Your Name: Sandy
Your Age: 43
Your Pronouns: She, Her, Hazel, Wifey 🙂
How do you describe your identity? I am a happily married lesbian. I’ve been married to my wife, Eileen for 3 years. We have been together for close to 15 years. We have 3 beautiful adult children and 3 gorgeous grand babies.
Please tell us about the first LGBTQ person you met and what impact they had on your life? I worked as a hairdresser and I was introduced to a friend, John. He also was a Drag Queen, Emerald Green. We would get together and get him glammed up and we would travel to various gay bars where he would perform. Our favorite place to go was the Frogs Pond in Oakland (where the Decade bar once stood).
John and I would also go to venues in Greensburg and WV. I was introduced to my first girlfriend, while out with John.
My boss Kathleen Woods (RIP) was also a lesbian, and another hairdresser Gregg were also a big part introducing me to the scene.
These folks all had a great impact in my life, as they taught me it ok to be me.
How does the AMPLIFY project resonates with you? I think it’s a great project. It’s important to get the word out that it’s ok to be who you are, and that you are not alone.
What moments or pieces of LGBTQ history from Western Pennsylvania do you think are overlooked, forgotten, or misunderstood? I think that Gay marriage passing in Pa, is great. I feel that the discrimination issues that aren’t laws yet to protect our community in W. Pa. Have been over looked way to long.
There are an estimated 80,000-2000,000 LGBTQ residents of Western Pennsylvania per the 2010 Census. 270 have completed the Q&A. Whose voices are missing or underrepresented or simply not (yet) in this archive? How do we reach those people to invite them to contribute their stories? I’m sure there are a lot of important members of our community stories are missing. I think attending events and asking people to fill out the surveys may help. Perhaps offer a condensed version for those instances to help spark interest in the AmplifyProject, as sometime persons out in social settings won’t take the time to fill out a larger survey.
What has #AMPLIFY taught you about the region’s LGBTQ community and our history? That diversity reigns supreme. We are everywhere and all walks of life are part of our community, and that is what makes our community so special.
Finally, during LGBT History Month in October, what one concrete action will you pledge to take to amplify our history? My wife and I host the iCandy Pittsburgh events in Pittsburgh. In October, we are working as Community Co-Producer with ReelQ Film LGBTQ Festival. We are hosting a Girls Night Out at the Movies on Friday October 12th at the Harris Theatre. (Everyone is welcome- not just girls, fyi) There will be a British themed After Party at There Ultra Lounge (Upper Level) after the show.
I feel the Reel Q Festival is a vital part of our community history.
The Pittsburgh Lesbian & Gay Film Society began in 1982 as the Lesbian and Gay Film Project.In 1987 the Film Festival incorporated, was granted non-profit status, and applied for funding as a major, new, and innovative presenter of lesbian and gay media in Pennsylvania and the nation. In 2006, the organization expanded its efforts to make it a year-round program and changed the legal name of the organization to Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society.
The Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities in Pittsburgh and the surrounding tri-state region. In addition, PLGFS provides a crucial service to the cultural vitality of Pittsburgh, designed to support LGBTQ+ artists, and to provide a much-needed cultural outlet for the LGBTQ+ communities in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas.
Each year the annual film festival Reel Q happens every October, which provides a variety of programs and activities. Approximately 20 programs are presented during each festival. Our film Anchor and Hope will be shown beginning at 6:30pm. Tickets are available on the ReelQ site if you wish to participate.
Any other thoughts on the #AMPLIFY project or LGBTQ History Month? Keep doing the wonderful work you are doing.
Thank you, Sandy!
We invite everyone who is eligible to share their story with the AMPLIFY Q&A.
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