Scholar Class – 2010
Natalie was raised in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After coming out at age fifteen, her relationship with her family deteriorated, ultimately resulting in her leaving home and beginning her life as a financially independent adult.
As a high school senior, Natalie founded her high school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance Club. With the club, she led the school in days of action, such as the Day of Silence, Transaction Week, and others, all of which visibly changed the climate of the school and the community. During high school, Natalie also worked with GLSEN Pittsburgh as a member of the Board of Directors, and volunteered extensively at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh.
Natalie’s passion has always been creating art and she is currently pursuing a fashion design and fine arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before this, she had been creating clothing for herself and others since a young age, and in 2006 she created an online business selling queer-positive apparel of her own design. Her current interests lie in developing and designing clothing for genderqueer and gender-fluid individuals, as she understands the importance of gender expression for all individuals. In college, Natalie also leads the School of the Art Institute’s Queers & Allies Club, and volunteers for various GLBTQ centers in Chicago. In the future, she plans to continue to devote herself to GLBTQ activism, and hopes to integrate these experiences and her love of art in promoting expression of gender and sexual identity in the queer community through art.