Community Q&A: Chris, 16, Talks About His Identity, His Family, and Enduring Harassment in His Pittsburgh Neighborhood

Chris Eagleton

I I know it is hard, it is hard to live in a society that does not fit you, but there are people like you. It’s hard every day knowing that your identity is up for debate. It is not fair. But the only way to change this is to prove them wrong. They want […]

Community Q&A: Ke’Juan, 15, Talks About Her Identity, Her Family, and Enduring Harassment in Her Pittsburgh Neighborhood

Black Trans Girl

We have to be more mindful when walking home by ourselves, we have to have extra protection and make sure to be with someone in case something happens, we had to block my bedroom window because the neighbor was staring into my room,  we had to put a plan in place so if there was a problem […]

My Dad

He was dealt a traumatic hand from Day One. He worked hard, sometimes multiple jobs. He rarely called off. He was in the mills for 50 years. He grew up in a mid-century modern world, raised by grandparents born circa 1885. Everyone had good intentions, but that didn’t really pan out in their poor life […]

Q&A With a Pittsburgh Dad Trying to Protect His Multiracial, LGBTQ Family From an Abusive Neighbor

Content Note: racism, transphobia, homophobia, harassment of children, police, legal case, fear I did a little research and started to get a sense of how these transphobic bigots operate, the playbook they use. These people are truly despicable. To answer your question, no, I don’t think people connect the dots. And that’s not a condemnation, […]

Pride Anxiety

Pride Anxiety

Today is Pride. We had plans to go with a friend to see the parade and walk around the festival. Then the thoughts crept into my mind. Last night, I was fretting about the hill we’d have to walk up from our car to the festival. What if I couldn’t climb the hill? What if […]

I am a person who had a mother. And now I don’t.

JIm Pryor

The 1950 Census has been made public and I recently found my 1942-born mother living with her parents and siblings in Munhall. She was seven at the time the census taker visited. It is the first official proof I have from her “permanent record” – she was a little girl living with her family, her […]

The Six Things I Hope ‘This Is Us’ Addresses in the Final Six Episodes

First, always, is Miguel. How did and Rebecca find their way back from Facebook to marriage? What’s up with his kids now? Why haven’t we really had conversations between this Latinx man of color and Randall around their experiences of racial injustice? Miguel was a Latinx man in Pittsburgh in the 70s and 80s. Being […]

My Best Friend’s Funeral: I’m Still Crying 15 Years Later

Dr. John Ruffing Veterinarian

Today, my friend John would be 56 years old. Even in whatever heaven for terrific people might look like, he is cringing about that. But in some sort of heaven is a certainty for John. No doubt. I don’t even really believe in heaven or maybe I do, a little. But I know that a […]

Don’t Crash Into Me

No Means No

Growing up in emotional, financial, and physical chaos, I learned early on that my saying “no” was at worst, dangerous, and at best, ineffectual. I did not learn the social skills of setting healthy boundaries for myself because almost no one around me modeled that behavior. I grew up in a time when boundaries were […]