County of Residence: Born and raised in Crawford County in Conneaut Lake and Linesville PA, near the Ohio border. Went to Penn State Erie, the Behrend College. Have since become familiar with much of PA
Pronouns: He / him / his or Zee / Zem / zer
How do you describe your identity? Caucasian, gay leaning bisexual, ginger who’s a vegetarian, animal lover, and music lover.
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? College and Community Organizations like yours have really helped me explore my sexuality without judgement
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? Yes
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? My best friend Chaz. I treated him like my straight best friends. The same, because sexuality shouldn’t change the way you treat someone.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. JANELLE MONAE. Just listen to her “Dirty Computer” Albulm.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Fellow LGBTQ+ members
Describe your geographical community. Is it LGBTQ friendly? How so (or not?) Erie Yes. Most of Crawford County… NO
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. Gender And Sexuality Equality Club at Behrend, Pennsylvania Equality Project, PA Student Power Network, Erie County United, Planned Parenthood, Make the Road
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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. But it’s not the first thing I tell people about myself. Those that know, find out, or have told have been supportive.
Have you experienced microagressions based on your identity? Think everyday indignities & slights that you experience, but would not characterize as discrimination. Please describe in your own words. I tend to ignore bigots
Tell us about your access to health care in Western PA. Has it been LGBTQ competent (or not?) I don’t know
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? Many LGBTQ* members are closeted in fear of being judged. We kinda need a #metoo moment for LGBTQ.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? More representation, and unification of LGBTQ orgs. I literally can’t keep track of all the LGBTQ organizations
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. I’m new to the community, and have kind of gradually entered it.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? An educational hurdle to the Non LGBTQ+ members
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? LGBT organizations
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Homosexuality
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? More active LGBTQ members to get politically engaged
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Listen and learn and join LGBTQ orgs
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Listen and learn
What motivated you to take part in this project? I was asked and it was worthy to contribute to
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. Maybe a question related to Gay Trump Supporters. Seriously, HOW DO THEY EVEN EXIST?
Thank you, Kyle.
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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