What communities do you feel like you have in your life?
Tons. I have a really broad definition of community. I define community as any network of people that have something in common. That can be an identity, an interest, a need, or a placement like a neighborhood. I have the trans community, the queer community, and the bi community, more specifically. The disabled community, and within that, there’s lots more specific sections, like the blind, physically disabled, and autistic communities, and we each have different privileges and things that we’re more affected by in the world. And the Irish community which I’m trying to be more a part of by learning Irish, studying, and talking to my family a bit. The gamer community [too].
What interests you about community?
Lately I’ve been trying to get more involved with my surrounding communities and how I can serve as well as be benefited by them. It’s really satisfying. I’ve been looking at the world really differently. The Bay Area and also the rest of the world, and how communities all around function.
How did your increase in awareness of community come about?
My family is going through a different version of awareness. A lot of my family was raised in a bigoted way and some of them still are bigoted, but they’re going through this process of understanding different cultures and being okay with …the fact that they don’t have to identify with or resonate with something in order to know that it’s valid. I never thought it would happen. I’ve been disowned by my great grandfather because he’s very transphobic, but he’s one of the only ones in my family that hasn’t come around. And people have stopped making excuses for him.
A few months ago I realized that through all the things I’ve been learning, and the privilege of living in such a diverse community, and having people that will come to me and teach me, I'm benefiting in a real life-changing and positive way.
I’m in the position of being able to teach people and grow and learn myself. I’ve had so much help. And I am actively trying to teach myself more things instead of waiting for somebody of [a certain] identity to tell me it's wrong, or to teach me,… or expecting them to teach me.
I teach myself by being more a part of community. I feel like I’ve achieved a lot.