If you are looking for the AMPLIFY Q&A to contribute your own story,

click here to go to our online form!

Every story raises the visibility of LGBTQ experiences in Western PA. 

AMPLIFY is a storytelling project, a community art project and a historical archive project sharing the lived experiences of LGBTQ neighbors in Western Pennsylvania from 2015-2020. Contributors use an online form to answer questions about their lives and those contributions are published as individual blog posts without being edited, modified or altered.* These are the true stories of our neighbors in their own words.

#AMPLIFY Tee Shirts

The official #AMPLIFY Tee Shirt is here via our partnership with Commonwealth Press. Your purchase support the project and a local business. You also have the option of donating a shirt to a project contributor.


Click here for the archived contributions, updated 2-3x each week.

Click here for the project FAQ.

Click here to contribute your own story to the project.

Click here to read what people are saying about #AMPLIFY (Press and media page.)

Click here for more information on the 26 county region of Western PA and the LGBTQ neighbors who have ties to those counties.

Click here to donate.

Click here to read Issue #1 of the AMPLIFY zine (Click here for a copy to download and print)


The concept is straightforward. Use the Q&A format to amplify the lived experiences of individuals whose lives are not often highlighted in traditional media.

Read the published Q&A’s here

(More are coming every week.)


  • To explore the realities of our LGBTQ neighbors in their own words so as to better understand how their identities impact their day to day lives.
  • To identify barriers they face in day to day life, including discrimination and bias.
  • To identify how they contribute to a thriving region, including what unique strengths they bring to the table.
  • To connect with all 26 counties in Western Pennsylvania and identify resources, services and supports that may not be widely known, again in the voices and realities of the LGBTQ folks living there.

How to participate

  • You can complete the survey here  Note – the online Q&A uses a google form so you cannot save your answers (without a lengthy convoluted hack explanation.) Be sure to leave the tab open until you are finished.
  • I will send you a printed version of the Q&A if you would prefer to fill it out by hand. Contact me at pghlesbian at gmail.
  • I am speaking to groups and hoping to attend events throughout the 26 counties. Please contact me if you would like a speaker or more information to share with your members. This can include PFLAG, GSA meetings, book clubs, bowling groups, etc.

To learn more about my professional qualifications, please visit my LinkedIn profile.

Read the published Q&A’s here

Support #AMPLIFY with a donation today. Help us continue sharing the stories.

