County of Residence: Allegheny
How do you describe your identity? White, trans female
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? My coming out experience was kinda iffy. When I came out at bi my mom basically told me it’s okay. But she ONLY wanted to have me date woman. The cross dressing thing she’s still iffy about. I didn’t come out as trans til my first visit to a psych ward being labeled with gender dysphoria and being told it’s okay. She told me she never wants to see me dressed as a girl or have my nails painted.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I’m still iffy about being trans , even though my trans friends and some others that know a lot about being trans said that I seem happier. I’m still nervous about dressing femininely since I don’t pass worth anything.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? I don’t remember who the first one was but it was more meh. Them being part of the LGBT community didn’t really impact my life. But the being my close personal friend helped me be the best person I could be.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. George tekei, just because he’s awesome and his voice is so nice.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Usually Facebook/pink news
Describe your geographical community. Urban mostly. It’s somewhat LGBT friendly mostly people don’t really give a crap about what you are.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. I’m not really that much in the LGBT community in Pittsburgh. I’m still trying to get out there.
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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. Ehh , not really, I somewhat had customers be iffy with me. But mostly they didn’t care.
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. Not that I know of.
Tell us about your access to health care in Western PA. Has it been LGBTQ competent (or not?) It’s fairly. Come Petent though, I believe that the mental health system needs work. And of course I do!
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? Mental health.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Help make mental health facilities and hospitals better for people, not just LGBTQ, due to it being very important.
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Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. I’m a shut in so I don’t really get out much. But I got my name tag changed to my preferred name at my old work. As well as my student ID
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? It’s hard to talk about subjects to make peace when some memebers tend to hate on straight people.
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? Centeral outreach wellness center is a great clinic that mainly deals with the LGBT people
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That it’ll become too much of a hostile area that doesn’t want to have talks on sexuality/ gender identity. That they don’t want to listen to opposing opinions to help people understand
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That everyone listens
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Don’t worry if you mess up on a trans person pronouns or misgender them. It’s hard to “relearn” someones Pronouns. Also, don’t say you hate cishet people. Because it doesn’t help our cause when you say you hate them. People that are against us will use it as ammo to be against us.
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community?Don’t say that you will choose someday. That if a person is bi and they were in a “heterosexual” relationship don’t see them as “spoiled”.
What motivated you to take part in this project? Just wanted to get my opinion out there
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. You should have asked, how do we stop toxic people that are in the community. Since we want a nice and safe place we need to take the people who are toxic, I.E saying they hate straights , white people, bi peeps and others, because that doesn’t make people want to join our cause!
Thank you, Joslyn.
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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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