Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ blog faces potential closure

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents logo

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents nearly shut down after 19 years due to the financial strain of unexpected legal battles. 

The blog has been run by Sue Kerr for 19 years. This is impressive on its own, but as Kerr explains, “Well most blogs run an average of 90 days. People start them, they have ambitions, they write once or twice and then that’s it. So those that get past that point, it’s two to three years.” 

Kerr considers the blog to be a form of activism rather than journalism. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Marymount University and a Master’s of Social Work with a concentration in community organizing from the University of Pittsburgh. 

“When I started the blog, I saw it as a tool or an extension of community organizing within the LGBTQ+ community,” Kerr said, adding that she never identified as a journalist and doesn’t have training in journalism. 

She continued, “I will accept ‘writer’ now after 18 years, but I wanted to use this new technology to share information with people because people just didn’t really seem to have access. We didn’t, at that point, have an LGBTQ media outlet in Pittsburgh. And I wasn’t trying to be that thing, because I couldn’t. I didn’t have the training or the skills or the resources, but I was just at least trying to fill a gap.” 

Over the years, Kerr has earned numerous awards for her work, including two GLAAD Media Awards, being named a ‘Lesbian Icon’ by LGBTQ Nation, and being named the first ‘Best Local Blog’ by the readers of Pittsburgh City Paper. 

Despite its longevity and acclaim, Kerr nearly had to sell the blog recently to pay for two unexpected legal battles. 

The first came in September of 2023. A GoFundMe set up by one of her friends states, “Unexpectedly, Sue’s partner of 20 years and wife of two years filed a petition for a warrant to commit her to a psychiatric hospital. Sue was handcuffed, removed from her home and taken to the local psychiatric hospital in her pajamas and faded rainbow flip flops.”

The initial post goes on to say that Kerr was released after a five-hour evaluation, but wasn’t able to go back home as her friends were informed that the locks had been changed. 

The GoFundMe has raised $10,640 of its $20,000 goal. 

In 2022, Kerr’s nonprofit, Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities (PLC) created the #ProtectTransKids project in response to a request from the family of a Black transgender girl who was being harassed by her neighbor with a transphobic sign. 

The project initially distributed 50 ‘Support Trans Kids’ signs in the girl’s neighborhood. In a year, it has distributed 2,000 yard signs and 10,000 stickers. 

In June, Kerr along with her blog, Pittsburgh City Paper, and members of the girl’s family were sued for defamation by the neighbor. According to Kerr, the lawsuit filing hasn’t gone past entering the appearances of attorneys. 

The #ProtectTransKids sign campaign is not the first instance of Kerr’s allyship with the transgender community. 

The most somber and ongoing one is her memorial posts for transgender people who are killed. 

She started writing these posts in 2013, after a friend of hers, who is a transgender man, asked her to write about the murder of Cemia Acoff that he could share. 

“I try to acknowledge the circumstances of the individual’s death, because it matters,” Kerr said. “People need to know these facts, but also celebrating their life and who they are and as much as possible, and sometimes there’s a lot of information and sometimes, I can barely find one or two facts.”

Prior to these lawsuits, Kerr used money from her Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as the primary way to finance the blog with a small amount of money coming from ad revenue. 

Steel City Snowflakes were created as another way to finance the blog and were recently brought back. The name references both Pittsburgh’s winter weather and the insult that is often used to downplay the concerns of leftists. So far, the blog has gotten 300 donations.

If all goes well, Kerr hopes to be able to run Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents for as long as she is able as well as create a mechanism so that the blog will be able to go on without her. She also hopes to have the resources to allow other people to write for the blog full-time. 

If you would like to support Kerr and the Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents blog, links to do so are below. 

Steel City Snowflakes: https://www.pghlesbian.com/our-projects/steel-city-snowflakes/

GoFundMe: bit.ly/HelpLGBTQBlogger

Venmo: @Pghlesbian 


Zelle: [email protected] 

Ca$h App: $Pghlesbian

Newsletter Sign-up