Teens and Adults: Have a question? Ask A Brown Feminem Anything!
Hi, I'm Jas LaFond and I use they/them pronouns. I consider myself to be Gender Punk - my expression is fluid, between feminine and masculine - but my identity is also a statement about rejecting heteronormative gender roles and the toxicity that can come from them. Lately I've been into makeup, sometimes I do drag and I'm always about that advocacy work.
I have worked in mental health and human services for ten years, providing case management and counseling to inner city and rural youth and families. I am an Activist; I am also a Mental Health Counselor, community organizer and event planner, voice actor, makeup enthusiast, poet, spouse and mother.
It took me years to learn that identity is multifaceted and you are worth the time it takes to explore those facets of yourself.
Identity is of particular importance to me, as I reside at the intersection of being Black and Queer in a time of undeniable progress and undeniable conflict. I often receive hard questions about my identity; people want to know why I "chose" this life, or they wonder how I explain my identity to my children. Well first, I did not "choose" to be Queer; I have had a sense of this for as long as I can remember. Second, our children deserve honesty. Children are perceptive and have the capacity to understand more than we give them credit for. I answered my children matter-of-factly. The life of a queer person is rarely easy but I would not change this part of myself for anything.
Observing Pride Month during the Black Lives Matter movement has been a reminder of the tradition's roots; a riot turned march, led by trans women of color gave us the freedom to have parades today. We have to honor that legacy by standing as advocates and as allies against adversity in any way we can whether by marching, calling our representatives, donating to LGBTQ+ organizations or having difficult conversations with the people we care about.
Jas's website, Ask A Brown Feminem, which began as an advice column, is a hub for advocacy centering on all issues queer, Black, and Brown. You'll find questions from real people with advice from Jas, blog posts, the occassional rant, and event updates.
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