Partial Transcript: My mom's side of the family is from Colombia, South America. My dad's side is from here, from the States. My grandmother, my abuelita moved to the States when she was about 14 because she married my grandfather at 14 who was far older than her to get out of Colombia. She's from La Dorada and Los Caldus, Colombia, which is a really small fishing village, but this is like Colombia in the '70s, '60s and '70s so it's not a very good place to live and you don't really have a lot of opportunities there.
Keywords: Bar Life; Bodyguard; Colombia; Egypt; Fayetteville, NC; Miami,FL; Military; cults; immigrant; transience
Partial Transcript: But yeah, we moved here when I was four and didn't officially move to Asheville proper, we moved to Swannanoa. And moving from a place like Miami where I am surrounded by Latinx people and people of color, and this big city, to Swannanoa in the '90s, and this was like pre-Asheville getting very popular. So it was either scattered hippies, rednecks, or abandoned, and moving to Swannanoa from that whole completely opposite way of the world was really intense. I had a really bad time in kindergarten and first grade. Mostly because it was like being Latinx was being trained out of me forcefully. It was weird to talk Spanish. It was weird to be the other essentially.
I've also talked to a couple of other friends who grew up here who are Latinx who said the same thing. Spanish was my first language. I'm no longer as fluent as I want to be anymore because it was forced out of me in rural, white populated schools that were like... They didn't want you to speak Spanish. If you spoke Spanish they would say, "Say that again in English." That kind of thing.
But so first grade, kindergarten, very early years were really rough. I fucking hated going to school because it was a bunch of like really crazy rednecks who I didn't want to be around and they didn't want to be around me. And I used to hide from the school bus and shit, not want to go to school.
Segment Synopsis: Danny describes racial and language discrimination as a child and how her parents advocated to preserve their Latinx identity and Spanish language.
Keywords: Charter School; Discrimination; Elementary School; Evergreen; Forced English; LInguistic Diversity; Language Discrimination; Language Pedagogy; Latinx; Menstruation; Racism; Rural Public School; Spanish; Writing Pedagogy
Partial Transcript: We were never hungry. We didn't really have places to live a lot of the time, but my parents did their fucking best, but I spent a lot of my time taking care of, making sure everyone was okay, making sure my parents were okay, tucking them in at night when they've got too fucked up, or taking care of my little brother and little sister when they're fighting, and all this shit.
So by the time I was feeling like I could be an adult, I was like, "I'm fucking going to be an adult as fast as I fucking can." And I feel like, I don't know, maybe for me at least, I feel like part of that is also part of coming to terms with being queer and being transgender where it's like, "I'm going on this own journey internally for me and I don't really want to express it to my parents because the last thing I want to do is come out to them because that's fucking terrifying. So I'm going to go over there and I'll see you later. See you at dinner. I have my own life, you have yours." So that was kind of high school for me.
Keywords: Addiction; Adulthood; Asheville High; Coming out; Gay Straight Alliance; LGBT role models; LGBTQ community; MySpace; Queer Language; Vocabulary; housing insecurity; poverty; punk; self expression; transgender
Partial Transcript: Yeah. Well, there was this one band. They're not together anymore. I still every once in a while talk to the guitarist Sam. We haven't talked in a really long time, but I still follow them on Instagram. But they were called Dick Binge and they were from Olympia. And that was one of the queerest and best shows I've ever seen. It was at the Odditorium. I've known about this band through the internet and just through knowing people or whatever. And they were just very unapologetically queer. Every song was about queerness. They had trans members, non-binary members, gay members, and it was like a punk show covered in glitter. And that was show was crazy.
It was them, Fucking Dyke Bitches, who is also another queer punk band, all, it's three fucking dyke bitches. And then the opener was a glam metal band from Australia, which was so odd, but totally worked. And that was like... It was funny because I had never met them before in person. I'd bought stuff from them over the internet or whatever, but I saw them and I think I was like, I was either 20 or just turned 21, and this was... I think I just turned 21, but the Odditorium has always been a huge staple of the community. And before it was the Odditorium, when it was the Get Down, myself and a lot of people used to go there and we used to sneak drinks all the time. It was like wild west Asheville for sure. It was crazy. But then the Odditorium started and thankfully we all turned 21 by that point.
Keywords: LGBT community; Mothman; Odditorium; Punk shows; Queer identtiy
Partial Transcript: And then met a whole nother realm of queer folks who were just like pansexual and would like do whatever with whoever and identified as all different kind of things. But also, people who were working in social justice, or were concerned about things like harm reduction, or concerned about things like as far as keeping communities safe and stuff, and not everyone there was... I wouldn't say Skatopia's like a haven for people who are really woke because there's a lot of really fucked up people that go there, but I met a lot of really woke people there too.
And then that's... Being thrown into the punk scene then was really when I started paying attention to grassroots activism, I started to meet more people who do a lot more for the community. There are a couple people who come to mind when I think about activism for the queer community and communities of color here, but I don't want to name them because they don't want to get doxxed.
