5. The Archive

So far, we’ve featured a *lot* of wonderful people on DiversifYA! Below, you can find links to all of their interviews, and alternatively, you can browse through using the categories and tags to the right.

May 2013

Marieke: “We all have our own challenges, disabled or not, and I’d like to believe we all do the best we can. That’s enough.”
Alex: “As difficult as floating around and not really having a “solid” identity can be, I think it allows us to go forth and create our own a lot quicker.”
Sarah: “Being ‘different’ (I’m queer/ginger/bookish/shy/was always the new kid) really really helps you to put yourself in other people’s shoes, and realise that you have the same sized feet.”
Michelle: “Many people with depression just exist – they don’t live.”
Tamara: “For some people, it HAS to hit close to home, so to speak, for them to see it as something that isn’t wrong, or strange.”
Kristina: “[A]s a “Arge-wegian” I don’t always feel like I come from somewhere but I can usually make myself belong anywhere.”
Fida: “[B]eing with friends of many different cultures I accept myself simply as a human and a Muslim.”
Meagan: “When you have this experience that’s completely out of your own control, you learn things about yourself and others.”
KK: “There is a certain feeling of family that you find any time you meet another Jew.”

June 2013

Kayla: “I also promise that my inability to use stairs does not give me evil genius tendencies.”
Bridget: “Try to step inside of the diverse character’s soul and feel what it’s like for them to live with their diversity and how it impacts their life.”
Elodie: “Don´t forget everyone will have their own experience with a certain culture.”
Lyn: “I’ve struggled with the need to adapt to the way neurotypical people think and behave, but I wish others would recognize our strengths and what we have to offer.”
Darci: “What helps is when others outside our faith can respect us for our convictions and let us live them instead of fighting against us.”
Lilly: “It was a completely unexpected gift from the Universe and one that has shaped who I am today.”
Fida: “When my parents tell their friends I have a disability they expect to see a physical look of weakness. They are surprised to see me looking normal.”

July 2013

Meagan: “When something feels normal and natural to you and other people still balk at it, you wind up feeling kind of crummy sometimes. It takes a lot to get over it.”
Kaye: “The girls who don’t wear hijab are not actually any different than the ones who do, in terms of their freedom.”
Seth: “One of the main tenets of Judaism is simply: God loves you. And that’s very often lost on so many people, Jews and non-Jews alike.”
Kelly: “A character can (and should!) be shaped by his or her background, but that background should never become her whole story. When we do this to our characters we suggest that they’re less complex and less human, and that they’re hindered in some way by their ‘diversity.’”
Suzanne: “I also believe that souls are genderless and that when I love a person, I love their soul.”
Lisa: “But the concept of a family is so much bigger than that. It’s aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, cousins and family friends that are so close they might as well be related. It’s domestic partners and step parents, half brothers and sisters. It’s any home where you are loved, respected, and cared for.”
Patrice: “They’re awesome communities to be a part of especially when you start to realize and accept their ability to intersect and find people who live within those intersections.”
Anonymous: “I wish people would think to offer the pronoun option when asking personal questions.”
Raven: ” I’m completely in love with being dark skinned, and I feel comfortable in my skin. As I should. As anyone should.”
Kayla: “I’m hoping one of the perks will be the community I’ve wanted to be a part of for so long.”
Guinevere: “To be both is something I don’t take lightly, it’s made me a stronger person and it’s made me a stronger writer.”
Libertad: “You would be surprised to hear the things people say about you or other people when they don’t know you can understand them.”

August 2013

Ellen: “Just when I think I’ve gotten good at predicting the way they’ll go, everything will change.”
Paula: “It’s something that shapes how we raise our kids, how we handle situations and generally how we cope. It’s also mostly intangible.”
Lilly: “If you’re involved in an LGBTQ community, you have a support group at your back.”
Lyla: “The other biggest challenge has been the conflict between the way I see myself and how I’m perceived by others.”
Bridget: “People have pride in their roots but I was left wondering which roots were legitimately mine to have.”
Diana: “Give us some good wine and we’ll see what we can do.”
Mark: “If you pull the weight back so far into sadness that it almost breaks and you finally let it go, that weight’s going to rocket back into happiness, and probably stay there for a while.”
Adrianne: “While the achievements and influence of others can definitely open doors, you still have to put in work and be prepared for opportunity.”

