County of Residence: Mercer County, formerly Washington County
How do you describe your identity? Lesbian
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I was in college and fell in love with a woman while I was engaged to a man. I (we) didn’t know any other gay people. It took a while to come to terms with it. We only had each other.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I’m not obvious about it at work.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? Finding my second girlfriend let me know I wasn’t alone
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Not the listed categories but the Indigo Girls let me know I wasn’t alone
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Social media.
Describe your geographical community. Gay friendly for the most part
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. It’s a pretty gay friendly area.
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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. I was beat up once because I was with a woman
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. My wedding was described as an “interesting event” by the man I sublet professional space from
Tell us about your access to health care in Western PA. Has it been LGBTQ competent (or not?) N/a
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? More inclusion
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. You might be pleasantly surprised
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? A sense of belonging
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? Idk
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What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Trumpism
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Idk
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Be present.
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Accept everyone
What motivated you to take part in this project? Stories need to be told
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. How many cats do I have? (Jk)
Thank you, Rene.
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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