Castiel, 36, is Bisexual and Gender Fluid in Westmoreland County #AMPLIFY

Bisexual, gender fluid, Westmoreland County

Name: Castiel Hess Age: 36 County of Residence: Westmoreland Pronouns: He, him, his How do you describe your identity? Bi-sexual, gender fluid Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face?  I let a few close people know slowly out of fear of judgment. It actually took me a really long time […]

Why I Ended My Fiscal Sponsorship Relationship with Persad Center

Persad Center Shame

My fiscal sponsorship relationship with Persad Center has formally ended. I made the decision earlier in the fall after two specific incidents made me aware beyond a shadow of a doubt that allying the #AMPLIFY and other community art projects with the current incarnation of Persad was both unhealthy and hurtful to my LGBTQ neighbors. […]

Will Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ Mental Health Center merge with a non-LGBTQ health organization?

Persad Allies Merger

I was informed today that Persad Center faces a dire choice due to finances – either merge with the much larger Allies for Health + Wellbeing (formerly known as the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force) or face potential closure altogether. Without any timeframe for this, I have to make immediate decisions about my mental health treatment […]

Persad Staff Vote to Unionize Their LGBTQ Mental Health Agency in Pittsburgh

The workers at Persad Center, the LGBTQ mental health and community center founded in 1972, voted affirmatively to unionize with the United Steelworkers (USW) on Thursday, December 5, 2019. The Persad Staff Union now joins the ranks of other white collar workers including the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh employees. That’s an interesting aside given that […]

The Persad Staff Union Q&A

The overworked, underpaid staff who have repeatedly resisted the board and consistently shown that have zero faith in their board leadership. They’ve posted open letters to the board. They have demands. They organized a door decorating contest to demonstrate their cohesion. They value and respect their current Executive Director, Carlos Torres, and seem to believe […]

I’ve been wrong about Persad Center’s Board of Directors

The Persad Board of Directors. They have lost the faith and confidence of the LGBTQ community, the staff, and the clients. Their fawnish devotion to the Delta Foundation and to Central Outreach Wellness Center is unethical and causing harm. They are responsible for driving the organization into the ground. And they lack the humility, introspection, […]

Persad Center Staff Take First Steps to Unionize

For more info, visit this FB page. We are the Persad Staff Union. As therapists, case managers, program coordinators, administrative workers, and allied staff, we are forming our union to better advocate for ourselves, our community, and our clients. We are working together to promote the economic, emotional, physical and mental wellness of our staff […]

Losing My Psychiatrist on World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day 2019

Today I saw my psychiatrist. I’m having a tough time and had hoped he would have suggestions. After a solid talk, he agreed with me that I need to be seen twice a week for trauma processing treatment, commended me on my self-advocacy, and informed me he was leaving the agency at the end of […]

Ary, 53, Shares Their Experiences as a Nonbinary Gynophile #AMPLIFY

nonbinary gynophile

  Name: Ary Age: 53 County of Residence: Allegheny County Pronouns: They/them How do you describe your identity? nonbinary gynophile Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? Trans friends in my company, and friends from a facebook account under an alternate name. How would you describe yourself NOW in terms […]

My Therapist Won’t See Me Twice a Week

I’ve been in weekly therapy for years, at least the past 15. I like going often because I want to touch base and sharpen skills while also deal with the latest crap in life. Discovering my complex trauma diagnosis puts this in perspective – I had been making progress, but it was leading me toward […]