If you are looking for the AMPLIFY Q&A to contribute your own story,

click here to go to our online form!

Every story raises the visibility of LGBTQ experiences in Western PA. 

AMPLIFY is a storytelling project, a community art project and a historical archive project sharing the lived experiences of LGBTQ neighbors in Western Pennsylvania from 2015-2020. Contributors use an online form to answer questions about their lives and those contributions are published as individual blog posts without being edited, modified or altered.* These are the true stories of our neighbors in their own words.

#AMPLIFY Tee Shirts


The official #AMPLIFY Tee Shirt is here via our partnership with Commonwealth Press. Your purchase support the project and a local business. You also have the option of donating a shirt to a project contributor.


Shortcuts

Click here for the archived contributions, updated 2-3x each week.

Click here for the project FAQ.

Click here to contribute your own story to the project.

Click here to read what people are saying about #AMPLIFY (Press and media page.)

Click here for more information on the 26 county region of Western PA and the LGBTQ neighbors who have ties to those counties.

Click here to donate.

Click here to read Issue #1 of the AMPLIFY zine (Click here for a copy to download and print)

AMPLIFY

The concept is straightforward. Use the Q&A format to amplify the lived experiences of individuals whose lives are not often highlighted in traditional media.

Read the published Q&A’s here

(More are coming every week.)

Goals

  • To explore the realities of our LGBTQ neighbors in their own words so as to better understand how their identities impact their day to day lives.
  • To identify barriers they face in day to day life, including discrimination and bias.
  • To identify how they contribute to a thriving region, including what unique strengths they bring to the table.
  • To connect with all 26 counties in Western Pennsylvania and identify resources, services and supports that may not be widely known, again in the voices and realities of the LGBTQ folks living there.

How to participate

  • You can complete the survey here  Note – the online Q&A uses a google form so you cannot save your answers (without a lengthy convoluted hack explanation.) Be sure to leave the tab open until you are finished.
  • I will send you a printed version of the Q&A if you would prefer to fill it out by hand. Contact me at pghlesbian at gmail.
  • I am speaking to groups and hoping to attend events throughout the 26 counties. Please contact me if you would like a speaker or more information to share with your members. This can include PFLAG, GSA meetings, book clubs, bowling groups, etc.

To learn more about my professional qualifications, please visit my LinkedIn profile.


Read the published Q&A’s here

Support #AMPLIFY with a donation today. Help us continue sharing the stories.

