What did you know about philanthropy before Astraea?
To be honest, I associated philanthropy with something rich white people did once they had a certain number of digits in their bank accounts in order to have the term “philanthropist” attached to their name as a part of their legend.
Have you ever considered yourself a philanthropist? Why or why not?
It was not something I related to myself LGBTQI justice, queeness, or people of color, so I never saw myself as one. Only as a person willing to give wherever it was needed. Astraea’s Regional Development Officer Zakiya Lord invited me to a fundraiser and I appreciated that the only requirement to attend was to ‘bring your queerest self.’ How many spaces can you find that requires just that simple yet radical component? I fell in love.
What made you become a donor at Astraea?
After the event and doing some research on the organization, I was surprised that I’d never heard of an organization dedicated to doing exactly what I want to do one day — expanding, supporting, and promoting communities dedicated to advancing support in LGBTQ issues. I wanted to find a way to be able to help in any way.
What kind of legacy would you like your donation at Astraea to create?
I’m lucky. So so lucky. Most of my peers are struggling just to survive, let alone give their time or money to a cause. I was hired right out of college and can afford to give. Some of my peers aren’t as fortunate and I think it’s unfair of older generations to criticize us when it comes to being donors. Ten dollars may not be much to some people, but to some young people, that’s a meal or transportation fare for the day. They can’t make that kind of sacrifice every month. So I think that we have to change what philanthropy is associated with. It doesn’t have to be about the money. It can be time. A retweet. A shoutout on Facebook. Just showing up and showing out for what we believe in. Because we’ve been doing that. That’s also what I want my donation to do. To remind people that LGBTQI+ youth of color are capable of showing up and doing the work.