It’s crazy what I’ve seen in the news lately: Trans people losing their rights, concentration camps just opened in Russia for gays, followed by massive population disappearance and even local repeated hate beating in my own city’s streets.
Sometimes I feel as if I’m living on a hazy dream. I haven’t even woken up from the Florida shootings nightmare yet that still haunts me and many other LGBTQ people with the thoughts that we are not yet fully accepted in this world.
Amidst all these bleaks news, last wednesday night I had the opportunity to organize and host a storytelling event via the fresh2design meetup group at Cheer Up Charlies, a local Bar and Austin staple, offering my fellow designers in the spectrum a voice to share their stories.
It was a heartwarming and life-changing night for me. It felt as if two parts of my life that have been often at war and separated, finally united at long last, becoming a milestone in my career.
I sat in awe listening to all the brave and eloquent storytellers shared their life stories in a vulnerable manner, full of heart, emotion, sadness, seriousness and resolve.
I heard them share their determination on how the overcame the obstacles that allowed them to be where they are today in their design and tech careers. The stories were full of inspiration and encouragement. They were human, and relatable.
The most eye-opening side for me of all this was to be surrounded by many allies. Their support and candor as people that don’t identify as LGBTQAI+ was spectacular and reminded me that there is so much kindness and acceptance in this world too.
All in all, it was an empowering night where we all gained a little more empathy for each other.
It is my hope that we can bring more of this unity and understanding to our daily life and to our places of employment.
I’m extremely grateful to all the storytellers that show up that night, a big shout out to John Berry III, Charli Taylor Elwonger, Mario Villanueva, Tanaya Joshi, Raquel Breternitz, Zachary Vernon, Alexis Du Mond Puchek and to the rest of them that for privacy reason I can not disclose. Look them out, reach out, learn from them and all the amazing projects they are spearheading in the community and in tech!
Thank you to all the allies and the LGBTQ community that came out to show their support. That means a lot to us.
Big thanks to Cheer Up Charlies as well, for offering us their gorgeous space to host the event.
Special gratitude to fresh2design for offering the platform to bring our members together in this way.
Stay tuned for our next storytelling event in the Diversity series. Follow us on Facebook or join our Meetup group for more details.