Sage West | They/Them/Theirs

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What does the word Queer mean to you?

Queer is an overarching term of inclusion for those who are gay, lesbian, bi, pan, ace, aro, trans, gender non-conforming and any other that is not cis and straight. Queer is a reclamation of a word that the cis and straight culture have tried to use against us. It is ours.

Do you consider yourself an activist? Why or why not?

Yes. While I do consider myself an activist, I have just not been able to continually organize. I want to do more and get down on myself for how little I feel like I do when I see what some of my friends are doing. They are so inspiring and I hope to at least lift them up so they can more easily do the good they do.

Who is one friend you look up to and why? How did you meet?

I don't even know how to choose on this, there are so many: Jessica Soukup because she somehow has made a career in activism and making a difference. Chelsea Vaughn because she goes above and beyond in everything she touches to make sure that people are taken care of. My fellow QueerBomb organizer Bobbi-Kym who is a force in their own right and is an amazing rally lead especially during a march. I could go on but I'll leave it there for now.

What is one dream you have for the future?

I dream of a world where people of any gender, orientation, ethnicity, or religion can live their lives and not worry about whether they will be murdered in cold blood by strangers or police for simply existing. I dream of those types of people ACTUALLY being held accountable for what they've done. I dream of a future where millions of people aren't starving to death while there are billionaires not paying their fair taxes.

What do you say to people who say they want to make a difference but they don't know what to do?

It is really easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do or how you can make a difference. There are always organizations around town that are doing good that can use volunteers in various ways. Even small things make a difference. I know that sometimes, I have a hard time seeing my efforts being impactful compared to many of my friends but not everyone needs to be in the spotlight to make a difference.

What recharges you?

Walking through a wooded section of a greenbelt always invigorates and lifts my spirits.

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