The Time a Lesbian Democrat Shamed Me for Being a Disabled Person With Cats

Kittens Instagram

A few days ago, a person whom I know only through social media and a few mutual friends decided to leave a comment on an Instagram post I had shared – a photo of some of our resident cats and foster kittens eating dinner together. Her comment was a disproportionate reaction to  few cat hashtags. […]

That Time When the Social Security Administration Took Away My Disability Benefits Without Telling Me Why: Part One

SSDI Benefits Stopped

A week ago Friday, I put the final touches on an essay for PublicSource and gave it my blessing to be published the following Monday. The topic was social security and I had a teeny twinge about triggering an unwarranted review by someone who sees all the words I create, but doesn’t read them enough […]

Four Reasons We Use a Q&A Format to Interview Artists & The Exception We Made for Emily Saliers

  We like Q&A’s. Read our archive here (and the AMPLIFY archive here.) Recently, more than a few of our potential interviewees just didn’t return their Q&A so we were not able to promote their event/performance/activity. They also didn’t benefit from the SEO and outgoing links and all that lovely Interwebs magic. And there’s a […]

Meg, 30, is a Genderqueer Femme in Washington County #AmplifyUpdates

At the request of our contributors, we are creating space for people to submit updates. We know that for some folks, life has changed so we are offering an opportunity to post an update to earlier responses. We will NOT be modifying that content, but we will create a link to this new post. This will […]

Selene, 60, is genderfluid, pansexual, femme-presenting, neuroqueer and more #AMPLIFY

How do you describe your identity? genderfluid, pansexual, femme-presenting, dom
white as f*ing bleached flour
autistic, neurodivergent, neuroqueer
multiply disabled, invisibly disabled, visibly disabled, auditory processing disorder, executive function disorder, ehlers danlos syndrome, partially ambulatory

Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? Have been more or less out as weird-queer all my life. Had some excellent friends, also some friends of my mother’s were supportive. Several teachers.

Got beat up, excluded, gamed. Autism (undiagnosed) was not helpful in knowing whom to trust.

Five Ways to Improve Accessibility of Your Special Event in Pittsburgh

I just got off the phone with an event organizer who responded really well to my simple request for an accommodation at their upcoming event. I just needed a chair – a simple request, but it is an event without designated seating or even “a lot” of seating. So having a polite, accommodating conversation was […]

Send Me YOUR Stories of Disability Accommodation in Pittsburgh

  We often read about accommodations in the workplace and in housing. Rarely does the media delve into accommodations issues when it comes to “public accommodation” like at a movie theater or a restaurant especially when it comes to hidden disabilities. I’m trying to tell those stories.  Your stories. My stories. Eleven months ago, I […]

The Manor Theater, AMC Loews Ignore, Refuse Disability Accommodation

    Last weekend, I tried to get accommodation for my disability at a local movie theater, The Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill. Most of the other theaters I’ve approached have been fine – they just put up a handwritten “reserved” sign on two aisle seats and ask me to be there 15 minutes ahead […]

Unleashing Hope

Once upon a time my former therapist told me that if I started to talk about living with a mental illness on my blog (or publicly), I could never go back. She is also an activist of sorts and married to a politician so I knew she was speaking to me on several levels. She […]

Ever Wish You Had a Fashionista Godmother?

Pittsburgh lesbian

Tell us all about your best confidence outfit. Don’t leave out the shoes or the perfect accessories. My life has changed so much over the past few years that this seemingly innocuous question gives me great pause. I’ve regained all the weight I lost when I was critically ill. I work from home so I […]