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