318 Coming Out Stories from Western Pennsylvania

National Coming Out Day Pittsburgh

Happy National Coming Out Day! Today is the day we celebrate coming out – being more open about our LGBTQIA+ identities AND encouraging folx still “in the closet” to take their own steps. Sharing our own unique stories is an essential tool to offer support. In honor of that reality, I am offering this list […]

Black Trans Woman Brooklyn DeShauna Smith, 20, Killed in Shreveport, Louisiana

Brooklyn DeShauna Smith

  It has happened again. On Wednesday, October 7, 2020, the body of Brooklyn DeShauna Smith was discovered at 2:15 in the afternoon in a Shreveport, Louisiana apartment complex. Cause of death was gun shot. Brooklyn was a 20-year-old Black trans woman. Brooklyn was born and raised in Shreveport. She studied cosmetology at Bossier Parish […]

On Day 199, I Made a post-Election Appointment

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist today. We confirmed some previously discussed medication changes, nixing one and tweeking another. I have to titrate up every two weeks by 25 mg from 25 mg to eventually 200 mg. She asked to see me again at the halfway point and I was quiet when I realized […]

Q&A with Sara-Summer Oliphant, Candidate for PA State House District 39

Sara-Summer Oliphant

  We are revisiting our Political Q&A series for the upcoming elections of 2020. We’ve reached out to candidates who are pro-choice and pro-LGBTQ, asking them a series of questions about their campaigns. We’ve sent out about a dozen Q&A’s to folks and encourage you to suggest others. Candidates can be anywhere in Pennsylvania running for any […]

23 year old Black Trans Woman Elie Che Found Dead in New York City

August 31, 2020 we lost another trans neighbor, a 23-year-old Black woman from Harlem. Her body was found in the Bronx. Her name was Elie. Police found the woman unconscious and unresponsive in the sand near Orchard Beach Road and Park Drive at approximately 6:09 a.m. EMS responders arrived shortly thereafter and pronounced her dead. […]

About the Delta Foundation and Pittsburgh Pridefest 2020

Delta Foundation Pittsburgh Pride

By now, you have likely heard this news – the Delta Foundation is dissolving and a new coalition has emerged to pick up the Pride mantle moving forward. UPDATE –> there are now two coalitions planning Pride 2021 events. Plus, People’s Pride. I’ve been expecting this decision, really since 2015 when Roots Pride challenged us […]

Q&A with Blogger Mark S. King about Awards, HIV Storytelling, and Finding Hope in a Pandemic

Mark S. King GLAAD Award

As the reigning GLAAD OUTstanding LGBTQ Blog from 2019, it has been my duty to to pass the title and tiara to the 2020 winner, Mark S. King from My Fabulous Disease. While he’s been getting a lot of mileage from his Susan Lucci status as ‘always a bridesmaid, never a bride’ these past years, […]

Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears of Portland is latest Black Trans Woman Violently Killed

Her name was Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears. She was 34 years old when she was stabbed to death while attending a vigil in Portland on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. From Out.com According to police, Rhone-Spears was in attendance at the vigil near the 15800 block of Southeast Division which later moved to a home in the […]

What Dr. Rachel Levine’s Statement Might Mean for the Trans Community

Dr. Rachel Levine

Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health has made a statement about the unrelenting vitriol directed at her identity. I was so pleased that she squarely addressed how these attacks impact the entire transgender community. One thing people inevitably ask me about the Pittsburgh MasQUe ProjecT is if we have any documented evidence of trans […]

32-Year-Old Black Trans Woman Tiffany Harris Fatally Stabbed in New York City

She was 32-years-old, a Bronx resident, and a Black trans woman who became the latest victim of the epidemic of violence the trans community experiences. She was stabbed multiple times in the chest about 1:35 a.m. Sunday during a confrontation inside the third-floor hallway of an apartment building on Jerome Ave. near W. 192nd St. […]