Persad Center Staff Take First Steps to Unionize

For more info, visit this FB page. We are the Persad Staff Union. As therapists, case managers, program coordinators, administrative workers, and allied staff, we are forming our union to better advocate for ourselves, our community, and our clients. We are working together to promote the economic, emotional, physical and mental wellness of our staff […]

Network Exhaustion

We’ve accomplished a lot together this year. We’ve rescued and raised six homeless kittens, along with taking care of a feral colony. Plus, we collected A LOT of cat food to help other folks caretaking colonies. We’ve redirect lots of items destined for the landfill to help cats – blankets, towels, beds, etc. We supported […]

Kids in Blackface Controversy in Armstrong County

White silence

Content Note: racism, racial justice, white complicity   Around Halloween, two 12-year-old girls allegedly decided to dress up in blackface for Halloween. They were spotted and photographed at a local Dunkin Donuts. The ensuing thread on Facebook, seemingly including the girls’ family members, is filled with threats and more racism and also resistance. While I […]

Coping with Four Facebook Bans over Eight Days, Personally and Professionally

Social media bans silence political bloggers

  This morning, I was notified that I have a 24-hour ban from Facebook. It is my fourth ban in an eight day span. There’s no explanation, there’s no clarity on exactly which Community Standards I violated, there’s no information. And there’s no way to compel Facebook to do anything. So I’m not going to […]

Rural Pennsylvania Group Hosts First Local LGBTQ Pride Gathering in Elk County

Elk County LGBT Pride

This is how it works – or it should work. A group of local folks create a safe space to celebrate and affirm their LGBTQ neighbors. In this case, a 40-year-old pansexual mother of two set up a visibility event in a park in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania. People came, made connections, joined the Facebook group. […]

How to request Toys for Tots in Western Pennsylvania in 2019

This is our annual (7+ year) round-up of Toys for Tots programs in Western Pennsylvania for 2019. I’ve done my best to sort through the available information and provide you what you may need to know. PLEASE click through to the applicable link to doublecheck the details. I will update as information becomes available. Some […]

Pittsburgh Public Schools Struggle to Protect LGBTQ Students from Christian Bullies #SpiritDay

SPirit Day Pittsburgh

Today is Spirit Day: Spirit Day is a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities. Pledging to “go purple” on Spirit Day is a way for everyone — forward-thinking companies, global leaders, respected celebrities, neighbors, parents, classmates, and friends — […]

Ellen owes the Dixie Chicks an apology

While I’m not particularly surprised that Ellen Degeneres continues to lose touch with the experience of typical queer folks, I was dismayed by her comments defending her friendship with former President George W Bush. “We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different … but just because I […]

Visibility in Coming Out, Both Quietly and Publicly #NationalComingOutDay

Yep I'm Gay

I had an idea to explore an important question around coming out – the need for visibility and representation by publicly out folks in all industries, occupations, walks of life balanced against the very personal decisions we make to come out. I wrote about this in 2015 regarding the workforce of the City of Pittsburgh. […]

Itali Marlowe, 29, of Houston is the 20th Known Transgender Person Killed in 2019

Itali Marlowe

Itali Marlowe was just 29 years old when she was shot to death by Raymond D. Williams on September 20, 2019. It was a little past 2 PM in the afternoon when the Houston woman was found dying in her driveway near the home she shared with Williams. Itali was a Black trans woman. Williams […]