Below is a reverse chronological list of the AMPLIFY Q&A’s

  1. Jenna,19, is Proud of Her Lesbian Identity 
  2. Stephen, 36, is a Gay Male Gaymer in Armstrong County 
  3. Meg, 34, Wants to Make an Impact With Grace 
  4. Carla, 39, Identifies as a Bisexual, Non-Binary Scientist and Educator 
  5. Allie, 51, Talks Living as a Trans Woman in Washington County
  6. Eric, 35, is a Gay Man Who Has Learned to Live With Microaggressions
  7. Hutch, 57, Marched With Harvey Milk and Knows We Have Miles To Go 
  8. Jay, 27, Discusses Challenges of Being a Straight Trans Man 
  9. Louie, 50, Identifies as Queer, Pansexual, & Kinky 
  10. Kat, 33, Shares Her Story as a Trans Woman to Find Some Peace 
  11. Paul, 61, Marched in Pittsburgh’s First Gay Pride March in 1973 
  12. Brian, 32, is Trans, Nonbinary, and Queer in Westmoreland County 
  13. Madi Scull, 20, Identifies as a Nonbinary, Asexual Lesbian 
  14. Lange, 41, is a Queer Single-Parent in Pittsburgh 
  15. Hansen, 20, is an Unapologetic Queer Filmmaker 
  16. Kyle, 22, is a Bisexual, Vegetarian from Crawford County
  17. Jess, 22, is a Poly, Bisexual Woman in Pittsburgh
  18. Madison, 40, is a Pansexual, Trans Woman Who Loves Pittsburgh
  19. Rae, 48, is a Pansexual Trans Woman Living in Allegheny County
  20. Mahogany LaPiranHa, 38, is a 6‘4“ androgynous African-American badass 
  21. Rain, 42, is a Gay Woman in Pittsburgh
  22. He’s a cisgender polyamorous bisexual guy, but nobody asks
  23. Joseph, 28, is a HIV+ queer and gay man in Pittsburgh
  24. Winter, 18, Identifies as a Genderquestioning Bisexual Person
  25. Dezmanian, 28, is a Black Man Who Happens to be Gay 
  26. Dakota, 27, Wants You to Support Queer Activists & Queer Art 
  27. Lissa, 28, Identifies as Genderfluid, Grey Ace, and Poly
  28. Kool Kase, 32, is a Black Lesbian at Peace With Herself
  29. Sam, 28, is a Genderqueer Artist in Pittsburgh 
  30. Jennifer is 40, Bisexual, and a Fan of Sara Lance 
  31. Reece, 31, Grew up in Southern Virginia, but Found LGBTQ Connections in Pittsburgh
  32. Tara, 24, is a Femme, Queer Human 
  33. Michael, 50, is a Gay Man Who Lives Without Shame 
  34. Dan, 36, is a Bisexual Man in Pittsburgh Who Wants to Build a Better World 
  35. Ben, 30, Wants All Gay White Men to Learn To Take a Step Back 
  36. Rachel, 24, Asks Where Are Our Out, Queer Women Role Models in Pittsburgh? 
  37. Laura, 42, is a Bisexual Mom in Pittsburgh 
  38. Brad, 33, is a Gay, Black Man Who Does Charity Work as a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence 
  39. Tracey, 58, is a Queer Mother Parenting Nonbinary Children 
  40. Bebe Beretta, 27, is Nonbinary, Genderfluid, and Wants More LGBTQ Folks to Connect
  41. Dave, 33, Identifies as a Queer, recovering Gay White Man 
  42. Helen, 51, Came Out as Bisexual in the Army National Guard
  43. Meg, 28, is Nonbinary, Genderqueer, Polyamorous, and Pansexual
  44. Keith, 48, is a Gay, White Man Using Marriage Equality for Teachable Moments in North Carolina 
  45. Hilary, 44, Works Hard to Boost Pansexual Identity in Erie County
  46. Lisa, 47, is a Bi Woman Trying to Find Community in Pittsburgh
  47. Amy, 46, is Bi in Pittsburgh, But Not Really Out
  48. Alexia, 40, is Bisexual, Transgender, and Loves Pittsburgh
  49. Jez, 50, Came Out As Trans in 1985 in Rural Washington County
  50. Morgan, 31, is a Black, Bisexual, Queer, Polyamorous Woman & Mother
  51. Kelsey, 22, Talks Lesbian Life in Elk County 
  52. Tristan, 28, is Gay, Mexican-American, a Comedian and Writer and Drag Queen 
  53. Pastor Reed, 48, Puts a Face and Name to Being a Gay Christian
  54. Carmen is 42, Bisexual, and Resonates With Genderfluid Identity
