Pittsburgh writer wins second GLAAD Media Award

PHOTO COURTESY OF SUE KERR

Olocal writer won a GLAAD Media Awards – and it wasn’t his first rodeo.

Sue Kerr won the award, which recognizes media outlets for fair, accurate and inclusive portrayals of LGBTQ people and issues, for the first time in 2019. Her blog, Pittsburgh Lesbian Pen palsalso took home the award in the Outstanding Blog category again this year, at a time when anti-LGBTQ legislation is on the rise across the country.

The blog was founded in 2005 to document LGBTQ experiences in Pennsylvania. Kerr, born in West Mifflin and now a resident of Manchester on the North Side, works with guest bloggers to create inclusive and representative content, including memorial posts for LGBTQ people killed in anti-LGBTQ violence.

“We must repeat the names of Angel Naira and Amäriey Lèį (Myara) over and over until the people who committed suicide are brought to justice,” Kerr said in a press release. “It is horrifying both how quickly their stories have faded from public consciousness and the lack of progress in the investigations into their murders. I am grateful that this award gives me another chance to say their names.

Both Naira and Myara were black transgender women who were shot – Naira in Aliquippa in November 2021 and Myara in Wilkinsburg on New Years Day 2022. Their murders remain unsolved.

At least 57 members of the transgender community were killed in the United States in 2021, more than any year before. So far, there have been at least five such murders in 2022.

In addition to memorial reporting and raising awareness of crimes committed against members of the LGBTQ community, Kerr’s blog has also earned a reputation for its Q&As with progressive candidates during political campaigns, among other topics. It has become essential reading for much of the city’s queer community.

Kerr is co-chair of the City of Pittsburgh’s LGBTQIA+ Commission, established in 2021. In 2015, Kerr was named Blog Artist in Residence with Most Wanted Fine Art, a collaboration that created the AMPLIFY Archive containing over 300 stories from LGBTQ Pennsylvanians. Westerners.

Kerr also established the Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities non-profit in 2021. It raises community awareness and promotes grassroots engagement for neighborhood quality of life, animal welfare, poverty alleviation, and LGBTQ+ issues in West End. Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh native Billy Porter, a graduate of Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School and Carnegie Mellon University, also received a GLAAD award in 2017. Porter – a gay man – has won critical acclaim for his roles in Broadway and on television. , and won the GLAAD Vito Russo Award at the 28th Annual Awards. The Vito Russo Award is given to an openly LGBTQ media professional who has “made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance,” according to the organization’s website.

Porter was also nominated in 2006 in the category “Outstanding New York Theatre: Broadway & Off Broadway” for his one-man autobiographical show, “Ghetto Superstar (The Man That I Am)”. But ultimately, a show called “Oedipus at Palm Springs” by The Five Lesbian Brothers won the award that year.