Below is a reverse chronological list of the AMPLIFY Q&A’s

  1. Maria Talks Lesbian Life in the North Hills of Pittsburgh 
  2. Suzanne, 39, never felt that honoring her orientation was even an option 
  3. Leo, 24, Fears the Erasure of Nonbinary/Bisexual/Pansexual/Asexual/Demi Narratives in the Queer Community 
  4. Ashley, 18, is a Bisexual/Queer Woman Attending College in Allegheny County 
  5. Ian, 27, is a Gay Trans Man Resisting Gender Expectations
  6. Jenna,19, is Proud of Her Lesbian Identity 
  7. Stephen, 36, is a Gay Male Gaymer in Armstrong County 
  8. Meg, 34, Wants to Make an Impact With Grace 
  9. Carla, 39, Identifies as a Bisexual, Non-Binary Scientist and Educator 
  10. Allie, 51, Talks Living as a Trans Woman in Washington County
  11. Eric, 35, is a Gay Man Who Has Learned to Live With Microaggressions
  12. Hutch, 57, Marched With Harvey Milk and Knows We Have Miles To Go 
  13. Jay, 27, Discusses Challenges of Being a Straight Trans Man 
  14. Louie, 50, Identifies as Queer, Pansexual, & Kinky 
  15. Kat, 33, Shares Her Story as a Trans Woman to Find Some Peace 
  16. Paul, 61, Marched in Pittsburgh’s First Gay Pride March in 1973 
  17. Brian, 32, is Trans, Nonbinary, and Queer in Westmoreland County 
  18. Madi Scull, 20, Identifies as a Nonbinary, Asexual Lesbian 
  19. Lange, 41, is a Queer Single-Parent in Pittsburgh 
  20. Hansen, 20, is an Unapologetic Queer Filmmaker 
  21. Kyle, 22, is a Bisexual, Vegetarian from Crawford County
  22. Jess, 22, is a Poly, Bisexual Woman in Pittsburgh
  23. Madison, 40, is a Pansexual, Trans Woman Who Loves Pittsburgh
  24. Rae, 48, is a Pansexual Trans Woman Living in Allegheny County
  25. Mahogany LaPiranHa, 38, is a 6‘4“ androgynous African-American badass 
  26. Rain, 42, is a Gay Woman in Pittsburgh
  27. He’s a cisgender polyamorous bisexual guy, but nobody asks
  28. Joseph, 28, is a HIV+ queer and gay man in Pittsburgh
  29. Winter, 18, Identifies as a Genderquestioning Bisexual Person
  30. Dezmanian, 28, is a Black Man Who Happens to be Gay 
  31. Dakota, 27, Wants You to Support Queer Activists & Queer Art 
  32. Lissa, 28, Identifies as Genderfluid, Grey Ace, and Poly
  33. Kool Kase, 32, is a Black Lesbian at Peace With Herself
  34. Sam, 28, is a Genderqueer Artist in Pittsburgh 
  35. Jennifer is 40, Bisexual, and a Fan of Sara Lance 
  36. Reece, 31, Grew up in Southern Virginia, but Found LGBTQ Connections in Pittsburgh
  37. Tara, 24, is a Femme, Queer Human 
  38. Michael, 50, is a Gay Man Who Lives Without Shame 
  39. Dan, 36, is a Bisexual Man in Pittsburgh Who Wants to Build a Better World 
  40. Ben, 30, Wants All Gay White Men to Learn To Take a Step Back 
  41. Rachel, 24, Asks Where Are Our Out, Queer Women Role Models in Pittsburgh? 
  42. Laura, 42, is a Bisexual Mom in Pittsburgh 
  43. Brad, 33, is a Gay, Black Man Who Does Charity Work as a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence 
  44. Tracey, 58, is a Queer Mother Parenting Nonbinary Children 
  45. Bebe Beretta, 27, is Nonbinary, Genderfluid, and Wants More LGBTQ Folks to Connect
  46. Dave, 33, Identifies as a Queer, recovering Gay White Man 
  47. Helen, 51, Came Out as Bisexual in the Army National Guard
  48. Meg, 28, is Nonbinary, Genderqueer, Polyamorous, and Pansexual
  49. Keith, 48, is a Gay, White Man Using Marriage Equality for Teachable Moments in North Carolina 
  50. Hilary, 44, Works Hard to Boost Pansexual Identity in Erie County
  51. Lisa, 47, is a Bi Woman Trying to Find Community in Pittsburgh
  52. Amy, 46, is Bi in Pittsburgh, But Not Really Out
  53. Alexia, 40, is Bisexual, Transgender, and Loves Pittsburgh
  54. Jez, 50, Came Out As Trans in 1985 in Rural Washington County
  55. Morgan, 31, is a Black, Bisexual, Queer, Polyamorous Woman & Mother
