Premiering November 29, “Authentic Lives” Showcases Positive Stories
PITTSBURGH – WQED will premiere a new series, Authentic Lives, on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at wqed.org/authenticlives. The series highlights positive stories from and explores the vibrancy of our region’s LGBTQIA+ community. Queer and transgender people are not only underrepresented in media, but reporting on these communities is often focused on the negative: hate crimes, health risks, sexual assault, houselessness and bullying. This new series provides a more hopeful lens, complementing ongoing coverage of challenges faced by marginalized groups. Authentic Lives was made possible with major support from Central Outreach Wellness Center.
Each episode will celebrate the human experience, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging by focusing on people and organizations making an impact in southwestern Pennsylvania, whether small or grand. The series will feature individuals whose work, careers, or everyday lives are leading to positive changes in the LGBTQIA+ community in the Pittsburgh region – and beyond.
This new digital series builds off WQED’s Emmy®-nominated 2018 documentary of the same title. The series’ production team is led by producers Lu Cooper and Ash Warren, who have won numerous awards for their work as editors, videographers and producers for various WQED productions.
“Growing up, I never saw positive representation of the LGBTQIA+ community,” says producer Lu Cooper. “Along with co-producer Ash Warren and WQED, I now have a unique opportunity to tell the kinds of stories I wish I had been able to see when I was younger.”
The November 29 episode has a working title of “Art, Expression, and Identity” and focuses on queer Pittsburgh area artists whose work provides hope and inspiration.
A pilot episode for the digital series, titled A Fresh Cut, premiered in June 2023. It highlights three Pittsburgh stylists who offer an inclusive, gender affirming approach to hair styling and is available to watch on WQED’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/watch?v=2Oj6vm1UrZQ.
WQED will release the first season of five episodes in 2023-2024. The series will be hosted at wqed.org/authenticlives, streamed on WQED’s YouTube channel and shared on various social media platforms. Future episodes will cover religion, art, gender-affirming care and queer-owned businesses.
This program was made possible with major support from Central Outreach Wellness Center.
WQED Multimedia starts conversations and creates experiences that educate, entertain and inspire our neighbors in Pittsburgh and across southwest Pennsylvania. Founded in 1954 as an experiment in educational community-supported television, WQED was a forerunner to PBS.
Our content creators produce impactful stories that delve into the rich mosaic of our region’s past, present, and future. We cover a wide range of topics, from arts and culture to pressing societal issues that impact our lives. We profile remarkable individuals and organizations who work to strengthen our communities. Our Learning Neighborhoods support children, in partnership with area schools and libraries, and extend to high school students exploring media careers through the WQED Film Academy. Known as “The Voice of the Arts,” WQED-FM provides a vital platform that amplifies our vibrant and diverse cultural assets, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
WQED Multimedia operates WQED-TV (PBS); WQED World; WQED Create; WQED Showcase; WQED PBS KIDS Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel; plus various streams, apps, and interactive experiences.
About Central Outreach Wellness Center
Central Outreach Wellness Center specializes in culturally sensitive healthcare for the LGBTQIA, addiction, houseless, and multicultural communities in Allegheny County, the greater Western, Pa. region and Ohio. The medical clinic opened in July of 2015 in a modest 2,000-square-foot medical clinic with six patient rooms and three employees, Central Outreach Wellness Center is now the largest medical center in Pennsylvania, focusing on culturally sensitive care for the LGBTQIA community. With eleven medical facilities across two states, over 98,000 square feet of space for health care, and more than 200 employees, founder Dr. Stacy Lane has grown Central Outreach to advocate and care for people regardless of their circumstances.
Recognized by the CDC, Central Outreach treats infectious diseases, offering widespread walk-in testing and treatment services for those who qualify– even if they do not have insurance. Our goal is health and wellness in a judgment-free zone to enhance holistic health and a patient’s life.
The clinic accomplishes this for a patient population of over 70,000 people, providing Hep C, HIV, and STD tests across Pa. and Ohio. With offices in Aliquippa, Erie, Pittsburgh, Washington, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio, Central Outreach clinicians can prescribe treatment plans for people who test positive for HIV or STDs, the cure for people living with Hep C, and mental health therapy for those in need. Central Outreach supports patients seeking gender affirming health services.
Contact the clinic by phone at 855-5-WE-CARE, by Internet at CentralOutreach.com and on social media @CentralOutreach.