Now is the Time for Allegheny County To be All In for US

If we are to be all in for Allegheny County we must make sure Allegheny County is all in for us.

Allegheny County Executive-elect Sara Innamorato will be sworn in on January 2, 2024.

Allegheny County has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a thriving, inclusive region for LGBTQIA+ people for the first time in modern history. With the swearing-in of County Executive-elect Sara Innamorato on January 2, 2024, Allegheny County has an opportunity to invest in the survival and thrival of queer people by not only adopting sweeping recommendations but also making changes to ensure that our beloved communities are no longer left out or ignored.

All across the country, queer communities are at risk of incarceration and annihilation as government agencies and officials want to not only remove us from the history books but also take away medical care and rights to exist in public.

Allegheny County has the opportunity to create a positive rights society in which Queer individuals are able to live, love, and thrive without fear of government interference or repression. Allegheny County can pass legislation that affirms the right of LGBTQ individuals to exist, includes LGBTQ healthcare and coverage in county plans, allows for an expansive definition of family, protects people from housing and job discrimination, and recognizes the right of our community to exist.

There are thousands of LGBTQ individuals throughout Allegheny County and for the past few years, we have seen the expansion of our Pride marches and rallies in various boroughs and neighborhoods to emphasize how many of our neighbors need love and support. In order to ensure that we have a thriving population where people are free to be themselves and do not have to worry about waking up and finding out the way they love is illegal or the medical care they need for their lives is taken away. At a time when building up our population is crucial, creating affordable and sustainable development to ensure our communities are safe and thriving is paramount.

Allegheny County can create a Right of Existence to enshrine, codify, and protect the rights of LGBTQ individuals within the region. With the incoming Administration, it should no longer be said that by crossing a bridge or exiting a borough your rights will fundamentally change. As such, the incoming Administration should ensure that LGBTQ individuals are reflected in the Administration, that their policies are affirming of queer individuals, and the culture of the administration is one of inclusivity and support. No longer should we accept the inclusion of one or two individuals but instead we should demand a thriving representation of our full LGBTQ experiences.

If we are to be all in for Allegheny County we must make sure Allegheny County is all in for us.

Miracle Jones is a community organizer and queer activist who works in the Pittsburgh area to advocate for equity along the intersections of gender, race, and class.Her work focuses on implementing abolition based principles and transformative justice through writing, policy, and advocacy.  Headshot by Emmai Alaquiva.