  56. Kelsey, 22, Talks Lesbian Life in Elk County 
  57. Tristan, 28, is Gay, Mexican-American, a Comedian and Writer and Drag Queen 
  58. Pastor Reed, 48, Puts a Face and Name to Being a Gay Christian
  59. Carmen is 42, Bisexual, and Resonates With Genderfluid Identity
  60. Jamaica, 41, is Bisexual and Wants the Pgh Queer Community to Have a Voice
  61. Luna, 25, is a Poly, Gender fluid, Queer Performance Artist 
  62. Bobbi Jo, 63, is a Transgender Lesbian in Indiana County
  63. Roxxie Thunder, 27, is a Glittery Pansexual Femme from Beaver County 
  64. Maya, 20, Identifies as a Black Queer Fat Femme Woman 
  65. Mindy, 42, Lives Semi-Open as Trans in Rural Elk County
  66. Katie, 25, Identifies as Puerto Rican, White, Cis-Female and Lesbian
  67. Dylan, 28, is a Queer, Autistic Transgender Man
  68. Angie, 32: Out, Loud, and Proud Black Pansexual Mom
  69. Krista, 28, Lives in Washington, PA as a Pansexual Woman
  70. August, 46, Feels Separate as a Black Gay Man 
  71. Tanha, 36, is a Queer, Bisexual Woman in Erie 
  72. Joel, 35, is Gay, a Trans Guy, Polyamorous, Christian, Parent, & Husband 
  73. Chrissy, 40, Wants LGBTQ Folks to Educate One Another With a Sense of Humor 
  74. Lora, 33, Talks About Coming Out, Family Support, & LGBTQ Narratives
  75. Selene, 60, is genderfluid, pansexual, femme-presenting, neuroqueer and more
  76. Scott, 53, is a Gay Man Exploring Transition & Identity Anew 
  77. Marcia, 58, is Cisgender, Lesbian & Slightly Gender Nonconforming
  78. Seth, 21, Came Out as Bi and Trans Via Power Point 
  79. Krissy, 34, Talks About Step Parenting as a Bisexual Woman 
  80. Rev Leonard, 37, is a Black same-gender loving freedom fighter – #200
  81. Wendi, 31, Describes Being a Trans Ally in Her Workplace
  82. Chica Discusses Her Bisexuality to Show Solidarity 
  83. Brandon, 23, Identifies as a Pansexual Genderqueer Male
  84. Angela is a Queer Mother & Intersectional Feminist
  85. Tyler, 18, is a Pansexual Trans Man in Erie
  86. Chris, 40, is an Aspie Queer Girl With Some Kinks
  87. Bi and Demi, Kristen Wants You to Get Uncomfortable With Your Privilege 
  88. Caiolin, 56, is Just Another Woman Who Happens To Be Trans
  89. Regina, 33, Finds Comfort in Lesbian Ambiguity
  90. Megan, 22, is a Bisexual Woman Using Her Voice To Grow Her Community
  91. Ally, 20, Describes Her Fluid Sexual Orientation 
  92. Maddy, 23, is Queer and Gender Nonconforming in Allegheny County 
  93. Jason, 42, aka Miss Thea Trix Spreads a Positive Vibe in the Mon Valley
  94. Jesse, 28, Helps To Build New LGBTQ Community Supports in Mercer County 
  95. Sean, 29, Wants to Change the LGBT Climate in Western Pennsylvania 
  96. Emily, 40, Talks About LGBTQ Visibility, Intersectionality & Resiliency 
  97. James, 54, Is a Gay Pittsburgh Dad Living in Texas
  98. Kyle Discusses Privilege & Perception of Gay, White, Cisgender Men
  99. Shari, 57, Wants More Inclusivity & Power for QTPOC
  100. Leo, 42, is a Bi Man in Erie County Who Wants to be Heard
  101. Laura, 44, is a Lesbian Mom in Fayette County 
  102. Dawn, 33, Describes Life as a Trans Woman in Westmoreland County 
  103. Emma, 28, Keeps Her Queer Eyes Open in Pittsburgh
  104. Ravenna, 37, Pansexual Trans Woman Living in the Allegheny County Suburbs 
  105. Vanessa, 31, Describes Her Transition & Life as Pansexual in Washington County
  106. Tara, 29, Describes Life in the Shenango Valley as a Bisexual Woman  ** #175
  107. Lav, 29, a Queer Trans Gender Non Binary Mermaid Witch Warrior 
  108. Vi, 24, Is Very Concerned About Trans Health Issues in Pittsburgh 
  109. Mitch, 27, Describes Life in Butler County as a Gay Man
  110. Kierra Darshell is Pittsburgh’s First Lady of Drag
  111. Alexa, 22, Talks About Acceptance as a Bisexual Woman
