#SteelCitySnowflake Q&A with Lynz

As part of our #SteelCitySnowflakes project, we are highlighting neighbors who contribute to the social justice fabric in our communities. Next up is Lynz nominated by Anonymous. They and I have known one another for many years and we are actually distant cousins. They are very well known in the LGBTQ community and had a lovely, thoughtful twist on the snowflake concept.Thank you for supporting our project, Lynz. We have created a snowflake for you on this page.

Lyndsey Sickler Pittsburgh
Image by Wæn Manikan

Your Name:  Lynz, Blue, Blue Fairy
Your Pronouns: They/Them
Your Age: 43

How do you describe your identity? Enbae femme/trans, queer

What does reclaiming the term ‘snowflake’ mean to you?  Reclaiming the term snowflake means empowering others with more then just words, but active and open support. It also means engaging in compassionate discourse and encouraging empathy and kindness as much as humanly possible. It also means being willing to listen, even when its hard. It means seeking actively to learn about others needs and to understand that we all have room for growth, not one of us is perfect or without fault.

We, as a community, are traumatized. So many of us have dealt or are dealing w massive amounts of rejection, isolation, poverty, mental health concerns because of how society as a whole treats us because of our gender identity, sexual orientation or HIV status. Reclaiming a term like snowflake is about reminding ourselves that gentleness with ourselves and each other is not weak. It is remembering that is OUR RIGHT as living beings to exist as we are and demand our space, our body, and our identity be respected at all times by everyone. As snowflakes we demand those simple things for ourselves and make intentional space for others to have it as well.

How are you working with other snowflakes in your community(ies)?  I do my best to be involved and/or remain aware of what folks are doing in the community to help each other. I use every tool I have in an arsenal Ive created through connecting and working with youth, young adults and people in general in the TLGBQIA+ and accomplice community for the last 20+ years. I do my best to spread the word of the good work that so many folks are doing all throughout Pittsburgh and beyond. I support personally and encourage others to support work that encourages and embraces all of the events, workshops, resources that are focused on and Center folks across the SOGIE (Sexual orientation, gender identity and expression)  spectrum.

What are your top three issues/concerns right now? Right now, increasing cultural competence among professional care providers for the trans and non binary community, youth support services, homelessness and food insecurity among TLGBQIA+ youth and adults. Welp, Sorry couldn’t keep it to three.

Tell us about the Steel City aka Pittsburgh.  There are so many people doing so many awesome things and there is always something to get into, involved w and support. I’m a transplant, originally from Jersey but have now lived in Pgh for more the half of my life ( 23 of my 43 years) and tho Pittsburgh definitely has its issues, I love it here.

Is Pittsburgh a snowflake city? Why or why not? I think it depends in where you look, as I think about it I’m utterly surrounded by Pittsburgh Snowflakes but that’s certainly my trans/enby/queer advocacy bubble.

I think Pittsburgh has a very long way to go to be a snowflake city overall, but with more time and effort, we could literally be a city knee deep in snowflakes. 🙂

Where can readers find you on social media? 
Fb/Insta/ Twitter: knottedsouls

Who do you nominate to be profiled in this feature and why?  

Coley Alston- they are a hardworking and dedicated black enby femme who has done and continues to do so much for so many, especially young folks, they are truly one of the unsung heroes in our community.

John Easter- Another person who isnt given enough accolades for all his hard work, as an out black gay cis male he and the other co founders of True T are putting in the hard work to create and maintain services for black gay/queer/trans/enby folks and accomplices. He, and the True T crew and some other community collaborators have even created a TLGBQIA+ short term emergency housing project focusing on people of trans experience, called Option U.

Ok last person,  or this will be longer then my profile haha

Thomas Hudson, they are a transplant to Pittsburgh but are already making a splash. They are out,loud and proud and working hard for the TLGBQIA+ Community in Pittsburgh.

There are so many others as well, Pittsburgh needs a lot of work, but we have so many people who have been and are willing to put the time in. I’m honored to be able to do this work w so many talented, compassionate and loving snowflakes.

Thank you, Lynz.

If you’d like to honor Lynz with a snowflake, you are welcome to do so. We also encourage you to nominate other Steel City Snowflakes by emailing pghlesbian at gmail dot com.

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