316 Reasons to Add Your LGBTQ Story to the #AMPLIFY Archive

Since 2015, we have been collecting stories from LGBTQ folks with ties to Western Pennsylvania. Some live here now, others grew up in this region. Others still attended college or had a job that brought them here or spent summers with their grandparents in an outlying community. Here includes 26 counties in Western Pennsylvania, from […]

Destiny, 24, is Deaf, Autistic, Androgyne, and Bisexual #AMPLIFY

Deaf Autistic Androgyne Pittsburgh Bisexual

  Name: Destiny Age:  24 County of Residence: Allegheny, previously Luzerne County Pronouns: She/He/They+ How do you describe your identity? DeafAutistic, androgyne, bisexual, 2D animator/illustrator. Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I came out as bisexual when I was around maybe 12 years old, I remember asking my mother what […]

West Mifflin School Districts Expands Nondiscrimination Protections to Include Gender Identity

West Mifflin High School Class Reunion

I lived in West Mifflin from age two through college. It was a rather brutal environment. I ended up with a decent education. I’ve written about some of those experiences.  One of my high school friends was openly gay. Others were suspected, but it was not an environment where such disclosures were encouraged or well-received. […]

Back to School Q&A with Trans Activist Daniel, 16, of Lakeview School District

We’ve blogged earlier in the year about the decision of Lakeview School District in Mercer County to expand their nondiscrimination policies to explicitly address needs of transgender students. This was a rule change to better comply with existing policy, not a new policy altogether. When the School Board met in May, one student – Daniel […]

Lakeview School District in Mercer County Implements Trans Inclusive Student Policies

Lakeview School District in Mercer County serves about 1200 students in a district with a population of 8,600 people.  Mercer County is in Northwestern Pennsylvania, about 60 miles to Erie and another 60 miles to Pittsburgh. The district is comprised of Fairview Township, Jackson Center Borough, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Mill Creek Township, New Lebanon […]

Dakota, 27, Wants You to Support Queer Activists & Queer Art #AMPLIFY

Describe your geographical community. 

“Pittsburgh is an urban community that is mostly LGBTQ-friendly, but I’ve found that’s often on a surface level… which I think is true for the way Pittsburgh appeals to lots of minoritized groups. There are community spaces for queer folks, medical providers who cater to our specific needs, nonprofits dedicated to our causes, and local businesses owned by members of the community. But it often feels like Pittsburgh’s blue-collar roots are at odds with contemporary queer community-building. Queer folks, to me, feel very disparate and broken up into cliques — sort of how the city is split up into so many tiny neighborhoods. As I write this answer, I’m realizing that I don’t think I’ve ever let my guard down to feel like my full self in any of the five years I’ve been living in Western PA.”

Meg, 28, is Nonbinary, Genderqueer, Polyamorous, and Pansexual #AMPLIFY

non binary, genderqueer, polyamorous, and pansexual.

Name:  Meg Age:  28 County of Residence:  Allegheny Pronouns: They/Them and She/Her How do you describe your identity?  Genderqueer, Pansexual Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I have always identified with bisexual, but at 27 I came out to family after entering the queer community more and […]

Mindy, 42, Lives Semi-Open as Trans in Rural Elk County #AMPLIFY

Transgender Elk County

Name: Mindy S. Age: 42 County of Residence: Elk County Pronouns: If I look male, then “he”. If I look like a female, then “she”. How do you describe your identity? I am bi-gendered, attracted to cisgender women. Meaning while I can live and be happy with being a male, I have a feminine side that needs to be expressed […]

Review: The Danish Girl

Spoilers. Last week, Ledcat and I went to AMC Loews at the Waterfront to see ‘The Danish Girl.’ This is one of my least favorite movie theaters because of its slightly shabby condition, a fact not helped with the introduction of self-serve soda fountains. Still, AMC brings in the lesser known films on a regular […]

Big Burrito Group Updates Trans Inclusive Language

Big Burrito Transgender

You may recall earlier in the year we reported that the folks at Big Burrito had made an ill-conceived attempt at humor by referencing Caitlyn Jenner in their “celebrity” portion of their menu at the Mad Mex restaurants. After backlash from the community, Chef Bill Fuller and his team pulled the menu and issued an […]