  112. Ira, 30, Identifies as Pansexual, Genderqueer and Possibly Agender 
  113. Lavi, 29, is Trans Queer Bi and Wants Your Respect & Support
  114. Ciora, 27, Says Trans People Have the Strength of Two Souls
  115. Anonymous, 30, Wants More Visibility for the Pansexual Community 
  116. Janet, 66, is Bisexual, Cisgender and Gender Nonconforming
  117. Dominic, 18, Is a Bisexual Man Finding His Comfort Zone in College 
  118. Dean Sees Queer Struggles as Stories of Strength
  119. Brian, 29, Wants the LGBTQ Community to Address Social Isolation
  120. Morgan, 21, Hasn’t Met Other Openly Gay Suburban Couples 
  121. Hayley, 46, Wants To Keep That Pride Feeling Year Round #160
  122. Brian, 35, ‘It’s okay to be who you want’ 
  123. Jim, 63, Reminds Us That Environmental Issues Are Queer Issues
  124. Kitteh, 27, ‘The Door Is Open But I’m Still Sitting on the Floor of the Closet’
  125. Samantha, 44, Wants Better Health Choices for the Trans Community
  126. ‘Your Story Can Heal’ Says Rain, 26
  127. Jill, 48, Has Ties to Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland Counties
  128. Caitlyn 51, Lives Her Authentic Self as a Trans Woman in Erie 
  129. Melissa, 23, is Androgymous and Queer in Butler County
  130. Delilah, 31, Finds Trans Community on Twitter
  131. Jamie, 52, Celebrates the Queer Tribe Rising
  132. Jessica, 28, is Resisting Bisexual Erasure in Pittsburgh
  133. Benjamin, 35, is a Cis Gay Man Who Came Out Four Times
  134. Chi Chi, 47, Lives Her Version of Latina, Queer and Spiritual
  135. Jay, 33, Says Stories Are Part of Queer Liberation
  136. Cheryl, 42, Wants Us To See Everyone in the LGBTQ Community
  137. Dave on Coming Out and Being Out in Cambria County
  138. Avery is a Bisexual, Latino Tran Man in Cambria County
  139. Eileen, 52, Reflects on the Awakening of Her LGBTQ Community  (142)
  140. Rach, 36, Loves a Girl in Armstrong County
  141. Kim, 40, Mother, Pansexual and Mexican-American in Washington County
  142. Kay, 27: Not Ashamed of the Reality of Me
  143. Heidi, 28, Learned That It’s Okay To Be A LGBT Christian
  144. Mel, 40: Bi, Queer and Pan Folk Don’t Always Speak in a Gay or Lesbian Voice
  145. Mitch, 52, Believes in The Power of Movies to Create Community
  146. alexis, 29, talks compensation & community for marginalized lgbtq neighbors 
  147. Camellia, 30, is a Lesbian, Soon-to-be Wife, and Momma 
  148. Staci, 52, Wants More Representation for the Bi Community
  149. Rachel, 30, Is In The Process of Coming Out as Bisexual
  150. Bill, 52, is a Gay Man Living in a Small Town in Cambria County
  151. Patricia, 41, Does Not Feel Safe as a Trans Woman in Her Urban Pgh Suburb
  152. Mariah, 38, Wants More Support for Westmoreland LGBTQ Neighbors 
  153. Norman, 67, is a Gay Black Male of African Descent
  154. Wes, 44: Queer Trans Man, Parent Wants You To Know That He Exists
  155. Lisa Believes Being Out and Honest is ‘Like Flying’
  156. Sueno, 33, Adds Her Particular Color of the Rainbow to the #AMPLIFY Narrative
  157. Maggio, 28, is Unapologetically a Bi-sexual Queer Feminist Scholar
  158. Ben, 29, is Proud to be a Queer Pittsburgher
  159. Martha, 52, is a Gay Woman Spending Her Whole Life Coming Out
  160. Naheen, 29, is a Gay Black Male Who Feels Confident in Himself 
  161. Mia Donna Has a Wild Happy Life as a Pansexual Polyamorous Person
  162. RevDrRay, 49, Believes LGBTQ Folks Deserve Strong & Powerful ‘Spiritual’ Life
  163. Sara, 28, Single Mom, Agnostic Jew, and Queer in Ohio
  164. Shain is 32, grew up in Mercer County and now lives in NYC
  165. Bobby, 50, Queer Trans Guy, White Anti-Racism Activist
  166. Diane, 56, Is Asexual With Lesbian Leanings and a Writer
  167. Pixie, 26, is Androgynous, Non-binary, Genderqueer and Lesbian, But Identifies as Pixie
