#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 […]

Fat, Gay, & in the Way: My latest for the Pittsburgh Current

What does it mean to be fat, gay& in the way? I consider this in my latest for the Pittsburgh Current “At the end of my freshman year of college, my father criticized me for gaining the fabled “Freshman Fifteen,” and I felt shame, even despair. It took me years to acknowledge that this had […]

I Miss My Parents

Sometimes, I think about my parents or my brother or his children. Those thoughts are accompanied by deeply painful, gut wrenching feelings of loss, separation, and grief. We are not separated by death, but by the truths and transgressions of our lives. I haven’t spoken with my brother in nearly a decade and I last […]

Five Bright Spots in My Thanksgiving

Our holiday was perfectly fine. The food was great, the family was all there, etc. But I feel like there was a lackluster veneer between me and everyone else. I’m sure part of that is depression over the menstrual period I’ve been having for two solid months as it sucks all the good out of […]

Tracey, 58, is a Queer Mother Parenting Nonbinary Children #AMPLIFY

queer washington county

What motivated you to take part in this project? 

Living my truth, parenting non-binary children, wanting to do the best for my family and my clients.

Kelsey, 22, Talks Lesbian Life in Elk County #AMPLIFY

Lesbian Elk County

Name:  Kelsey Age:  22 County of Residence:  Elk County, formerly Jefferson County Pronouns:  Her or she How do you describe your identity?  I’m a white lesbian Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I came out to my mom when I was 12. I had a signature on […]

Joel, 35, is Gay, a Trans Guy, Polyamorous, Christian, Parent, & Husband #AMPLIFY

Name:  Joel Age:  35 County of Residence:  Allegheny. Grew up in Crawford. College in Mercer Pronouns: he/him/his How do you describe your identity?  Gay, Trans Guy, Polyamorous, Christian, Parent, Husband. Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I first came out to my husband as trans in 2012. I was […]