Librarian

“I had someone ask me about coming out before and they didn’t have supportive parents and as a straight, white, cisgendered woman I can’t give personal advice, but as a librarian, I can show that person different community resources that are available and I can talk to their school counselor, their school social worker. I’m kind of like the gateway to finding resources in the community or books in our collection or different websites that can help.”

Love

“I’m in an interracial relationship and so I’m constantly evaluating those power dynamics. I’m a white woman and my husband is Philipino-American, so not only are we navigating our personal relationship, we have to look at how society sees our power. And it’s interesting, he’s darker skinned, and how many times he’s been pulled over by the cops when I’m with him. The cops will take him out of the car and put him into the police car and ask, ‘Do you know this man?’ And I’m grateful for that, because what if I actually was being trafficked? It would give me the opportunity to get out that situation, but at the same time, yep, he’s my husband.”

Books

“Those are my favorite books, the ones that explore the family dynamic. Oh my gosh, it’s so good. I feel like at this age, and I’ll be 27 in a couple weeks, I start looking back at the choices my parents made and thinking critically about why they made those choices and so it really just spoke to me in this moment and realizing they did the best they could do.”

Home

“I grew up in a smaller Iowa city, so it was I think 70,000 or something like that. I went to a rural school, there were 150 people total in my high school. I was never challenged on my implicit bias, I guess. So my definition of racism was like burning crosses in someone’s yard racism. I didn’t think about the socialized factors, that implicit bias and the unconscious decisions that you’re making.”

Happiness

“Honestly, this past year has probably been the happiest year of my life. That’s when I started working at the library working with teenagers. It was really scary to leave my job, I was making like twice as much money in my previous role, but I talked about it with my husband and we decided that we really needed to do something that was best for my mental health and best for the community. Am I blissful and happy every second of the day? No, but I’ve never been more content and I think that’s the most important thing versus happiness, is just contentment in my everyday life.”