  168. Tylor, 30, is a Pansexual Trans Man Who Wants Better for Young People
  169. Nayck, 50, Identifies as a Black, Gay, Domini-rican in Pittsburgh
  170. Jill, 49, Wants Young LGBTQ People To Have a Safe Place to Go In Cambria County
  171. As a Gay Man, Ryan Wants More Scrutiny of Bath Houses and Non-Profits
  172. Dani Janae, 23, Identifies as a Black Femme Lesbian Poet & Trauma Survivor
  173. Jay, 54, Considers His Gay Identity Both Now and The
  174. Ama, 30, is a Girl Who Likes Girls and Who Likes Guys
  175. Austin, 30, is a Straight Trans Man from Washington County
  176. For Jodi’s Kids, Having Two Mothers Is Just a Fact of Life
  177. Char, 62, is a “Very Late Bloomer” Lesbian in Cambria County
  178. Minion Wants to Talk About What It Means to Be a Queer Black Futch Leathergirl
  179. Kim, 44, Say She Lost Her Job in Beaver County Because She’s a Lesbian
  180. Alissa, 34, is Just Another Girl in the Crowd in Lawrence County
  181. Carina, 18, Identifies as Plus Sized Monogamous Queer and Femme 
  182. John, 38, is a Johnstown Based LGBTQ Activist **#100
  183. Corvus Regrets the Lack of a Sober, Queer, Radical and Disability Friendly Community in Pgh
  184. KK Compares Small Town Michigan to Pittsburgh
  185. De, 49, is Concerned About LGBTQ Youth in Rural Western PA
  186. Joe Was Dragged Out of the Closet As A Young Man
  187. KD is a Gay Woman Who Chooses to be On the Periphery
  188. Sabrina, 50, Found New Friends When She Came Out as Trans
  189. Lela Wants Bisexual Voices To Be Heard
  190. Kevin, 38, Talks About Jack Kerouac, Senior Housing and Gay Crushes 
  191. Jus Hadiya Wants to Spread Education 
  192. Viva Valezz is a Queer Burlesque Performer Parenting a Gender Fluid Child
  193. Alyssa is First Generation Cuban American, Trans, Gender Nonconforming and from Beaver County
  194. Heather Refuses to Marginalize Herself as a Bisexual Woman
  195. As a Lesbian, Shelly Values Her Ties to Rural Indiana County
  196. Elliot is Bi, Trans and Wishes Westmoreland County Was Talking More About Queer Youth
  197. Gloria a Happy Black Lesbian
  198. Moira Describes the Toll of Gatekeeping on the Trans Community
  199. Sara, 35, On Her Reality as a Lesbian in Western Pennsylvania 
  200. Mark, 29, Talks About Gay Stereotypes in Pittsburgh
  201. Ade is Pansexual, Androgynous and Finds Comfort in Their UU Community
  202. Dinah Denmark: Lesbian, Jewish, Buddhist
  203. Jazmine, 46, Has Advice for LGB Allies to the Trans Community
  204. Niki Talks About Living as a Gender Queer Trans Woman in Pittsburgh
  205. Cavanaugh, 25, Talks About Genderflux Identify and the Value of Self-Care
  206. Jean Came Out as Bisexual After Retirement
  207. Kathi Wants To Connect with LGBTQ Elders in Rural Communities
  208. Casey, 38, Honors One Year Since Coming Out As a Gay Woman
  209. Roman Knows to the Depths of His Soul That He Is a Man #AMPLIFY
  210. Erin Answered These Questions to Challenge Bisexual Erasure
  211. Mair, 55, Came Out the Same Week As Ellen DeGeneres #AMPLIFY
  212. Derek On Life As a Gay Man With Asperger’s Syndrome #AMPLIFY
  213. Kaley is Trans, Queer and a Fan of Gender Outlaws
  214. Shaquanna Wants Families to Have Positive Conversations With LGBTQ Relatives
  215. Raven Has Not Told Anyone That She’s Pansexual Because She’s Afraid
  216. Walter Wants Western PA to Be More Vibrant, Tolerant and Diverse
  217. Janie From Brackenridge: Being Trans Limits Many Things
  218. Cat is Queer, Genderflued and Fully Out #AMPLIFY
  219. Jeff Hopes the LGBTQ Community Will Embrace a Common Queer Identity
  220. Jesse Talks About Living as a Trans Woman in a Culture of Fear
  221. Jess is a Lesbian Mother Who Wants More Family Friendly Resources
