Julia Horwitz was born and raised in Southern California. After years of struggling with her mental health and suppressing her sexual orientation, in her Junior year of high school two life-changing things happened: she came out of the closet and discovered spoken word poetry. Finding the spoken word community was not only healing, but also very empowering. As a queer woman, Julia feels that it is her responsibility to tell her story as honestly and often as possible, since LGBTQ representation in the media is minimal and often inaccurate. She is a two-time member of the internationally recognized Say Word slam poetry team, which competes at Brave New Voices each year. Independently, she has had the opportunity to perform her poetry on platforms such as TEDx, Russell Simmons All-Def Digital, and Yale Universitys speaker series. Aside from her work in the spoken word community, Julia facilitated an LGBTQ support group at her high school, was the head of her schools newspaper, and Feminist Club. She is also a visual artist and illustrated the therapeutic childrens book, The Elephant in the Room: a Childrens Book for Grief and Loss. Julia is a firm believer in arts power to heal and create social change, and she will continue to refine her passions for literature and social justice in college.