Coming into the awareness and acceptance of my gender identity gave me such a strong entry point into activism work in Trinidad and Tobago, my home country, to make the everyday lives of trans and non-binary people better. It was through pursuing this social justice work more, that I felt a yearning to further arm myself with education and information about the systems and structures that have come before us and lead to this point. I'm hoping to use this education to further the work that we are doing by way of making legal and systemic changes that have deep and long-lasting impact.
What is a fun fact about you that few people know?
I played the saxophone for 10 years!
What is your favorite song and why?
Love Is Love by Mizz Jinnay! This is actually an original song of mine and I wrote it as my salvation anthem for myself. Available August 31st on all streaming platforms ;)
What is your current favorite streaming binge and why?
LEGENDARY!!! I've been thoroughly enjoying seeing the legends of Ballroom get their many moments of fame and immense BUDGET, production VALUE, Glamor TV! I've been getting my life and I'm even more pleased to see the mainstream representation of this (CORE) subset of LGBTQ+ culture!
What is your favorite hobby or activity you like to do in your free time?
Listening to music and curating my Spotify playlists!
How have your identities (race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender) affected your college experience?
While I'm yet to begin my college experience, I see how even in the application process, as well as in my pursuit for safe and comfortable housing, the intersection of my identities as an Afro-Caribbean woman of trans experience has already brought many hurdles. Nevertheless, I see these as points of learning and growth as I continue to understand how to navigate this world of college!
How do you practice self-care?
REST! Radical rest. Yoga. Meditation. Cooking Caribbean comfort food for myself. Long luxurious showers. Sea salt scrubs. Journal-time. Morning makeup! Nightly mask. Prayer.
How are you adjusting to the "new normal" as we're emerging from this pandemic? Do you have any tips for other students who are going back to college this semester?
I'm not yet adjusting! Trinidad is still under curfew and the most people I've seen in one place, over the past 3 months, is 15! So I'm preparing to land in NYC in a couple weeks and be thoroughly overwhelmed! But Im excited and the advice I'm giving myself is: TAKE YOUR TIME! Re-integrate in doses. Retreat if you feel overwhelmed. And protect yourself by any means that makes you feel safe, especially if that means still wearing my mask everywhere I go, especially in public spaces!
As a Point BIPOC Scholar, what is your message to other LGBTQ+ BIPOC students?
Chin up. Chest to the sky. We are in a time in history that is experiencing the liberation of folx within our identities like never before. Each day is a gift and a new opportunity. We have so many changes and advancements to be made, to ensure we have equitable access to rights and opportunities as some others are born into, but we're all the more closer! Also - let's continue to join hands! Physically, emotionally, virtually, all over the world, let's continue to connect and strengthen our global community. The more we lean on each other, the greater our communal strength and joy, to face the world every day. Finally - live and lead with LOVE! No matter how easy it may be to choose hate. Love. Always.
This post’s responses were submitted by Point BIPOC Scholar Xoë Sazzle (She/Her/Hers).
Xoë is currently studying Women's and Gender Studies at Columbia University. Read more about the Point BIPOC Scholarship for LGBTQ students program here.