  55. Jamaica, 41, is Bisexual and Wants the Pgh Queer Community to Have a Voice
  56. Luna, 25, is a Poly, Gender fluid, Queer Performance Artist 
  57. Bobbi Jo, 63, is a Transgender Lesbian in Indiana County
  58. Roxxie Thunder, 27, is a Glittery Pansexual Femme from Beaver County 
  59. Maya, 20, Identifies as a Black Queer Fat Femme Woman 
  60. Mindy, 42, Lives Semi-Open as Trans in Rural Elk County
  61. Katie, 25, Identifies as Puerto Rican, White, Cis-Female and Lesbian
  62. Dylan, 28, is a Queer, Autistic Transgender Man
  63. Angie, 32: Out, Loud, and Proud Black Pansexual Mom
  64. Krista, 28, Lives in Washington, PA as a Pansexual Woman
  65. August, 46, Feels Separate as a Black Gay Man 
  66. Tanha, 36, is a Queer, Bisexual Woman in Erie 
  67. Joel, 35, is Gay, a Trans Guy, Polyamorous, Christian, Parent, & Husband 
  68. Chrissy, 40, Wants LGBTQ Folks to Educate One Another With a Sense of Humor 
  69. Lora, 33, Talks About Coming Out, Family Support, & LGBTQ Narratives
  70. Selene, 60, is genderfluid, pansexual, femme-presenting, neuroqueer and more
  71. Scott, 53, is a Gay Man Exploring Transition & Identity Anew 
  72. Marcia, 58, is Cisgender, Lesbian & Slightly Gender Nonconforming
  73. Seth, 21, Came Out as Bi and Trans Via Power Point 
  74. Krissy, 34, Talks About Step Parenting as a Bisexual Woman 
  75. Rev Leonard, 37, is a Black same-gender loving freedom fighter – #200
  76. Wendi, 31, Describes Being a Trans Ally in Her Workplace
  77. Chica Discusses Her Bisexuality to Show Solidarity 
  78. Brandon, 23, Identifies as a Pansexual Genderqueer Male
  79. Angela is a Queer Mother & Intersectional Feminist
  80. Tyler, 18, is a Pansexual Trans Man in Erie
  81. Chris, 40, is an Aspie Queer Girl With Some Kinks
  82. Bi and Demi, Kristen Wants You to Get Uncomfortable With Your Privilege 
  83. Caiolin, 56, is Just Another Woman Who Happens To Be Trans
  84. Regina, 33, Finds Comfort in Lesbian Ambiguity
  85. Megan, 22, is a Bisexual Woman Using Her Voice To Grow Her Community
  86. Ally, 20, Describes Her Fluid Sexual Orientation 
  87. Maddy, 23, is Queer and Gender Nonconforming in Allegheny County 
  88. Jason, 42, aka Miss Thea Trix Spreads a Positive Vibe in the Mon Valley
  89. Jesse, 28, Helps To Build New LGBTQ Community Supports in Mercer County 
  90. Sean, 29, Wants to Change the LGBT Climate in Western Pennsylvania 
  91. Emily, 40, Talks About LGBTQ Visibility, Intersectionality & Resiliency 
  92. James, 54, Is a Gay Pittsburgh Dad Living in Texas
  93. Kyle Discusses Privilege & Perception of Gay, White, Cisgender Men
  94. Shari, 57, Wants More Inclusivity & Power for QTPOC
  95. Leo, 42, is a Bi Man in Erie County Who Wants to be Heard
  96. Laura, 44, is a Lesbian Mom in Fayette County 
  97. Dawn, 33, Describes Life as a Trans Woman in Westmoreland County 
  98. Emma, 28, Keeps Her Queer Eyes Open in Pittsburgh
  99. Ravenna, 37, Pansexual Trans Woman Living in the Allegheny County Suburbs 
  100. Vanessa, 31, Describes Her Transition & Life as Pansexual in Washington County
  101. Tara, 29, Describes Life in the Shenango Valley as a Bisexual Woman  ** #175
  102. Lav, 29, a Queer Trans Gender Non Binary Mermaid Witch Warrior 
  103. Vi, 24, Is Very Concerned About Trans Health Issues in Pittsburgh 
  104. Mitch, 27, Describes Life in Butler County as a Gay Man
  105. Kierra Darshell is Pittsburgh’s First Lady of Drag
  106. Alexa, 22, Talks About Acceptance as a Bisexual Woman
  107. Ira, 30, Identifies as Pansexual, Genderqueer and Possibly Agender 
  108. Lavi, 29, is Trans Queer Bi and Wants Your Respect & Support
  109. Ciora, 27, Says Trans People Have the Strength of Two Souls