September 2013

Jessie: “Most people, whether they think they do or not, have a certain set of ‘rules’ they follow when they interact with people of different genders.”
Seabrooke: “Write your character as a person with needs / desires / hopes / goals who is influenced by their personal background the way you are influenced by your own.”
Anonymous: “The little things, the things that should be easy, should not matter, are often the hardest.”
Mark: “Every day, I hear people insulting me without their even knowing it, just by the derogatory comments and slurs they use.”
Tawney: “My Mom had grown up where the sun never sets in the summer and it only rises for two hours in winter. It is a harsh environment but Eskimos know how to live there.”
Susan: “My neighbors were from Cuba, Germany & Argentina and each one had their traditions.”
Veronique: “I’ve always found differences between people exciting and fascinating. I admire people who can do what I can’t do and am only intolerant of cruelty and unfairness.”
Mirta: “The holiday of Rosh ha Shanah began last night and I found myself on the bimah, the dais, in front of a thousand congregants. ”

October 2013

Kim: “The first battle is going to the meeting place and having to assert, yes I am in the right place, yes I’m here for this specific meeting, and yes I’m leading it.”
Corinne: “Blondes and brunettes. If my 80+ granddad can grok it, so can you.”
Cheryl: “Also, provided that you don’t have unrealistic expectations about the end results, there’s a real feeling of triumph as you go through transition. ”
Natalie: “The traditions I keep are things that link me to my grandparents and great grandparents, to their grandparents and great grandparents.”
Heather: “In seventh grade I started taking anti-depressants and going to counseling, which helped get me to a place where I could see the world as a little less frightening, a little more possible.”
Erica: “I’ve heard stories about women being misdiagnosed because they were a woman and the doctors didn’t believe them when they said something was wrong.”
Stacey: “Biggest challenge is that even before I open my mouth, people have a predetermined opinion of me based on my Asian-ness.”
Cait: “It was very much in a courtly love kind of vein—I loved them, I loved being around them, and since I never quite got the courage to express my love, I contented myself with being the best friend to them I could possibly be.”
Fiona: “[A] crowd of people staring at you like you almost died when you regain consciousness is disconcerting to say the least.”

November 2013

Julie: “Some people also just humor me but privately reject asexuality’s existence, and proceed to treat me as if I am romantically and sexually available no matter what I say.”
Sharon: “My childhood was full of music (my mom and her twin sister were always harmonizing a tune) or reciting some piece of literature that they still remember until this day.”
Natasha: “Another issue, which is very bittersweet, is the feeling of never being fully home or settled, because my heart is divided between two cultures, two countries.”
Erica: “It’s kind of like having this ticking time bomb that can go off at any time.”

February 2014

U.C.: “Diversity may not seem necessary, but it shows a level of care about everyone.”
Jasmine: “I’m not qualified to speak to various conflicts, but often people expect (and want!) me to have a strong opinion just because of my ethnicity.
Rae: “Most of all, I want people to understand that I am neither a freak nor less of a person.
Yael: “So my big soul-searching questions have never surrounded what I do or don’t believe, but rather which practices I choose or choose not to take on.
Caitlin: “I like that, because I may not have been as strong at verbally communicating, I splashed eagerly into reading and writing, and those have been wonderful outlets for me.”
Nicole: “That’s proof I can see—of course not every person is good or ethical or even nice, but the vast majority of people are, with or without religious beliefs.”
Katie: “I spent most of my time in the land of the ED-NOS and probably am still diagnosable.
Ami: “Eating some crap food or even just dinner and then throwing it up seemed like the best of both worlds.

March 2014

Kristan: “Because I grew up as a bridge between two worlds, I find myself empathetic to pretty much anyone and everyone, and open to a wide variety of experiences.

April 2014

Brandy: “I spent a long time feeling confused about who I was supposed to be, when the answer is to just be who I already am.
Amparo: “I need to succeed and push myself because they’ve taught me that there are things worth fighting for, no matter how bleak the world seems.
Veronica: “Remember that we’re all people first, and labels last.”

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