I’m actually not that involved, mainly because I’m not outgoing and haven’t inquired or explored the Pittsburgh area.
County of Residence: Allegheny County
Pronouns: she, her
How do you describe your identity? Lesbian
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I came out at 27 after being married to a man for 8yrs. I met a woman and fell in love, I had no choice but to be honest. I was very fortunate that nobody in my life reacted badly. All my friends either already knew (and were waiting on me to say) or were completely cool with it. Family was great as well. My ultra conservative father somehow knew already as well and he loved my partner. Once he was out of the way it was really simple.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? Totally out
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? The first person I met was a kid in high school. I wasn’t out or even really sure who I was at that point. This kid was 100% authentically himself and paid a heavy price for that. We became best friends, he had to transfer to an arts focused school – he is a dancer – and he really blossomed. That made me feel better about me, but not enough to explore anything yet. I lived with my ultra conservative father and was not ready for that discussion.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. I’m going to have to go with Dan Levy right now. He’s the creator of Schitt’s Creek and stars as David. Again, the authenticity is fantastic. He’s created a fictional town where homophobia doesn’t exist. There’s no big to do about his character being gay. It’s just the way it is.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Local websites, national websites, magazines
Describe your geographical community. I live out in the suburbs in a fairly conservative area. I saw (and still see) lots of “Trump Country” banners and signs. My immediate neighbors are friendly, outside of that I’m not sure.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. I’m actually not that involved, mainly because I’m not outgoing and haven’t inquired or explored the Pittsburgh 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. No, I haven’t.
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. Nothing stands out. I don’t let a lot of things get to me. I’m sure people have made some remark when my partner and I were walking and holding hands or something.
Tell us about your access to health care in Western PA. Has it been LGBTQ competent (or not?) I have UPMC health coverage and it has been great. All the doctors I’ve seen for whatever reason have been very accepting and open to discussion.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? I honestly don’t know, like I said, I’m just not very involved in the local community.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Just keep eliminating discrimination’s we face.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. Nothing jumps out
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? healthcare, mental healthcare, legal processes
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? Persad, Trevor Project, Arts Out Loud, Dreams of Hope, QueerPgh
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That any protections we now have will be reversed.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That more and more we’re seen as people, regular everyday people with a little more flair!
What pieces of local or regional LGBTQ history would you like to preserve and why? I’m not familiar with the local history. I’m not originally from here.
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Speak out against injustices
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Just being respectful and accepting, we’re all human.
What motivated you to take part in this project? Sue asked me! And it seems that this will be an important archive of info and history.
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. I don’t have a suggestion.
Thank you, Anonymous.
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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