Author's Extended Bio: A Short Look Into My Feminist Journey
I like to keep my “About” page short and sweet, but, I thought I’d write an extended post about who I am in case you want to get to know me a little better.
First, I created this blog and podcast because I am passionate about elevating diverse, marginalized voices. I love listening to people tell their stories and sharing them with the world. I value storytelling and sharing our voices. There is power in telling our stories. I want to spread this power.
I’ve always been passionate about social change and social justice. From a very young age, I was aware of sexism. I noticed the gender inequalities in my own family and they affected me deeply. As I grew older, I became more aware of other inequalities and injustices that existed in the communities around me and in the world at large. When I first heard my friends call me a feminist, I thought, yes, that is what I am, and embraced it immediately. I knew that feminism was about equality and benefited everyone, and it became a fundamental, yet passionate and important, belief of mine.
I grew up in a small, mountain town in Colorado as an only child to a middle class family. The house that we lived in was a log home that my dad and my grandpa built. Every morning, we woke up to the beautiful Pikes Peak mountain (14+ft), which stared at us from our wide living room windows. Growing up in the mountains was a wonderful experience, but they were never my home. While the mountains seduced my parents enough for them to leave Iowa, where they were born and raised, and build a life together in Colorado, the mountains felt suffocating to me. I discovered early on that the desert and the beach were my home. As soon as I graduated high school, I moved away from Colorado. I spent a year in Los Angeles, a year in Seattle, some time in Hawaii, and ended up graduating from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida after spending my last semester in London.
My feminist consciousness really started to blossom when I was an undergrad in college. I started off as a physical education and kinesiology major, but when I discovered that women and gender studies was a major, I switched to it in a heartbeat. It was dissecting gender and learning more about feminism that really lit me up. As a queer feminist who never felt attached to the gender that was prescribed to me at birth and who had always been pansexual, feminist queer theory, in particularly, spoke loudly to me.
I learned that feminism wasn't feminism unless it was intersectional, acknowledging the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, etc. The first feminists that influenced and taught me about intersectionality were Black women and trans writers and activists like bell hooks, Patricia Hill Collins, Kate Bornstein, and Leslie Feinberg. I deeply resonated with bell hooks' connection of social change with spiritual growth, and Kate Bornstein's non-binary, gender outlaw identity and perspectives. These aspects of feminism and gender studies excited me and had me craving for more.
After college, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and found my place. My other passion, at the time, was health and fitness. I had always been an athlete and loved moving my body, and was drawn to nutrition and healthy eating as well. In college, while my feminist peers wanted to pursue teaching or law after they graduated, I just wanted to be a personal trainer, and that is what I did. I began my fitness career as a personal trainer and running coach, and ended up starting my own fitness business. I continued my athleticism as a long distance runner and started running marathons, including a few ultramarathons.
Though I had pursued a path that was not directly in line with my gender and feminist passions, my interests in getting more involved with social change remained strong. As time grew on, those social change interests increased their volume demanding me to change my path.
Six years after I graduated with my bachelors, I began grad school in Anthropology and Social Change at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. In grad school, I did my co-research and activist ethnography with sex workers I knew in the Bay Area. In my radical grad program, instead of “fieldwork,” we participated in co-research with a community of struggle. I wanted to elevate the struggles that sex workers face in a world that dehumanizes and demonizes then. This is when I really began interviewing and sharing people’s stories. I loved nothing more than sitting down at a local coffee shop or in a park listening to someone share their thoughts and feelings and life, at least a slice of it anyway.
At the beginning of 2016, I moved out of the Bay Area, where I had lived for 8.5 years and headed to southern California for a warmer climate and a much needed change in general. But, I didn't end up settling in SoCal and have been living nomadically ever since, a lifestyle that is suiting me quite well at this time in my life. My spirit loves and longs to travel, something I inherited from my parents. My dream is to continue to travel often, listening to people’s stories and share them with you, offer my feminist lense to individuals and organizations who want to make sure they are being inclusive and creating social change, and help people heal, learn, unlearn, and grow in their feminism, social justice, and personal growth.