  110. Anonymous, 30, Wants More Visibility for the Pansexual Community 
  111. Janet, 66, is Bisexual, Cisgender and Gender Nonconforming
  112. Dominic, 18, Is a Bisexual Man Finding His Comfort Zone in College 
  113. Dean Sees Queer Struggles as Stories of Strength
  114. Brian, 29, Wants the LGBTQ Community to Address Social Isolation
  115. Morgan, 21, Hasn’t Met Other Openly Gay Suburban Couples 
  116. Hayley, 46, Wants To Keep That Pride Feeling Year Round #160
  117. Brian, 35, ‘It’s okay to be who you want’ 
  118. Jim, 63, Reminds Us That Environmental Issues Are Queer Issues
  119. Kitteh, 27, ‘The Door Is Open But I’m Still Sitting on the Floor of the Closet’
  120. Samantha, 44, Wants Better Health Choices for the Trans Community
  121. ‘Your Story Can Heal’ Says Rain, 26
  122. Jill, 48, Has Ties to Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland Counties
  123. Caitlyn 51, Lives Her Authentic Self as a Trans Woman in Erie 
  124. Melissa, 23, is Androgymous and Queer in Butler County
  125. Delilah, 31, Finds Trans Community on Twitter
  126. Jamie, 52, Celebrates the Queer Tribe Rising
  127. Jessica, 28, is Resisting Bisexual Erasure in Pittsburgh
  128. Benjamin, 35, is a Cis Gay Man Who Came Out Four Times
  129. Chi Chi, 47, Lives Her Version of Latina, Queer and Spiritual
  130. Jay, 33, Says Stories Are Part of Queer Liberation
  131. Cheryl, 42, Wants Us To See Everyone in the LGBTQ Community
  132. Dave on Coming Out and Being Out in Cambria County
  133. Avery is a Bisexual, Latino Tran Man in Cambria County
  134. Eileen, 52, Reflects on the Awakening of Her LGBTQ Community  (142)
  135. Rach, 36, Loves a Girl in Armstrong County
  136. Kim, 40, Mother, Pansexual and Mexican-American in Washington County
  137. Kay, 27: Not Ashamed of the Reality of Me
  138. Heidi, 28, Learned That It’s Okay To Be A LGBT Christian
  139. Mel, 40: Bi, Queer and Pan Folk Don’t Always Speak in a Gay or Lesbian Voice
  140. Mitch, 52, Believes in The Power of Movies to Create Community
  141. alexis, 29, talks compensation & community for marginalized lgbtq neighbors 
  142. Camellia, 30, is a Lesbian, Soon-to-be Wife, and Momma 
  143. Staci, 52, Wants More Representation for the Bi Community
  144. Rachel, 30, Is In The Process of Coming Out as Bisexual
  145. Bill, 52, is a Gay Man Living in a Small Town in Cambria County
  146. Patricia, 41, Does Not Feel Safe as a Trans Woman in Her Urban Pgh Suburb
  147. Mariah, 38, Wants More Support for Westmoreland LGBTQ Neighbors 
  148. Norman, 67, is a Gay Black Male of African Descent
  149. Wes, 44: Queer Trans Man, Parent Wants You To Know That He Exists
  150. Lisa Believes Being Out and Honest is ‘Like Flying’
  151. Sueno, 33, Adds Her Particular Color of the Rainbow to the #AMPLIFY Narrative
  152. Maggio, 28, is Unapologetically a Bi-sexual Queer Feminist Scholar
  153. Ben, 29, is Proud to be a Queer Pittsburgher
  154. Martha, 52, is a Gay Woman Spending Her Whole Life Coming Out
  155. Naheen, 29, is a Gay Black Male Who Feels Confident in Himself 
  156. Mia Donna Has a Wild Happy Life as a Pansexual Polyamorous Person
  157. RevDrRay, 49, Believes LGBTQ Folks Deserve Strong & Powerful ‘Spiritual’ Life
  158. Sara, 28, Single Mom, Agnostic Jew, and Queer in Ohio
  159. Shain is 32, grew up in Mercer County and now lives in NYC
  160. Bobby, 50, Queer Trans Guy, White Anti-Racism Activist
  161. Diane, 56, Is Asexual With Lesbian Leanings and a Writer
  162. Pixie, 26, is Androgynous, Non-binary, Genderqueer and Lesbian, But Identifies as Pixie
  163. Tylor, 30, is a Pansexual Trans Man Who Wants Better for Young People
