For so long, I thought that my impact would exist in the future. I would have to wait until I become an author, mentor, activist, and badass women in tech.
I know realize that I am the woman of my dreams – and I always have been.
This is evidenced by the fact that I write things that people actually read (something I’ve dreamed up since I read of this goal in “The Help”). I mentor women and people of color who are early in the career and tell them how they can advocate for themselves. I tell them that if they feel like they’re being underestimated, they don’t have to brush it off. They can make it a conversation and talk about how that comment has reinforced all of the negative comments from their past that say they won’t make it.
The way that I’ve been vulnerable about being queer or my sense of impostor syndrome has led to a conversation, and not all of it is positive. I hear whispers of their judgment and the way they apologize to my mother, as if she should be ashamed of who I am. But the thing is, I’m allowed to be free.
So, I chose to be free in my queerness, which means that I can love unconditionally and authentically.
I choose to be a writer who shouts the truth from the mountains and doesn’t leave it in the margins of deep love for women. This kind of love is what makes me authentic, and I didn’t truly love myself until I came out.
This is what it means to be a woman of color. We fight every day to be seen and heard. We tell stories about ourselves over steaming cups of chai and on porch benches and in between meetings in the hopes that we can be heard.
This is what it means to be an anomaly – you show up, blaze trails, and break the mold because you can be seen for that way of thinking. I am so lucky that people like Asta, a research designer and de facto wonder woman will take time out of their day to meet with me, and that she sees potential in my interests as a storyteller in the tech industry. I hope that I can be as fearless as her and continue to draw inspiration from people who break the rules. It reminds me that I can be known for doing something unconventional – I just have to own it and believe that I have something valuable to bring to the table.