How do you queer outreach?

I’ve been a bit busy this month with the #ManchesterCatTrap project so I didn’t participate in any Pride activities, until the end when I had the opportunity to say something.

So I did.

First was the chance to write an essay for PublicSource ‘Right kind of gay, wrong kind of queer’: Navigating LGBTQ discrimination in Pennsylvania

Our state government is not inclined to create a safe, more equitable community for LGBTQ residents and our families. This forces us to rely on a hodgepodge of court decisions and administrative policies cobbled together but lacking the permanency of legislation. 

It is clear that LGBTQ residents of Pennsylvania continue to be second-class residents. Our privileges, especially racial privilege, often creates a hierarchy of “acceptable gay identities” that can divide our community internally as we struggle to understand oppression from an intersectional perspective. 

I worked on this for weeks, trying to wrap my mind around the connection between my experiences as a newly married lesbian and what I see happening around me in Pittsburgh and beyond.

Then (before this was published) WESA called me and asked if I would talk with them about the history of Pride. I asked them to include Billy Hileman and they agreed. So earlier this week, we used the new phone technology to record the conversation – I was tossed off the software a dozen times – so the editors had their work cut out for them. That segment aired on The Confluence today at 9 AM.

I also had a committee meeting with the LGBTQIA+ Commission to work on the bylaws. This process has been inspiring, to actively dive into the role these words and sentences will have navigating the space between the ‘City’ and the queer community to think about the past, present, and future, to lift all three up simultaneously. It was a solid 150 minutes of work and it wasn’t exactly fun, albeit interesting and informative. But it is the work necessary for this effort to be sustainable.

We had a long conversation about how to queer outreach.

Other stuff happened. I’m working on a response to the Pirates decision to partner with a racist, homophobic, anti-vaxxer to kick off their full season. Kittens. House being painted. My niece applying to Girl Gov.

So no, I didn’t get to Millvale Pride or any Pride events. I didn’t buy a tee shirt or apply tattoos. We did display a Progressive lPride flag from our home and I think it will stay up. See, the small moments add up …

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