  164. Nayck, 50, Identifies as a Black, Gay, Domini-rican in Pittsburgh
  165. Jill, 49, Wants Young LGBTQ People To Have a Safe Place to Go In Cambria County
  166. As a Gay Man, Ryan Wants More Scrutiny of Bath Houses and Non-Profits
  167. Dani Janae, 23, Identifies as a Black Femme Lesbian Poet & Trauma Survivor
  168. Jay, 54, Considers His Gay Identity Both Now and The
  169. Ama, 30, is a Girl Who Likes Girls and Who Likes Guys
  170. Austin, 30, is a Straight Trans Man from Washington County
  171. For Jodi’s Kids, Having Two Mothers Is Just a Fact of Life
  172. Char, 62, is a “Very Late Bloomer” Lesbian in Cambria County
  173. Minion Wants to Talk About What It Means to Be a Queer Black Futch Leathergirl
  174. Kim, 44, Say She Lost Her Job in Beaver County Because She’s a Lesbian
  175. Alissa, 34, is Just Another Girl in the Crowd in Lawrence County
  176. Carina, 18, Identifies as Plus Sized Monogamous Queer and Femme 
  177. John, 38, is a Johnstown Based LGBTQ Activist **#100
  178. Corvus Regrets the Lack of a Sober, Queer, Radical and Disability Friendly Community in Pgh
  179. KK Compares Small Town Michigan to Pittsburgh
  180. De, 49, is Concerned About LGBTQ Youth in Rural Western PA
  181. Joe Was Dragged Out of the Closet As A Young Man
  182. KD is a Gay Woman Who Chooses to be On the Periphery
  183. Sabrina, 50, Found New Friends When She Came Out as Trans
  184. Lela Wants Bisexual Voices To Be Heard
  185. Kevin, 38, Talks About Jack Kerouac, Senior Housing and Gay Crushes 
  186. Jus Hadiya Wants to Spread Education 
  187. Viva Valezz is a Queer Burlesque Performer Parenting a Gender Fluid Child
  188. Alyssa is First Generation Cuban American, Trans, Gender Nonconforming and from Beaver County
  189. Heather Refuses to Marginalize Herself as a Bisexual Woman
  190. As a Lesbian, Shelly Values Her Ties to Rural Indiana County
  191. Elliot is Bi, Trans and Wishes Westmoreland County Was Talking More About Queer Youth
  192. Gloria a Happy Black Lesbian
  193. Moira Describes the Toll of Gatekeeping on the Trans Community
  194. Sara, 35, On Her Reality as a Lesbian in Western Pennsylvania 
  195. Mark, 29, Talks About Gay Stereotypes in Pittsburgh
  196. Ade is Pansexual, Androgynous and Finds Comfort in Their UU Community
  197. Dinah Denmark: Lesbian, Jewish, Buddhist
  198. Jazmine, 46, Has Advice for LGB Allies to the Trans Community
  199. Niki Talks About Living as a Gender Queer Trans Woman in Pittsburgh
  200. Cavanaugh, 25, Talks About Genderflux Identify and the Value of Self-Care
  201. Jean Came Out as Bisexual After Retirement
  202. Kathi Wants To Connect with LGBTQ Elders in Rural Communities
  203. Casey, 38, Honors One Year Since Coming Out As a Gay Woman
  204. Roman Knows to the Depths of His Soul That He Is a Man #AMPLIFY
  205. Erin Answered These Questions to Challenge Bisexual Erasure
  206. Mair, 55, Came Out the Same Week As Ellen DeGeneres #AMPLIFY
  207. Derek On Life As a Gay Man With Asperger’s Syndrome #AMPLIFY
  208. Kaley is Trans, Queer and a Fan of Gender Outlaws
  209. Shaquanna Wants Families to Have Positive Conversations With LGBTQ Relatives
  210. Raven Has Not Told Anyone That She’s Pansexual Because She’s Afraid
  211. Walter Wants Western PA to Be More Vibrant, Tolerant and Diverse
  212. Janie From Brackenridge: Being Trans Limits Many Things
  213. Cat is Queer, Genderflued and Fully Out #AMPLIFY
  214. Jeff Hopes the LGBTQ Community Will Embrace a Common Queer Identity
  215. Jesse Talks About Living as a Trans Woman in a Culture of Fear
  216. Jess is a Lesbian Mother Who Wants More Family Friendly Resources
  217. Saintly Sinner is a Cisgender Lesbi Not So Flexible Black Biological Womyn
