Amplifying Bisexual Voices In Western Pennsylvania

Contributors to the AMPLIFY Project
Contributors to the AMPLIFY Project

 

It is Bisexual Visibility Week and to honor this important resource, we are compiling the contributions from contributors to the #AMPLIFY project who identify as bisexual and/or pansexual. AMPLIFY is a blog based community art project exploring the lived experiences of LGBTQ residents of Western Pennsylvania.

GLAAD has joined with BiNet USA, America’s oldest advocacy organization for bi+ (bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer-identified, and unlabeled) people, for our third annual Bisexual Awareness Week. #BiWeek begins on September 19, ends on September 26, and September 23rd is the 18th official “Celebrate Bisexuality Day.” GLAAD and BiNet USA began #BiWeek in 2014 to draw attention to the issues faced by the bi+ community, including erasure and visibility.

Responses represent approximately 17 percent of our total responses - keep in mind that we ask an open-ended question about identity so not all responses cannot easily be categorized. That’s one reason we encourage you to read as many contributions as possible. Note that I did not include individuals who identified as fluid or queer or without a label in this post.

You might notice that more than a few contributors remain anonymous for reasons most of them discuss in their response. Some are young adults, others in their sixties. They have ties to many counties - Erie, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland, Cambria and beyond. Their stories are unique and varied, but they pretty consistently identify and call out the biphobia and bi-erasure they experience in the larger LGBTQ community.

It is an important fact to realize that there is no bisexual organization in Pittsburgh. There isn’t even an organization with the word bisexual in the name. There are few openly bisexual individuals in organizational leadership positions and only one openly bisexual woman serving as a commissioner in local government. There is very little dedicated programming and nothing with sustainable funding.

So, I think 27 is a pretty good response from a community that has been largely ignored in this region. I applaud each of them for helping to raise the profile of their experiences. As you read their responses, you’ll find a rich array of suggestions, ideas and potential resources to challenge bi erasure and strengthen the community. As allies, it is our responsibility to listen, learn and respond.

And if you have ties to Western Pennsylvania, we’d love to include your story as we move forward. Click here to fill out the Q&A. It takes about 30 minutes of your time.

  1. AMPLIFY! Donna Met a Female Impersonator Who Made a Lasting Impression
  2. AMPLIFY! Gina Shares Her Truth With Those Who Deserve To Know
  3. AMPLIFY! Paula Speaks Out About Bisexual Exclusion and Bi Erasure
  4. Coley Claims To Be Invisible in Plain Sight #AMPLIFY
  5. Kitty Is Out and Open as a Bisexual Trans Woman in Erie County #AMPLIFY
  6. Ashe Believes To Be Queer Is To Be Yourself #AMPLIFY
  7. Anonymous Grieves How Pgh’s Lesbian & Gay Community Treats Bisexuals #AMPLIFY
  8. Raven Has Not Told Anyone That She’s Pansexual Because She’s Afraid #AMPLIFY
  9. Erin Answered These Questions To Challenge Bisexual Erasure #AMPLIFY
  10. Jean Came Out As Bisexual After Her Retirement #AMPLIFY
  11. Niki Talks About Living as a Gender Queer Trans Woman in Pittsburgh #AMPLIFY
  12. Ade is Pansexual, Androgynous and Finds Comfort in Their UU Community #AMPLIFY
  13. Elliot is Bi, Trans and Wishes Westmoreland County Was Talking More About Queer Youth
  14. Heather Refuses To Marginalize Herself As a Bisexual Woman #AMPLIFY
  15. Lela Wants Bisexual Voices To Be Heard #AMPLIFY
  16. Minion Wants To Talk About What It Means to be a Queer, Black, Futch Leathergirl #AMPLIFY
  17. Ama, 30, is a Girl Who Likes Girls and Who Likes Guys #AMPLIFY
  18. Tylor, 30, Is a Pansexual Trans Man Who Wants Better For Young People #AMPLIFY
  19. Mia Donna Has Wild Happy Life as a Pansexual Polyamorous Person #AMPLIFY
  20. Maggio, 28, is Unapologetically a Bi-sexual Queer Feminist Scholar #AMPLIFY
  21. Rachel, 30, is in the Process of Coming Out as Bisexual #AMPLIFY
  22. Staci, 52, Wants More Representation For The Bi Community #AMPLIFY
  23. alexis, 29, talks compensation & community for marginalized lgbtq neighbors #AMPLIFY
  24. Mel, 40: Bi, Queer and Pan Folks Don’t Always Speak in a Gay or Lesbian Voice #AMPLIFY
  25. Kim, 40, Mother, Pansexual, Mexican-American & Washington Co Resident #AMPLIFY
  26. Avery is a Bisexual, Latino Trans Man in Cambria County #AMPLIFY
  27. Jessica, 28, Is Resisting Bisexual Erasure in Pgh #AMPLIFY

We’ve published nearly 170 total responses that you can find here. The project is open-ended and will continue to accept contributions from individuals who are 18+, identify as part of the LGBTQ community and have ties to at least one of the 26 counties in Western Pennsylvania. Your contribution will help to AMPLIFY all of our voices.