County of Residence: Butler County, previously Allegheny County, Ohio and Mississippi
Pronouns:The/ them/ she/ her
How do you describe your identity? I don’t. Nothing I am is physical. I decorate my meat sack. It holds my being. Very simple.
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? Coming out happens more than one time and sometimes daily. As a young queer teen with lack of descriptive terminology, at my disposal… It was a struggle to even understand my feelings as a young person. By middle school I was a conscious person who was ready to take on my feelings and body. Those round me didn’t get it. Peers, parents, friends were miseducated or fearful of difference. I found two friends who helped to guide me through. At some point to I realized every person has a stress. A blister in the sun. Something they need help with. Being who you are is important. Being there and loving yourself is paramount. I was kicked out of my physical home at the age of 14 and have been some version of nomad ever since. Your body is your temple, your home. Everything and everyone around you are merely guests.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I live my life and I’m queer so, I guess that’s out. I don’t go to events geared towards queer people. I am avoiding alcohol/ drunk people so socializing is a pain.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? My first “boyfriend” and I commiserated about our shit small town. He helped me to let go of the stress of what others thought. He came I to his knowledge of being a gay teen as I did. We leaned on one another as friends.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. I’m not into favorites. It’s a forum of judging.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? I’m literate and I care.
Describe your geographical community. I have lived in farms, as well as the city. I’ve been treated well. I’ve been treated horribly. Navigating the world… it’s like a box of chocolates.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. They community I’m involved in is small. They’re folks who come to me to get groomed. I keep my circle tight. We share stories and commiserate and uplift one another. I involve myself in a political ways, privately. I’ll.write letters and make phones calls. I think about dynamics and how to make an impact with grace.
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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. In short, yes.
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. Having a feminine exterior is daily problematic. People always offer opinions on my body, which I have to reject an expel way too much energy on.
Tell us about your access to health care in Western PA. Has it been LGBTQ competent (or not?) Enter frustration.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? Yes
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Keep up the good fight.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. Squirrel Hill Health Center call them for therapy, dental and physical.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? General Misconceptions
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? Beast and Banshee Parlour for Haircare. Fair Moans for sex positive info.
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Stunted growth, keep going!
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Collective growth
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Open their eyes to all issues.
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Quit seeing us as less.
What motivated you to take part in this project? I do what I can, when I can.
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. What are you doing to impact the community in a positive way?
Thank you, Meg.
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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