The Return of #AMPLIFY

At the end of 2017, the #AMPLIFY project took a hiatus. This was in large part because of surgery that I (Sue) had scheduled for early January 2018. We also used the time to get some ducks in a row and plan ahead.

Here are a few things we think you should know

  1. We posted policies & guidelines. Nothing specific has changed, just refining our procedures. You’ll be able to find this link on the AMPLIFY project page. This information was/is on the Q&A itself as part of the release you consent to when you share your story. As always, feel free to contact us with questions.
  2. We are planning a coffeehouse tour form of outreach, traveling to ‘safe spaces’ in the 26 counties to reach out to people about the project. We kick-off in Elk County later this month. Some of the trips will be simple one-on-one meetings, meeting allies, learning the lay lines. Others will be community meetings. We have submitted grant requests to help fund this project, but we are getting started on a general level right now.
    1. If you want to plan an AMPLIFY pop-up event in your community, please send us an email pghlesbian at gmail dot com.
    2. If you want to team up with us to share your organizational info on this tour, also email us, please.
  3. Our blog was a finalist for a national blogging award in the GLAAD 29th Annual Media Awards. Hurrah!  We are thrilled that our friend and colleague Monica Roberts at TransGriot is the winner.

So here’s the situation on our outcomes thus far: we have published 250 Q&As and have a few in the queue to be shared. With Pride coming, traffic on the blog will be on the rise so if you have something you really want to share – this is a terrific time to take the 30 minutes to make sure that information is part of the archive.

Western Pennsylvania as a population of 4 million people. If we assume the LGBTQ population to be 2-5%, that means we have between 80,000 – 200,000 LGBTQ neighbors in this region.

There’s more. Pittsburgh, the largest city in the region, was ranked 49th out of 50 in terms of the percentage of LGBT residents, with 3% of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area identifying as openly gay.  That suggests both that people are living closeted lives and that most LGBTQ folks don’t live in Pittsburgh as we often assume.

250 contributions out of a possible 80,000-200,000 people. Those 250 contributions are speaking collectively for all of our experiences.

I’m in the enviable position of getting to dive deep into the existing data and continue to seek new contributions. So our plan right now is to continue seeking contributors and to bring in paid queer consultants with specialities to help us with archiving, crunching the numbers and upgrading the website.

We can use your help now.

  • Share your story by taking 30 minutes to complete the Q&A using our online form (or contact us to request a document version.)
  • Invite your friends to share their stories. Send an email or direct message with this link.
  • Donate! Paying the consultants, transcribing stories, organizing the events, and more costs money.  Organize a fundraiser. Help us with grant writing.

Meanwhile, read on for the newest post (scroll up, no link!)

Ed Pinto Pittsburgh
Ed Pinto is inviting his friends to contribute their stories. For doing so, he was banned from Facebook Messenger. Ha. We must be doing something right, Ed!