County of Residence: Allegheny, formerly lived in Massachusetts
How do you describe your identity? Lesbian, White, Woman
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? Very supportive, no issues
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? Out and proud, no having to hide who I am.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? LGBTQ person from school showed interest in me and little did I know from it that it would come to be apart of my life
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. I dont really have one but probably Ellen
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Social Media
Describe your geographical community. Urban. I would said its neutral.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. Very supportive. My tattoo artist partnered with my lgbt non-profit as well as my barber. My non-profit, safe haven lgbt. www.safehavenlgbtq.com has a peer to peer platform to help prevent suicide and self harm & bring awareness to the community and others on the importance of prevention
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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 in school I have.
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. All the time, but it doesnt get to me anymore.
Tell us about your access to health care in Western PA. Has it been LGBTQ competent (or not?) No.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? No
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? diversity and equalty and awareness. it shouldnt be hush hush and more normal to talk about.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. I cant think of one right now.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Laws
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? www.safehavenlgbtq.com
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? being banned from places
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? equality
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? be more open
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Be more inclusive
What motivated you to take part in this project? I was sent an email
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. I don’t know.
Thank you, Katie.
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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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