Amplifying Trans Voices in Western Pennsylvania in Honor of the Trans Day of Remembrance

Trans Day of Remembrance 2016

Sunday, November 20 is the Trans Day of Remembrance.  If you read our blog regularly, you know that we try very hard to honor the lives and acknowledge the deaths of our trans neighbors who have been lost to violence. We encourage you to participate in local TDOR events. You can find our previous posts:

However, we are also amplifying the trans voices in our Western Pennsylvania region through the #AMPLIFY project. To date, 37 trans identified individuals have shared their stories. Responses represent approximately 22% of our total responses – keep in mind that we ask an open-ended question about identity so not all responses cannot easily be categorized. It is entirely possible other contributors do identify as trans, but did not share that information. One year ago at this time, we had 15 contributors who identified as trans, so it especially heartening that the project has generated a 59% increase in a year’s time. I hope we are doing something that’s right and good. And necessary.

Here are 38 stories from neighbors who live in Pittsburgh, Erie, Johnstown, Greensburg, New Castle, Bradford and beyond. Some are in their early 20s while others are closer to 60. Some transitioned early in life while others are still taking their first steps to embracing their identity in public. A few choose to live ‘stealth’ while others are the public faces of transgender organizations; many of them explain those choices in their responses. And for others, their lives have changed dramatically since they submitted a response. To that end, from July to December 2017 we will be inviting contributors to submit an update if they like. Depending on how long the project continues, we may do that again in the the future.

But for now, you have a snapshot of the lived experiences of 38 trans neighbors in their own voices. I hope you will some time to browse their Q&A’s and absorb some of the wisdom they’ve shared with all of us.

And we’d love to include your story as we move forward. Click here to fill out the Q&A. It takes about 30 minutes of your time.

  1. alexis, 29, talks compensation & community for marginalized lgbtq neighbors **
  2. Rashod Is An Unapologetic Trans Man of Color
  3. Donna Met a Female Impersonator Who Made a Lasting Impression
  4. Katie-Anne Speaks As Two Spirited Bi Gendered Resident of Johnstown
  5. Twist Shares Their Life as Neuroqueer
  6. CJ Describes Living Stealth As A Trans Man
  7. Patrouious Describes His Fears & Frustrations as a Trans Man in McKean County 
  8. Sivynn Acknowledges That Some People Just Don’t Pay Attention to His Transition
  9. Brandon Believes Pittsburgh Should Have Better Trans Health Resources
  10. Jesse Believes in the Power of [Trans]cendence
  11. Jessi is a Trans Lesbian Who Asks Questions
  12. Kitty Is Out and Open as a Bisexual Trans Woman in Erie County 
  13. Alex is a Black Trans Man Who Doesn’t Apologize For His Existence
  14. Jesse Talks About Living as a Trans Woman in a Culture of Fear
  15. Kaley is Trans, Queer and a Fan of Gender Outlaws
  16. Roman Knows to the Depths of His Soul That He Is a Man #AMPLIFY
  17. Niki Talks About Living as a Gender Queer Trans Woman in Pittsburgh
  18. Jazmine, 46, Has Advice for LGB Allies to the Trans Community
  19. Moira Describes the Toll of Gatekeeping on the Trans Community
  20. Elliot is Bi, Trans and Wishes Westmoreland County Was Talking More About Queer Youth
  21. Corvus Regrets the Lack of Sober, Radical, Queer, and Disability Friendly Community in Pgh 
  22. Cavanaugh, 25, Talks About Genderflux Identity and the Value of Self-Care 
  23. Alyssa is First Generation Cuban American, Trans, Gender Nonconforming and from Beaver County
  24. Sabrina, 50, Found New Friends When She Came Out as Trans
  25. Alissa, 34, is Just Another Girl in the Crowd in Lawrence County
  26. Austin, 30, is a Straight Trans Man from Washington County
  27. Tylor, 30, is a Pansexual Trans Man Who Wants Better for Young People
  28. Bobby, 50, Queer Trans Guy, White Anti-Racism Activist
  29. Wes, 44: Queer Trans Man, Parent Wants You To Know That He Exists
  30. Patricia, 41, Does Not Feel Safe as a Trans Woman in Her Urban Pgh Suburb
  31. Avery is a Bisexual, Latino Tran Man in Cambria County
  32. Delilah, 31, Finds Trans Community on Twitter
  33. Caitlyn 51, Lives Her Authentic Self as a Trans Woman in Erie 
  34. ‘Your Story Can Heal’ Says Rain, 26
  35. Samantha, 44, Wants Better Health Choices for the Trans Community
  36. Ciora, 27, Says Trans People Have the Strength of Two Souls
  37. Lavi, 29, is Trans Queer Bi and Wants Your Respect & Support
  38. Vi, 24, Is Very Concerned About Trans Health Issues in Pittsburgh 

** Please note that I made an egregious omission by not including the post now listed in position one about alexis. It was a mistake on my part, not intentional. However, I recognize that, mistake or not, I erased alexis from the project. I will apologize directly to alexis. I am very sorry for my error and grateful that someone took the time to help me get it right.

It is a genuine honor to have so many people trust me with their stories and be in a position to share their lived experiences with our blog readers. I can’t quite describe how much it means.

Remember, you can #AMPLIFY your story, too. Just take 30 minutes to complete the Q&A.


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