Thank You for Nominating Me for a CORO MLK Leadership Award

A Facebook friend shared an urgent request to find a winter coat for a young gay-identified female student in the Pittsburgh Public School system. Apparently, the school does not have an excess of coats right now. So I spent a few hours putting out the word and, eventually, a Northside neighbor (and new Facebook friend) named Michelle drove a brand new coat to my house around 9 PM. I took it to the high school Friday AM and handed it off to the teacher.

That’s the person I aspire to be – the person who people ask to help find a coat or addresses some other fundamental need. I really don’t want to be the fundraiser, public face or administrator. I never aspired to be an Executive Director (never, not ever, never never.) I just want to be a social worker/community organizer. It fits.

Restaurant Review: Papa J’s Server Made My Night

Papa J's Carnegie

“So that being said … tonight, everything changed. So much that I might return to Papa J’s sans coupon (1 per customer per quarter) for some pizza. Tonight our server Peter did something so awesome that I’ll just never forget it – at the end of our meal, he said “I read your blog. I love it.” Both of our jaws dropped and he went on “I recognized both of you when you came in, but I didn’t want to say anything and embarrass you.”

He didn’t want to embarrass me! He didn’t have to worry about that because I took care of it for him when I kicked over the bag carrying the extra salad and realized the pocket of my new too-big-for-me jeans was caught on my seat as I tried to stand up to talk with him. So I’m sort of slouched in my seat trying to unhook my pants while flailing around with my leg to lasso the wayward styrofoam container (no leakage!) and smiling at the first person to not want to embarrass me.

I was a little overcome and unsure what to say beyond ‘Thank you, I am glad you like it.”

Should I have asked him to become Facebook friends? Should I cyber spy to find Peter of Papa J’s and tag him on my post? What do cool people do in situations like this?”

Tara, 29, Describes Life in the Shenango Valley as a Bisexual Woman #AMPLIFY

Mercer County Bisexual

“[After 9th grade concert] Once we got home, my tears had turned to anger. I ended up slamming every door I touched, kicked off my shoes so hard they hit the wall, and told my mom I hated her. She got in my face, and my dad stepped in. He sent my little brother to his room before I recalled what happened at the school. He sighed, but didn’t say anything. He was a man of few words. After a few minutes of me blubbering, trying to calm down, the three of us went to the kitchen table to talk.
I remember my dad sitting across from me and my mom sitting to my right at our tiny cramped kitchen table. I don’t remember the specifics of conversation, mostly because I blocked it out, but in a nutshell, they told me homosexuality was wrong and I was going to Hell if I continued liking girls. I fidgeted with a leftover napkin as I told them I loved Z. We were best friends. I said I was bisexual, not homosexual, hoping that might somehow make it better. It didn’t. I was still damned just the same.

In the weeks following my admission, my parents forced me to start counseling.”

#GIVINGTUESDAY at the AMPLIFY Project

Today is #GivingTuesday. We ask you to consider a donation to #AMPLIFY – we are trying to raise $600 to produce tee shirts. It is a modest goal to support a community project. We are about 15% there already! And this is our starting point – a pink crew neck shirt in sizes XS to […]

Is an #AMPLIFY Tee Shirt (fundraiser) a Useful Form of Resistance? #GivingTuesday

Here’s our appeal for #GivingTuesday. We need to raise $600. We’ve kicked around the idea of a tee shirt fundraiser in the past, but never came up with a concept beyond using our logo (designed by Kai Devenitch): The ongoing discussion of wearing safety pins combined with this creative anarchist button response got me thinking […]

Take Our #AMPLIFY Tee Shirt Survey & Resist UPDATED

If you are interested in purchasing a tee shirt (as a fundraiser) either for yourself or to donate to another participant, please complete this survey. We need feedback on the style of shirts we order, the slogan/logo and some other details.

If you need a little “grrrr” to get you going, last night someone trolled me through this survey. It wasn’t pleasant to read, but the nasty comment illustrates why we need to lift up the narrative of everyday lives. This person has been trolling me since I wrote a blog post about Dalia Sabae, a bisexual woman of color who was murdered by her husband a few weeks ago. It takes a measure of commitment to the hate to log into a survey & work some personal slams against me into the responses. If you want to read more about that, go to my Facebook page.

Amplifying Trans Voices in Western Pennsylvania in Honor of the Trans Day of Remembrance

Trans Day of Remembrance 2016

Sunday, November 20 is the Trans Day of Remembrance.  If you read our blog regularly, you know that we try very hard to honor the lives and acknowledge the deaths of our trans neighbors who have been lost to violence. We encourage you to participate in local TDOR events. You can find our previous posts: […]

Exciting News for AMPLIFY as We Team Up With Persad

We are thrilled to announce a new direction for the #AMPLIFY project – beginning in January 2017, Persad Center will be our new fiscal sponsor. Persad is the longest running LGBTQ organization in Western PA serving all of the region since 1972. They have a myriad of programs and services, many of which can offer […]

Mitch, 27, Describes Life in Butler County as a Gay Man #AMPLIFY

Butler County Gay

Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. While living in Butler, whether past or present, it is not safe to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community or perceived to be a member. When living in Butler, I received threats, was harassed, had my car vandalized and have been physically harmed as a result of being gay and prior to coming out, for being perceived as a gay person. I think a mistake is being made if people deny a problem exists. Just because someone says something does not exists, doesn’t mean it doesn’t.

Lavi, 29, is Trans Queer Bi and Wants Your Respect & Support #AMPLIFY

Name: Lavi

Age: 29

County of Residence: I grew up in Greene county. I moved to Allegheny County when i was 18. Ive lived in Pittsburgh the past 11 years

Preferred Pronouns: She, her

How do you describe your identity? trans queer bi white

Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I started coming out when I was about 15 I think. At that time I found support online. There was an online community of mostly other teenage trans kids we helped each other out with what we could.

I didn’t have support from my family and local community. I felt isolated and alone. I was. I tried to run away but it didn’t work.

I came out more finally when I turned 18 and moved to Pittsburgh. It was finally a time when I could start to be myself and figure out who I am.

I still had trouble finding support. I went to transpitt but felt a big generational gap. I learned a lot tho from Nancy. I always remember her.