County of Residence: Allegheny, previously Crawford and Venango counties
Preferred Pronouns: he/his
How do you describe your identity? I am a pansexual transman.
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? My coming out experience was scary. My mom had found a note I had wrote to a girl I liked and told me she would disown me, about a year after she passed away I came out to her brother and the rest of my family and they accepted me and told me my mother knew and had only been so harsh because she was scared for me and didn’t want me to get hurt for being different. Then about a year ago I came out as a transman and the friend who I lived with turned on me because she did not agree with my lifestyle. So the challenges have mainly been older friends acceptance or understanding. I’m glad to say I have only lost a few of those I called friend. But it showed me who my real friends and family were.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I would say I’m probably as out as I could be I volunteer at the glcc and I am a drag king in hot metal hardware. I am engaged to another transman and happier being out and being myself.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? In high school I met two girls who were my friends and they both came out around the same time, it impacted me because I didnt feel so different.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. I am a huge fan of pink and also of Ellen.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? I read posts on Facebook, listen to pod casts my fiancé plays and I volunteer within the lgbtqia community.
Describe your geographical community. I believe there are parts of all cities including pittsburgh that are accepting and safe spaces, and in all cities I feel we have the opposite as well.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. I believe the local Pittsburgh community is a strong community with good resources in place, I do however feel we could use more resorces for younger individuals in our community who need support we as older members of the lgbtqia community need to be advocates and support for the youth who often have no place to turn.
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. I have been forced to use my legal “birth name” at jobs in the past. Aside from this being told I’m in the wrong bathroom has happened a few times.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? We have a large population of youth who live in shelters or tents due to rejection from family. I feel we need more resources and maybe family mediation to try to help families and there kids work through there differences so they can be supportive of there kids no matter what they identify as.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? I would like to see more resources, more visibility especially about the struggles of young lgbtqia youth. I think if there was more light shed on what these youth go through just to survive daily it would help everyone understand how much of a struggle there still is despite the progress we still have youth being thrown out on the streets just because they identify different. There stories need to be told so more people understand that although the lgbtqia community is aking progress the fight is far from over, it will not be over until there are no more lgbtqia youth being forced to live on the streets just to be able to be themselves.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. I have learned about the struggles some people have been forced to go through just to be there true selves. If you see anyone who the world may view as different due to there orientation or identity. Please remember that you do not have to agree with there choices because you are not living there life, but you should respect them as they respect you.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? We all face challenges mainly others being respectful of our choices. We have to face barriers and everyday because we are viewed as different. And this world still has people who find it easier to hate than to try to understand.
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? To name a few Glcc of Pittsburgh, delta foundation, persad,Dr Stacy lane, and proud haven
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? My fear is lack of support for the lgbtqia youth, I fear loosing these youth to depression and suicide or worse due to the rejection they face from there friends and family. I wish for these reasons the older individuals in our community would reach out more to these young individuals and help them see that they can make it through and survive the darker times.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? My hope is that someday we won’t need to fight for rights that should be our born rights. No matter what gender or orientation my hope is that as humans we can someday just be equal without needing to fight for it.
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Reach out and help by volunteering in the community be a friend to a lgbtqia youth who may need to hear that they are valuable and matter.
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? By standing up for them and fighting not just for there rights but for the bisexual transgender and queer members of the communities rights as well if we all stand together we become one force that will remain strong
What motivated you to take part in this project? I feel it is important to fight for every part of our community and to voice concerns so that more people will reach out and get involved.
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. What can be done to help the lgbtqia youth in pa? ~ We need to have people speak in schools regularly expose the challenges of our community educate the teachers and counselors on how to sensitivly approach and help lgbtqia youth.
Thank you, Tylor.
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.
You can read the other Q&A responses here. AMPLIFY! LGBTQ is a project of Most Wanted Fine Art and Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents.
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