  218. Diane Discusses Being Belligerently Out in Pittsburgh
  219. Jaime From The ReelQ Film Festival Says Yep I’m Gay
  220. Scott Describes Life as a Gay Bear in Rural Armstrong County
  221. Claudette is a Non-Binary Queer Who Wants Us To See Beyond the L and the G #AMPLIFY
  222. Taylor Wants More LGBTQ Resources and Community Unity
  223. Alexandria is a Lesbian Artist Trying To Get Her Bearings
  224. Anonymous Grieves How Pittsburgh’s Gay and Lesbian Community Treats Bisexuals
  225. Erik Is a Cis White Working-Class Queer from Clearfield County
  226. Maria Wants You To Know a Family Like Hers #AMPLIFY
  227. Lyndsey Identifies as a Queer Genderfluid Lipstuck Butch
  228. Alex is a Black Trans Man Who Doesn’t Apologize For His Existence
  229. Mario Identifies As Queer Rustbelt Genderfluid Artist #AMPLIFY
  230. PJ Identifies as a Cis White Gay Man With a Twist of Genderqueer</a
  231. Ashe Believes To Be Queer Is To Be Yourself #AMPLIFY
  232. DJ Scott Is a Gay Black Man Full of Positive Vibes #AMPLIFY
  233. Kitty Is Out and Open as a Bisexual Trans Woman in Erie County #AMPLIFY
  234. Shawna on Her Unique Experience as a Lesbian in Indiana County #AMPLIFY
  235. Miss Erie Pride 2015: Embrace Who We Are Meant To Be #AMPLIFY
  236. Daniel Wants to See More Diverse Employers in Western Pennsylvania
  237. Alex Describes Erie’s LGBTQ Community as Live and Let Live
  238. David Talks About the State of Equality in Erie
  239. For Kristina, Being Out is Her Normal
  240. Bee Asks Where Single Parents Fit Into the LGBTQ Community
  241. Jessi is a Trans Lesbian Who Asks Questions
  242. Larry Traces His Coming Out to JFK and a Frat Brother
  243. Jesse Believes in the Power of [Trans]cendence
  244. Vic Lives Closeted in Westmoreland County
  245. Kayden Wants to Be Safe Holding Her Partner’s Hand in Pittsburgh
  246. Tony Believes Everyone in the LGBTQ Community Matters
  247. Brandon Believes Pittsburgh Should Have Better Trans Health Resources
  248. Cindy Has Been Fundraising for the GLCC for 14 Years
  249. Coley Claims to Be Invisible in Plain Sight
  250. Carmen is a Queer Black Womyn From Pittsburgh
  251. Darcell Hopes Everyone Will Find Love
  252. Sivynn Acknowledges That Some People Just Don’t Pay Attention to His Transition
  253. Amber Has Always Been Proud of Being OUT
  254. Shell is Proud of the Positive Impact of Pittsburgh Black Pride
  255. Gary Has Lived in Northwest and Southwest PA As An Openly Gay Man
  256. Patrouious Describes His Fears & Frustrations as a Trans Man in McKean County #AMPLIFY
  257. John is a Geeky, White, Cisgender, Queer, Pagan, Proletariat Hippie #AMPLIFY
  258. Skip Believes The Act of Coming Out Is a Continuous Process
  259. Sam Prefers the Ambiguity of Queer Identity to a Specific Label
  260. Jan Offers an Older Perspective on LGBTQ Pittsburgh
  261. Meg Is a Country Queer
  262. CJ Describes Living Stealth As A Trans Man
  263. Bob Is the First Openly Gay Elected Official In Northwestern PA
  264. Paula Speaks Out About Bi-Erasure and Bisexual Exclusion
  265. Joy KMT Values Intersectional Healing Spaces
  266. Katie-Anne Speaks As Two Spirited Bi Gendered Resident of Johnstown
  267. Twist Shares Their Life as Neuroqueer
  268. kelly emphasizes that ‘gay is not the totality of me’
  269. Gina Shares Her Truth With Those Who Deserve To Know
  270. Donna Met a Female Impersonator Who Made a Lasting Impression
  271. Joyce Believes Tolerance Is Not Acceptance
  272. Mike Talks About the Privileges of Living in Erie as a Gay Man
  273. Rashod Is An Unapologetic Trans Man of Color
  274. Tara Wants Us To Talk About Intersectionality