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. […]

Confessions of a Rick Santorum Intern

Rick Santorum internship

Yes, I was an intern in then-Congressman Rick Santorum’s DC offices for six months during 1991. Me. Most of you know this. Some of you don’t. This internship and the photo it generated are perhaps one of the most enduring legacies of this blog. 27 years after the fact, it is still a salient and […]

Those Times When Santa Came to Visit on a Fire Truck in West Mifflin

Santa Claus West Mifflin

When I was a child growing up in West Mifflin, a blue-collar suburb of Pittsburgh, there were a few consistent holiday rituals. These included: making Advent wreaths at CCD; watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special; and fire truck Santa. Each year the local volunteer fire department would drive around the neighborhoods with Santa on a […]

How I Remember My West Mifflin School Teachers (1974-1988)

West Mifflin Area School District

Some blog posts are more for me, than for you. This is one such post. I’ve decided to make a list of all of my teachers and what impression they made on me.  I include my age when I began that grade – I was very young in my class and probably should have been […]

Keith, 48, is a Gay, White Man Using Marriage Equality for Teachable Moments in North Carolina #AMPLIFY

Gay Man Allegheny

Editor’s Note: It seems appropriate to share that Keith is the first openly LGBTQ person that I knew; we grew up together. He was the second person that I came out to myself. And even having that history – and decades of friendship – his answers took me by suprise, in a good way. ~ […]

Luna, 25, is a Poly, Gender fluid, Queer Performance Artist #AMPLIFY

As part of our partnership with FIERCE! International Queer Burlesque, #AMPLIFY will be featuring some of the performers this week. Today, we hear from Luna La Creme who is scheduled to perform at the Friday evening showcase, 7 PM. Tickets still available. Burlesque and queer performing arts are an important part of our community heritage. Name: Luna La […]

My High School Physics Teacher Destroyed My Biblical Beliefs

Noah's Ark

I grew up Catholic so rarely read the Bible. Actually, never read the Bible except for the year I was confirmed and I was infatuated with my Children’s Bible. My overall religious knowledge was pretty low, but my knowledge of all things culturally Catholic was pretty solid. Case in point – I assumed Joseph of […]

Why I Don’t Go Into the Woods

Like most kids, I grew up with a mixture of urban legend and cultural frights that together made for terrifying experiences. Our neighborhood was the border of “The Woods” which lent itself as a source of horrifying creatures sneaking through the backyard and into our lives. Nevermind that during the day, we ran wild and […]

Five Things That Never Happened In Our Community on the Fourth of July

Fourth of July

When I was a child, I kept coming across passages in books about olden times that described how Independence Day was celebrated. It was nothing like my own experience in the 1970s’ and 1980’s Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin. Here’s an excerpt from a particularly vivid memory – Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder From […]

Throwback Thursday – I Was a Cheerleader in 1982 #tbt

But … I was a cheerleader? Seriously, I was – for one season of midget football (uggghhhh) in 1982. My brother played and for some reason, my parents decided it would be a good thing for me to do. I did not want to, but I also secretly hoped it would transform my life. I […]