Ever wonder what it's like to be queer at USC?
Or a womxn?
Or a poc (person of color)?
Or all three?
Well, I'm here to give you some insight on what it's like being a queer WOC at USC.
When I first stepped inside my first college class last fall. I looked around me and thought to myself: "Wow. This is real."
My heart was saddened to not see any familiar faces. To not joke about things that latinx people tend to have in common (like telling your mom that you're bored and her telling you that you should clean your room if you're that bored). A part of me felt a bit resentful, too. It wasn't certain people's faults that they got into USC with more advantages than I had. That's just how life works sometimes. I recall some of my friends telling me stories on how people would stereotype the area USC is in (the same place that I was raised) and stereotyping the people that live in the area. It was frustrating to see how some people at this "diverse" community could be so ignorant. It's 2017, people -- wake up.
Even being in my current Web Publishing class is a bit saddening. But empowering. Though no one sits next to me in my class (and received some "wait, what are you doing here?" looks), I still take pride and get my work done. It is more of me proving myself right in being able to be a queer woc in stem than proving them wrong, if that makes sense.
Being a queer person isn't that frustrating. But again, this is my perspective. There are a couple of LGBT+ friendly clubs on campus that are super inclusive and loving. However, when you combine my queerness with my beautiful sun-kissed skin, it was a bit harder to relate to people.
I remember taking a class where we were able to read on some queer poc, and thinking, "why isn't there more information on the modern queer latinx being?" Even going to the ONE Archives (super awesome place, btw), opened my eyes to how little information there is on queer poc. Although, sometimes, I feel like there is an overwhelming amount of information, as well (this goes back to me being exposed to queer woc information in a formal setting for the first time).
Being a womxn was also a bit difficult. My first class was "Changing Family Norms" in Summer 2016. I come from a progressive/liberal background (my family, friends, peers had similar points of views like me). So I had naively expected my future peers to also be progressive/liberal. But when we had our first prepared discussion, I was amazed at how many boys agreed with such traditional views. I'm not saying it's bad to have those views, but to be closed off to the idea of a womxn being a breadwinner? That's a bit unfortunate.
Whether some of these struggles appear once in a while or often, I've managed to brush it off and/or use it to my advantage to improve myself and prove myself right.
This is a reminder to all my beautiful brown/black people. My beautiful queer folks. My beautiful sisters. We are much more than stereotypes. We are not statistics. We are intelligent, compassionate, badass people. Keep your head up. Things will appear tough, but you will overcome.