County of Residence: Allegheny, formerly Westmoreland
How do you describe your identity? Transgender, bisexual
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I talked to my girlfriend and later to my mom. My gf was shocked at first but supportive afterwards. My mom still in denial, she still embarrassed and although she still talking to me she does not want to talk about the issue. I still have the support of my now wife (former girlfriend) and I can’t be more happy she understands me.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I am still need to come out completely to the world, but I am out to the people I care about
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? I met the first tg person online, she encouraged me to visit the blue moon and it is when I started to get the most of the community
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Ru Paul, I love make up and the glamour the cross dresser and drag queen provide
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Email, internet, Persad, Central Outreach
Describe your geographical community. It is, I love the city and it is progressive
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. Very active and educational
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Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. Yes
Tell us about your access to health care in Western PA. Has it been LGBTQ competent (or not?) I go to Central Outreach with Dr. Lane, it is a blessing having her here.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? My LGBTQ friends are facing with courage those inconveniences.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? More educational programs in schools
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. It seems that a colleague saw me driving enfemme, he spread the “new” but in a talk, without mentioning the situation, my boss told me he is no one to tell any of his workers how to live their life…
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Xenophobia
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? Persad, Central Outreach
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Being a transgender/crossdresser, being left aside in our fight for acceptance
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Being able to be ourselves without facing danger or violence
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Educational programs
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Meetings, educational programs, opportunities to interact
What motivated you to take part in this project? I want to tell my story
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. Should we reach out to cross dressers who need help, too?
Thank you, Alexia.
Read the entire AMPLIFY LGBTQ Q&A archive.
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AMPLIFY LGBTQ is a series of blog posts designed to give a “signal boost” to the voices of our LGBTQ neighbors throughout Western Pennsylvania. These are glimpses in to the lived experiences of LGBTQ people in Western Pennsylvania as told in their own voices.
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