Spotted: Hanging out with a friend in Jack London Square, Oakland
Occupation: Operations Coordinator, Buffy Fan
What have you been up to today?
We're just here for the farmers' market, and on our way to an estate sale down the street.
Are estate sales something you guys regularly do?
I've been to a few, not here. I'm originally from LA. So we're just going to check it out, see what's going on there.
And earlier, you were just hanging out at the market?
Yeah, getting my vegetables for the week.
What's your occupation?
I just got a new job, actually! I'll be working as an operations coordinator for this nonprofit called IDEX. They do awesome work supporting different grassroots movements around the world and supporting community leaders wherever their projects are. We support them either financially, or with resources like leadership, stuff like that.
Is there a theme to the movements that they support?
I think IDEX tries to find leaders in communities who actually know the communities they are working within. Instead of going in there and saying, this is what we're going to do, we find the people who know the people of the community, know what's happening, know what needs to get done. Then we navigate the space and see how we can best help them.
Any specific projects IDEX has worked on that caught your interest?
I'll just be starting with them next Monday, but I know they work with a lot of other cool non-profits. They work a lot with PAN, which is the Pesticide Action Network. They lobby for pesticide-free food, and so they're big supporters of the farmers' market. I know a lot of people who are into food rights. They also support a lot of LGBT & Queer causes. They have a variety of things they support that I'm really behind.
What do you like to do when you're not working?
When I'm not working, I do stuff like this I guess? Valerie here, my friend, she's an artist and so she inspires me a lot. She currently just got me into printmaking. She's my favorite artist. I'm her number one fan. I have a lot of her pieces and she's really great in a variety of different mediums. I like to hang out with her because she's always teaches me cool stuff about that.
What inspired you to start working for a nonprofit?
That's a great question. I love answering this question, actually. I used to work for a startup tech company and it was a terrible environment. I really didn't like it. It was very male-dominated, I was one of three people of color there. I was very uncomfortable and I didn't like the philosophy behind it all. So I wanted to start working toward something I was really passionate about, and not hate myself every time I go to work. [laughs]
So tell me about your outfit! How did it all come about?
This bag actually came from a gamer convention.
Oh really? Are you a gamer?
I'm not but I'm a gamer supporter. The conference this bag is from is spelled "Gaymer" and is for queer and LGBT gamers. They're not sure they're coming back next year because they're losing a lot of support. But I went and it was such a fun time. You know, having people be within their own communities and knowing that such a community exists was great. So I got this there, which was really appropriate. I'm a really big Buffy fan.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
Yeah, so I attribute it to Buffy! [laughs] My dress is second-hand, I like denim.
Have you ever done the whole denim outfit before?
Her friend Valerie: Like Britney Spears? [laughs]
I've definitely done denim on denim, but not like a hat and stuff! Yeah, this is actually one of my brighter days. I usually wear a lot of black I think!
I noticed you have some interesting rings going on too.
This one was actually given to me by one of my good friends on our friendship anniversary—I didn't even realize that was real! [laughs] So I always wear that one on my ring finger, 'cause I'm pretty much married to her. This other one is a cheap two dollar ring from downtown LA. This one I actually found at a karaoke bar, but the ring that Angel gives to Buffy [she and friend start laughing uncontrollably] is exactly this kind of ring! I was like, I'm keeping this! And I wear it all the time. She [looks at Valerie] screamed! She was like, "Noo waayy!" These are supposed to be promise rings but I'm not committed to anyone. I'm committed to myself and Buffy.
How about your earrings?
Oh yeah, these I got in Bolivia. I lived in Argentina last year and I traveled to Bolivia and I bought these from this really cool organization that is trying to support indigenous arts. So anything from weaving to metalwork. I'm actually really interested in metalwork because I used to do a little welding back in LA and I did rudimentary stuff, so I'm planning to take some welding classes to kind of perfect that art.
Where are you taking your welding classes?
I'm planning to go to the Crucible—they offer a variety of classes and a variety of different types of welding that I'm not experienced in so hopefully I can get some exposure to all that good stuff.