And are intentionally private. But there is some people in this city who still live and reside here who go unnamed for security reasons, but have done a lot, a lot for this community to keep it safe. And I met them through the punk community. And yeah, I mean, that... It was weird. When I was in high school or whatever, it's like being punk and being into metal and stuff was like, "Yeah, fuck you. I'm angry about shit and nothing matters." And then I later on realized no, it's actually... You give a shit about things, you just don't like how the powers that be are taking care of it, because they're not. They're not taking care of it. So how do we do this on our own? How do we make these safe spaces on our own? How do we make people feel safe?
Keywords: Asheville, NC; Bartending; College; Crow and Quill; Job interview; LGBTQ gathering; Pansexual; Queer space; Self acceptance; drag; gay bar; goth; punk
Partial Transcript: And then, yeah, that's why I decided to come out publicly at drag night I think. Just because that was my safe space. That was the family I wanted to come out to. And I didn't come out to my parents when I came out then. I actually didn't come out as trans to my family until last year when I started T. And part of it is because I knew that I couldn't come out as trans to my mom. My mom was a cool person. By no means was she transphobic or homophobic, but like I said, there's that weird thing in the Latinx community and there's that weird machismo thing. And even when I came out to her as gay, she told me not to tell my [foreign language 00:51:29] or tell my aunt or anything. My [foreign language 00:51:32] found out on her own and was totally cool. And I couldn't figure out why my mom was freaking out about it.
I realized I don't blame her for this because I get she's from a different time, but she was cool with trans people, she was cool with queer people as long as it wasn't her kid because that's not the life that she envisioned for us. You know? So I just couldn't come out to her. I couldn't. And a couple years before I had... When I had come out to a small group of friends, it was Liam and Caden, Haley and our roomie, Miranda. Those were the first people I actually said that I'm trans to.
I kind of made the joke that I couldn't come out until my parents died, but I actually fucking meant that. So I remember when my mom passed after the grief process and the mourning process and stuff like, me and Haley talked about it a little bit. It was like, "Well, are you ready to come out yet?" And I was like, "I don't know." Part of me was and then the other part of me was like I can't do it yet because I was dealing with so many repercussions of my mom's death.
Keywords: Coming out; HRT; Hormone Replacement Therapy; LGBTQ family; Matriarch; Mother's death; Trans; drag
Partial Transcript: I tend to gravitate towards queer or gay. Queer more so now. I think that queer is one of more encompassing term. I like the idea of it unifying people of different sexual identities, people of different gender identities. I think that in numbers we are able to get more done and help more people. I definitely don't... Obviously, there can be riffs in different communities, but I really like the idea of having this queer community that we can all support each other, we all have these things in common, we can all help each other in different ways.
I just, I say gay sometimes. It's a little bit more complicated and loaded now saying that now that I am identify as a trans man and partner is non-binary and AFAB. I just, I think that it's a all encompassing term that includes people from all different walks of life who have gone through a similar experience when it comes to gender and sexual identity.
It's that feeling when like you go out of town or you go visit family or whatever, and you're around a bunch of straight people and you never realized how different it was being around a bunch of straight people until you are around a bunch of straight people who definitely don't identify as queer at all. And you're like, "Oh wow, wow, wow. This feels weird. This feels really weird." And then you come back home and you're around your next door neighbor is gay and two doors down there's this non-binary couple and over here is the old lesbians who have lived on the same corner for 50 years. And you feel so much better and so much safer, and you can actually have a conversation with these people and they understand where you're coming from. I think that's what queerness is for me, is like that semi-shared experience.
Keywords: Classroom Politics; College; Diverse sexuality; First Wave Feminism; LGBTQ community; Non Binary; Queer; Turf lesbians; UNC Asheville; diverse gender; inclusive term
Partial Transcript: I mean, and we've seen this a lot now, especially with the BLM movement of like the whole White savior complex of people being like, "I understand your struggle." Well, you don't. You don't understand that struggle. You never will understand the struggle. Understand that you won't understand it and understand that you're here to support. Shut up and put your body in front of the people who need it.
So we had this whole conversation in class and we started talking about queerness. And we ended up going and talking about terms of queerness. So about how the queer community took the term queer back, that it used to be a derogatory term at some point and then now it's not. Now we use it as an identifier, how some groups have taken the F-word back. I personally don't like to use that word because I think it can trigger people. But some people use it. Some people have taken it back.
I think the term is lesbian is not a very popular term. Some people have taken back the word dyke. Not everyone has. It's just weird. There are certain words we've been able to own and other words that we haven't. And I think that it also goes into how the actual queer community has kind of evolved over time. Like, "Ooh, we have strength in numbers now. We have people understand it. Let's take back this term now. Let's get rid of all the shitty stuff that's been dealt to us." Yeah, terms are weird. Identity's weird.
I still don't understand everything. I don't think I still fully know how to identify myself. I consider myself a graysexual trans man. I don't tend to be very sexually active. I kind of have an awkwardness when it comes to sex. But I do like sex, I just don't do it very often. So like graysexual. I identify as a trans man because I want to present masc, that's how I'm comfortable presenting. That's how I identify myself, but I don't want to be a cis man either. That's seems awful.
Keywords: DMV; Legal documents; Love; Pronouns; cisgender; gender balance; graysexual; labeling politics; queer vibe; queerness; sex; transman