A History of Aunts on the 4th of July

We take family photos with the niblings. A lot. Elijah and I developed a little Fourth of July tradition. Until he didn’t want to do it (he got to choose.)This year he was a good sport about trying to recreate those early images. As was Aunt Laura. So from age 9 months through age 11, […]

Here’s What Happened When I Threw Out The First Pitch During Pride Night at PNC Park

Pride Night at PNC Park

The thing about anxiety is that it can be managed, especially if you have a plan and a support system. Managed, not cured or fixed. Throwing out the first pitch during a MLB game in front of many thousands of people during the official Pride Night is the sort of thing that generates some anxiety. […]

Gay Respectability and How Our Families Reacted to Our Wedding

lesbian wedding

Today marks our two week wedding anniversary. We had originally planned to celebrate with Mexican food and a Henry Louis Gates marathon, but the frigid temps make it patently unfair to ask any human being to go out into the weather to deliver food. So it is soup from the pantry and HLG marathon. Married […]

Do You Have a Thanksgiving Plan?

Coronavirus is roaring back. Last week, the US averaged 53,000 new infections per day. This week, that’s up to 59,000. According to the New York Times, experts forecast hitting 75,687 new infections per day in the near future. That’s the highest rate in the US from back in July. It could go higher in the […]

My First Doll

Content Note: sexual violence, assault, intergenerational trauma, child abuse I still have my very first baby doll, a rag doll named Mary. She sleeps in a cradle that was originally a wooden planter. She lived on a relatives dresser for many years and I finally inherited her when that person moved. I’ve written before about […]

You Gotta Wear a Mask

Mask up Pittsburgh

I am exhausted. Every single interaction with other human beings requires a complex series of negotiations and calculations that include the scientific facts, the interpersonal dynamics, the safety, and more. Earlier this week, we had to go to Lowe’s to purchase an in-store only item for our kitchen. I step out of the car, triple […]

#MasQUeUp to protect your family on this 15th Annual #LGBTQFamiliesDay

June is here and that always means it is time to blog about #LGBTQ families in partnership with Mombian blog and the Family Equality Council. I struggle to find a topic this year, more from having so many options than a surfeit of ideas.So I’m picking this one – our Pittsburgh MasQUe ProjecT.We create opportunities […]

My family has had decades to break their silences.

“Do you feel comfortable sharing family stories about living people?” is a question I am frequently asked, particularly when I’ve just published a post about my trauma work.  I never feel comfortable or good about revisiting trauma infused stories, but not because I might upset someone in my family. The only exception is the other […]

My Western Pennsylvania Snow Globe

Author’s note: My name is Rachel, and I consider myself to be the product of a typical Pennsylvanian upbringing. Fire hall marriages with cookie tables, going to Idlewild Park on a hot summer day, and eating home-made gobs on my back porch, are all things that I remember from my childhood. I am transgender, and […]

Ten Thanksgivings Without My Family

Thanksgiving placesetting

Content Note : trauma, neglect, family rejection, mental illness I don’t clearly remember the details of the last holiday meal I spent with my parents, but I know it was ten Thanksgivings ago. We were at Laura’s mother’s house and they were late. I was struggling mightily with mental health symptoms and not admitting yet […]