County of Residence: Beaver County. Previously lived in Allegheny and Butler counties.
Preferred Pronouns: Ms.
How do you describe your identity? White Lesbian
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I was 16. I told my mother that I was GAY! She said ” I know, I’ve known since you were 6. I love you, you are my daughter, no meter what!”
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? Since losing a job in 2014 because of homophobia, I’ve become more conservative. I am less OPEN. Most people assume, because I have a child, that I am straight. My son has two Moms and I have found it easier to say ” His other parent, rather than his other Mom”.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? My Uncle Joe and Aunt Kathy. They just loved their nieces and nephews. It was never about them. There was no shame in having somebody to love!
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Ellen DeGeneres. Because she lost a show due to her sexuality, she never stopped being honest in who she is
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Social media, politics, and local news
Describe your geographical community. Beaver County is very conservative and ignorant.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. Racist, homophobic, bigoted!
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. Yes!!!! I lost my last job due to homophobia
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? N/A
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? To eliminate the fear of losing a GREAT job because you are Gay.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. My son has never known any different than having two Moms. So, I encourage him to not be ashamed of who his parents are!
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Parents not allowing their kids to play with my son because his mom is Gay
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? N/A
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? I’m not afraid.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That other people realize that we get up, go to work, clean our houses, run our kids everywhere, put up holiday decorations, and long for that intimate time with our partner.
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Not sure.
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Stop judging.
What motivated you to take part in this project? My job loss!
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. No response.
Thank you, Kim.
Read the entire AMPLIFY LGBTQ Q&A archive.
AMPLIFY LGBTQ is a 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.
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. 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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