Today is Tuesday and we would typically publish a new contribution from someone in the LGBTQ community.
Unfortunately, the queue is empty. We have a few folks who have yet to submit photos or other data to complete their contribution, but otherwise – we do not have any other stories to publish.
If you’d like to add your story to the queue, here’s the link to the form. It takes about 30 minutes.
So let’s take a moment to see what we’ve accomplished over the past 2.5 years. This is a very simplistic analysis using my fingers and a calculator because this is all soft data aka “open-ended questions” – one of our hopes is to bring in a social scientist to wrangle up some more concrete outcomes using actual analytical tools. But this is a reasonable overview.
- Published 224 Q&As
- 22% identify as bisexual
- 24% identify as queer
- 19% identify as trans
- 17% identify as parents and/or grandparents
- 31% identify as lesbian
- 15% identify as black or brown QTPOC
- 17% identify as 55+
- Out of 26 counties, we have representation from 20. We are missing voices from Bedford, Blair, Cameron, Clearfield, Forest, and Warren counties. Other counties with very low representation are Clarion, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Somerset, Venango, and Washington.
Our best source of referrals are word of mouth and direct requests followed by Facebook. Facebook ads have specifically been very useful.
This breakdown is by no means exhaustive or inclusive of the rich array of identities people shared in their responses. But it does give you a sense of who sees this project as an opportunity to describe their LGBTQ experience.
If you are thinking ‘my story doesn’t matter’ or ‘I don’t have anything interesting to say’ or even ‘I want to let someone else share their story and free up a slot’ – none of that holds water here. Each contribution helps lift up the entire project – that’s how social media works. There’s no limit on spaces for a blog project. And if your post is the most typical, everyday mundane life is content and without barriers, that’s good. It illustrates hope and contentment and self-awareness.
Here’s how you can help keep the project going.
- Share the Q&A with someone you think has a story to be shared. Tell them about the project and specifally why you think they should contribute.
- If you have been meaning to contribute, set aside some time now or soon to make it happen. The longer the queue remains empty, the less likely we’ll attract voices from those identities that are underrepresented.
- Find a Q&A from the archive that resonates with you and share it on your social media channels.
- Donate to help us produce a new round of posters, handouts and other materials to reach people in real time. We can also create more Facebook ads, too.
- Invite us to your event, meeting or gathering to talk about the project. Include us in community fundraisers.
- Share our information via your email list. We can provide a brief paragraph with links if you like.
- Did we mention donations?
Someday people will be asking questions about the LGBTQ experiences in the late 20th and early 21st century. Our history will be open to interpretation. This is one concrete way to build an archive that reflects the complexity and nuances of who we are as well as how we move through the Western Pennsylvania world.
Please help us continue amplifying these experiences.
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