With eight full-time employees, the Unbound team can only be described as a small, but dynamic family. More than half of us identify somewhere under LGBTQIA+ umbrella, and we're proud as fuck.

unbound employees

Below, four of our Unbound Babes share a bit about themselves and what being LGBTQIA+ means to them now.

Kate, Graphic Designer

unbound pride

Have you always identified as queer/pan or has there been an evolution in there for you?

Growing up I always identified as bi because I didn't really have the language to describe myself any other way. As I got older and met more and more people who identified as genderqueer or gender nonconforming I realized that gender is pretty unimportant to me in terms of attraction and who I wanted to be with. 

What social issues surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community are you most passionate about?

Inadequate healthcare access, specifically in relation to the transgender community. Gender identity discrimination is still a common problem in the health care industry, paired with frequent denial of insurance coverage and treatments that are crucial to the transgender community (ie: hormone therapy, surgery, counseling).

What does it mean to be LGBTQIA+ in 2018?

Well, I identify first and foremost as a white cisgender woman, so for me SPECIFICALLY, being queer in 2018 is all about checking my privilege and listening to my fellow qpoc/tpoc and learning and growing from them.

Do you have a coming out story or was it a bit more organic?

I definitely never came out in any formal way. I dated both boys and girls really early on (I had my first girlfriend as a junior in high school) and it always kinda just felt natural. My family never made me feel like I was doing anything wrong, but I guess we also never really had a talk about it.

Favorite queer person to follow on social media?

Not a person, but a married couple, @sateenmusic. These gals keep me afloat in hard times.

 

Nisreen, Director of Operations

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Have you always identified as a queer femme or has there been an evolution in there for you?

Great question! I initially identified as bisexual, but eventually settled on "queer" because I'm not simply attracted to cis men or cis women which made the bi label a little limiting.

What social issues surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community are you most passionate about?

Anything and everything concerning trans women of color. It is SO important for our activism as queer folk and allies to be hyper intersectional, especially when it comes to queer trans women of color. QTWOC were the catalyst behind many of the movements that we have benefitted from today and yet remain marginalized in both the straight and queer communities alike.

What does it mean to be LGBTQIA+ in 2018? 

Depending on where you live and the community you're in, being queer in 2018 can be pretty fucking awesome, or it can still be hard as hell. The great thing about existing in the 21st century is that we have access to tools and technology that allow us to build chosen family and community online. However, those same platforms facilitate bullying and can encourage dangerous perspectives and  behaviors. To be queer is to be grateful for increasing opportunities to shine bright like diamonds, while remaining determined in our activism and welcoming in our communities.

Do you have a coming out story or was it a bit more organic?

It was an organic process. I came out slowly to different groups of people while I was in college. 

Is there anything you wish more people knew about being queer? 

Please don't ever respond to anyone coming out to you as queer with "I didn't really get that vibe from you" or "you look really straight." Don't do it. Ever. Seriously.

Favorite queer person to follow on social media?

HARPER WATTERS (@theharperwatters)!!!!

 

Shazi, Customer Service Manager

unbound pride

Have you always identified as pansexual or has there been an evolution in there for you? 

In middle school, I identified as bisexual for a few years.

What social issues surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community are you most passionate about?

Preventing the erasure of any identity and validating flexibility within the spectrum. Also, tackling toxic masculinity within the queer community! I've had a handful of cis gay men in my life think that they had unlimited access to my body simply because there was no sexual potential, and that's not right. Agency is agency and consent is consent, no matter who you are and who you're into.

What does it mean to be LGBTQIA+ in 2018? 

It means freedom, and it means finding your own definition for who you are. The best lesson I've learned through my gender studies and my own experiences is that validation and understanding comes from within. 

Do you have a coming out story or was it a bit more organic? 

I was thirteen! I barely had to come out to my friends! We were kind of a circle of queer babies. My family was a whole different story. I told my brother first, and he said many hateful things, but that didn't deter me. I don't think my dad understands my sexuality, and I've had to "come out" to my mom at least three separate times, haha! She's been awesome about it, and was super supportive with my first queer relationship. 

Is there anything you wish more people knew about being pansexual? 

Before you decide to tell it, know that we've heard the jokes about being attracted to pans and kitchenware a million times already. Truly. Also, pansexuality and bisexuality are not mutually exclusive, nor are they mutually inclusive. Individuals will tell you how they identify!

Favorite queer person to follow on social media?

Jaboukie Young-White (@jaboukie). What a blessing he is to this Earth.

 

Yadi, Lead Developer

Have you always identified as queer and pansexual or has there been an evolution in there for you?

It was definitely an evolution. For a long time, particularly a younger me, I didn't have the language to express what I felt. I used 'bi' as my umbrella term, but that didn't feel quite right. I also felt a lot of backlash and bi-erasure from the queer community. It wasn't until later on in college that I found my community in a QTPOC group and really drilled down on identities and learning as much as I could. The reality is, just as our personalities and perceptions evolve, our identities evolve as well. I think that's why I like queer, it allows for growth and exploration. 

What social issues surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community are you most passionate about?

BLACK AND LATINX TRANS WOMXN!!! They are vital to our movement as queer folxx and yet are the most undermined, neglected, and vulnerable. We must do so much better to protect them and their rights. #blacklivesmatter #protecttranswomxn #brownfolxforblacklives

What does it mean to be LGBTQIA+ in 2018? 

It means a lot more freedom to be resilient and vocal. Nothing is black and white and there is still a lot of fear, retaliation and hate towards queer folx, but we also have been able to be more resilient and form solidarity and spaces that can still protect us. There are still a lot of unknowns given the state of our political climate, but I see a lot of folx pushing back and that gives me a lot of hope and optimism. 

Do you have a coming out story or was it a bit more organic? 

Quite honestly, I think the concept of coming is BS. I have never hit a point at which I'm not constantly coming to people because somehow the default is to be cis-het. My story has not been sunshine and rainbows, but it has been full of love and challenges.  

Is there anything you wish more people knew about being queer/pansexual?

There are no levels of queerness, if you're pansexual and dating a cis-het man doesn't make you less queer and dating a trans* lesbian doesn't make you extra queer...who you date doesn't define your identity. 

Favorite queer person to follow on social media?

So many....but an amazing artist to follow is Raychelle Duazo (@bombchelle).

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