Tell us about yourself! What do you do for a living? What are your interests? What are your pronouns?
My pronouns are she/her, and I’m a body-positive personal trainer and yoga instructor. Pre-COVID I had started taking aerial silks classes and I loved it! I also am really into media analysis and watching thoughtful commentary videos on YouTube (Natalie Wynn and D’angelo Wallace are a couple of my favorite creators).
About how old were you when you came out? How was the climate you grew up in?
I was 27 when I realized I’m a lesbian, and I came out pretty much immediately. I grew up religious, and although I’m not religious anymore I definitely had to process and unlearn a lot of internalized shame.
Did you make career choices that allowed you to feel comfortable being open about your sexuality? (Are you out or feel comfortable being out at your workplace?)
Yes – all my clients know I’m gay, and at the gyms, I’ve worked out I was fully out. I’m very fortunate to live in a city where that’s possible and I feel completely safe doing so.
If you could tell your younger self something about yourself that you are proud of today, what would it be?
“You will feel good in your own skin.”
Have you tried to surround yourself with like-minded peers/colleagues? If so, how?
Yes, mostly through social media. I follow a lot of people whose approach to health is holistic and shame-free. I also follow artists, poets, and other activists.
Who were your role models growing up? What tv shows/movies allowed you to feel seen?
As a kid, I definitely adored and related to Ms. Frizzle – she’s so joyfully curious and unapologetically quirky. As a preteen, I liked Sabrina The Teenage Witch because I related to feeling different but really just trying to be normal. I also appreciated the lighthearted nature of the show. In high school, I got more into music and really liked Ani Difranco because her songwriting is so honest and direct and she’s got that rebellious energy I felt inside but wasn’t allowed to express. In college, I got P!nk’s Funhouse album and have loved her music ever since. I love how outspoken and funny she is. She’s always evolving and learning how to be a better force of good in the world. She processes her trauma with humor and art, and her music has helped me feel better in ways nothing else has. I also love how she embraces and plays with her own masculinity and femininity. She’s completely herself, and there’s so much beauty in that.
And of course, I have to mention Kate McKinnon and her portrayal of Jillian Holtzmann in Ghostbusters: Answer The Call. Holtzmann was the catalyst for me recognizing my own queerness, and I will forever be grateful to Kate for that. I really relate to Holtzmann’s distinct combination of silly humor, odd quirks, gay panic, gentle curiosity, and playful creativity. She’s a really unique character who’s made me feel seen and understood in ways that no other character has, and she’ll always have a special place in my heart.
Complete the sentence, if I knew ____________ back when I was first figuring myself out, I would tell my younger self that _____________________?
If I knew what I know now back when I was first figuring myself out, I would tell my younger self: “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re exactly who you’re supposed to be, and you don’t have to be fixed. Be kinder to yourself.”