  222. Saintly Sinner is a Cisgender Lesbi Not So Flexible Black Biological Womyn
  223. Diane Discusses Being Belligerently Out in Pittsburgh
  224. Jaime From The ReelQ Film Festival Says Yep I’m Gay
  225. Scott Describes Life as a Gay Bear in Rural Armstrong County
  226. Claudette is a Non-Binary Queer Who Wants Us To See Beyond the L and the G #AMPLIFY
  227. Taylor Wants More LGBTQ Resources and Community Unity
  228. Alexandria is a Lesbian Artist Trying To Get Her Bearings
  229. Anonymous Grieves How Pittsburgh’s Gay and Lesbian Community Treats Bisexuals
  230. Erik Is a Cis White Working-Class Queer from Clearfield County
  231. Maria Wants You To Know a Family Like Hers #AMPLIFY
  232. Lyndsey Identifies as a Queer Genderfluid Lipstuck Butch
  233. Alex is a Black Trans Man Who Doesn’t Apologize For His Existence
  234. Mario Identifies As Queer Rustbelt Genderfluid Artist #AMPLIFY
  235. PJ Identifies as a Cis White Gay Man With a Twist of Genderqueer</a
  236. Ashe Believes To Be Queer Is To Be Yourself #AMPLIFY
  237. DJ Scott Is a Gay Black Man Full of Positive Vibes #AMPLIFY
  238. Kitty Is Out and Open as a Bisexual Trans Woman in Erie County #AMPLIFY
  239. Shawna on Her Unique Experience as a Lesbian in Indiana County #AMPLIFY
  240. Miss Erie Pride 2015: Embrace Who We Are Meant To Be #AMPLIFY
  241. Daniel Wants to See More Diverse Employers in Western Pennsylvania
  242. Alex Describes Erie’s LGBTQ Community as Live and Let Live
  243. David Talks About the State of Equality in Erie
  244. For Kristina, Being Out is Her Normal
  245. Bee Asks Where Single Parents Fit Into the LGBTQ Community
  246. Jessi is a Trans Lesbian Who Asks Questions
  247. Larry Traces His Coming Out to JFK and a Frat Brother
  248. Jesse Believes in the Power of [Trans]cendence
  249. Vic Lives Closeted in Westmoreland County
  250. Kayden Wants to Be Safe Holding Her Partner’s Hand in Pittsburgh
  251. Tony Believes Everyone in the LGBTQ Community Matters
  252. Brandon Believes Pittsburgh Should Have Better Trans Health Resources
  253. Cindy Has Been Fundraising for the GLCC for 14 Years
  254. Coley Claims to Be Invisible in Plain Sight
  255. Carmen is a Queer Black Womyn From Pittsburgh
  256. Darcell Hopes Everyone Will Find Love
  257. Sivynn Acknowledges That Some People Just Don’t Pay Attention to His Transition
  258. Amber Has Always Been Proud of Being OUT
  259. Shell is Proud of the Positive Impact of Pittsburgh Black Pride
  260. Gary Has Lived in Northwest and Southwest PA As An Openly Gay Man
  261. Patrouious Describes His Fears & Frustrations as a Trans Man in McKean County #AMPLIFY
  262. John is a Geeky, White, Cisgender, Queer, Pagan, Proletariat Hippie #AMPLIFY
  263. Skip Believes The Act of Coming Out Is a Continuous Process
  264. Sam Prefers the Ambiguity of Queer Identity to a Specific Label
  265. Jan Offers an Older Perspective on LGBTQ Pittsburgh
  266. Meg Is a Country Queer
  267. CJ Describes Living Stealth As A Trans Man
  268. Bob Is the First Openly Gay Elected Official In Northwestern PA
  269. Paula Speaks Out About Bi-Erasure and Bisexual Exclusion
  270. Joy KMT Values Intersectional Healing Spaces
  271. Katie-Anne Speaks As Two Spirited Bi Gendered Resident of Johnstown
  272. Twist Shares Their Life as Neuroqueer
  273. kelly emphasizes that ‘gay is not the totality of me’
  274. Gina Shares Her Truth With Those Who Deserve To Know
  275. Donna Met a Female Impersonator Who Made a Lasting Impression
  276. Joyce Believes Tolerance Is Not Acceptance
  277. Mike Talks About the Privileges of Living in Erie as a Gay Man
  278. Rashod Is An Unapologetic Trans Man of Color
  279. Tara Wants Us To Talk About Intersectionality

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