Confession: As a Type A personality, and a young Latina feminist, I have a tendency to hold myself to very high standards. I assume that I should know everything, and be able to accomplish all tasks set to me, without help, sleep, or tears. I feel like by now, I should have figured out my identity years ago, and be a perfect activist who uses all the right inclusive terms and never offends anyone. Needless to say, I fall short of my impossible standards quite frequently, but I have stuck with this work because of the people who have supported me in becoming my best self. These people have helped me grow my feminism, push my boundaries, and value myself and my work.
Part of our jobs as feminists involves a lot of time critiquing others and calling out injustices. But feminist work will not continue unless we invest in lifting each other up and lovingly making each other better. We need to honor the things that are working, so that we can keep doing them.
So today, I want to take a moment to be vulnerable, and say thank you:
To the colleague who complimented the quality of my work, at a moment when I was feeling overwhelmed as a young professional in a big organization.
To the friend who kindly explained some trans feminism 101 to me, never suggesting that I should “already know all this.”
To the editor who understands what blogging after a full time job means and supports me in making my work the best it can be.
To the Twitter acquaintance, who became a Google Hangout friend, who gave me a space to discuss thoughts I had been afraid to share with anyone up until that point.
To the acquaintance who unquestioningly affirmed the identity I’ve been experimenting with the past few months.
To the person who DMed me on Twitter to privately explain how I had offended them, and what I could to to make it right.
To the friend who confessed to me how much my friendship had inspired them and in turn reminded me of the value my work.
To the super busy and accomplished feminist activist who offered to make time to go to coffee with me.
To the colleague who nudged me into an exciting new professional opportunity.
To the peer who taught me how to include more people by changing my vocabulary slightly.
To the coworker who was willing to listen, learn, and get a little more intersectional with their white liberal feminism.
To the woman who valued my voice for my youth, not in spite of it.
To my partner, who honors my work and helps me make time for it.
To my mother, who sent me an petition for once and insisted that I sign it.
Juliana wants to hear who you want to honor and thank today.