Name: Jennifer Lynn
County of Residence: Allegheny County. Went to college in Greene County and lived in Montgomery County, MD for a few years.
How do you describe your identity? bisexual
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I was lucky enough to receive support from my family and friends. I didn’t face any challenges once I came to terms with my sexuality for myself.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I’m very open about being out. I’m not currently dating, but I am open to meeting someone of any gender in the future.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? I grew up doing a lot of theater, so I was around LGBTQ people from a young age, before I really even understood that there was a difference. I was raised to be open and accepting of all people, but it still took me a while to acknowledge that I was bisexual.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Sara Lance from the DC TV shows. She’s a fierce badass who unapologetically beds men and women throughout time. She’s one of the few bisexual characters who has been seen in serious relationships with men and women and at the same time, her sexuality is not a defining characteristic.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Mostly Facebook and my friends.
Describe your geographical community. I live in the city of Pittsburgh and feel like it’s pretty open and friendly. I haven’t experienced any direct issues.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. I am looking for opportunities to get more involved in my local community.
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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. No
Tell us about your access to health care in Western PA. Has it been LGBTQ competent (or not?) I haven’t had any issues in this area.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? Not that I’m aware of
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? We need protections so that people can’t lose their jobs or homes because of their sexuality.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. It took me a long time to acknowledge and accept that I am bisexual for reasons I can’t even begin to articulate. National Coming Out Day was approaching and I decided that I was going to finally officially come out. I had plans to go out with my mom, sister, and brother that day and they were the only ones that I wanted to tell in person. I was fine with everyone else finding out on Facebook.
We were in the car and I said “I need to tell you guys something” and they were making jokes and stupid guesses about what it was. I was so nervous, but I actually said the words “I’m bisexual” for the first time out loud and the response was “Yes, we know, and?”
I know that I am very lucky to have had such an easy coming out experience.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? I am not familiar with anything specific.
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? I’m ashamed to admit I have no idea.
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? I am concerned about the LGBTQ youth who are growing up in our current political climate.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That we can be a sanctuary for people who are oppressed in other areas of our state that are less welcoming.
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Vote for politicians who support LGBTQ equality.
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? By accepting us and not forgetting that we are part of the community.
What motivated you to take part in this project? I wanted to support the project because I think it’s important.
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. Have you ever attended a Pride event? Yes, I have gone to the Central PA Pride festival a few times. It’s a little smaller and less intimidating than the Pittsburgh one and I have anxiety in large crowds.
Thank you, Jennifer Lynn.
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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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