11 Reasons to Share Your Story with #AMPLIFY Right Now


152 of our 202 contributors have submitted a photo. These are the real faces of our community. Click the image to read their stories in their own voices.

We would like to have your contribution to the AMPLIFY project. You should be 18+, identify as part of the LGBTQ community and have ties to at least one of the 26 counties in Western Pennsylvania. You can define ties.

  1. Your story matters because you matter. Whether you have a grand epic tale to weave or a simple account of the things that matter to you, it has value and meaning.
  2. Visibility. More stories means more people reading. More people learning about our lives, both present and past. Your friends will share your story and that draws more eyes to larger project.
  3. Population. There are about 4 million people in Western Pennsylvania. If we assume 2-5% are LGBTQ, that’s 80,000-200,000 people right now whose stories could be shared. Plus, those who once lived here but left. And those who stayed for a brief while, perhaps while in college.
  4. Algorithms. With each post, WordPress’s internal calculations identify six related posts to share with the reader. That’s true of each post. It is like falling down a rabbit hole of story after story from the LGBTQ community. But it works best if we continue to add new stories with diverse tags, keywords, categories, etc.
  5. Privacy. Blogging has many benefits, one being the option to allow people to manage their own degree of privacy and discretion. You decide whether to submit a photo and what name to use. You choose the details to include. Anonymity does not render someone’s contribution any less significant. Perhaps bravery renders it a little more significant?

    Already convinced? Click here to find the Q&A

  6. A Big Stage. There is no real limit to how many contributions we can publish. Your post won’t occupy a slot that might go to someone else. We have as much ‘space’ as we need from our webhost and the capacity to determine our own scheduling pace. There’s no need to pass the mic to center other people. You can center them in your own response.
  7. Real Life v Media. Depictions of our experiences in mainstream media are always contorted, distored or simply filtered to fit the needs of the medium. Composite characters replace nuanced real life figures. Cisgender heterosexual actors land the roles, write the scripts, run the cameras and make decisions. As original and groundbreaking as they might be, ‘Will & Grace’ and ‘Transparent’ are not accurate reflections of our community life.
  8. Open-Ended Questions. If you don’t like labels, don’t use one. If you want to explain the labels that explain your identify, use several paragraphs. You can skip a question. You can add your own question. We don’t edit – if there’s a question about your content, we address it with you behind the scenes.
  9. Not Everyone Wants to live in Pittsburgh. Western Pennsylvania is a big territory, mostly rural where the rust belt meets Appalachian culture. Many of our respondents want to stay in their community, but would like to have access to equality and fairness.
  10. Isolation. Maybe we can’t launch a PFLAG chapter in Elk County, but that doesn’t mean LGBTQ residents in that region won’t benefit from hearing about your experience with PFLAG. Or reading your coming out story in a place more like Elk County than not. Or ‘meeting’ neighbors who have built happy lives as well as those who talk openly about their challenges in doing so.
  11. You Aren’t Too Busy. Yes, it takes about 30 minutes or the time you would spend watching a Netflix episode. If you can’t do it in one sitting, we can send you a document version. Everyone is really busy. But this isn’t a whim or a fun quiz. It is building an archive that will memorialize our lives here in this region in this time. It is important business. Will it one day matter that someone from your board took the Q&A? Will it remind people of the good work your organization did? Has your organization been mentioned by other contributors as a community resource? Does that mean we should hear your voice?

Make the time to do this for yourself and for the community. Here’s the Q&A – we can’t wait to read your contribution.  And take a closer look at that collage.

152 of our 202 contributors have submitted a photo. These are the real faces of our community.


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