mainstreamed that those who oppose appear to clearly on the fringe.
What motivated you to take part in this project? Sue Kerr
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. Do you think all people who are gay know they are gay or could be attracted to a person of the same gender if the right person came along?
I think the there is a continuum that many fall along. It would be great to encourage people to feel safe in following up on attractions without any fear.
Thank you, Alexandria.
Read the entire AMPLIFY LGBTQ Q&A archive.
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 minimize editing their responses. The questions, however, may change as we ask each participant to tell us what we’ve missed asking. It is one of the vibrant elements of a blog format – evolution & growth.
Our intent is to highlight the voices of marginalized members of our community who are not always invited to the table or whose voices are not heard (because “we” are not listening?) Obviously, my choice of questions does shape the conversation, but beyond that – these are glimpses in to the lived experiences of LGBTQ people in Western Pennsylvania as told in their own voices. If you would like to participate, please email me pghlesbian at gmail or visit the online Q&A.
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