Leanne is a queer and non-binary activist from Southern California. Raised in a politically conservative and deeply religious household by Vietnamese refugee parents, Leanne did not identify as bisexual until high school and even then, only to their closest friends. Unable to participate in openly queer activism, Leanne instead used their platform as Editor-in-Chief of the high school newspaper and President of the high school’s National Organization for Women Club to raise awareness of other social justice issues. One of their proudest achievements is Menstrual March, a monthlong donation drive to collect pads and tampons for a local shelter, all while dismantling the stigma surrounding menstruation. Upon matriculating at The University of Oklahoma, a primarily white institution, Leanne grappled for the first time with their identity as an Asian American, a struggle complicated by how closely their ethnicity is intertwined with their homophobic upbringing. Through this struggle, they realized that their queer activism could and should be intersectional. Leanne joined the LGBTQ Program Advisory Board, a student-led organization that cultivates an inclusive campus environment through events, programming, and awareness campaigns. The more Leanne learned about queer issues, the less they identified with the gender binary, ultimately choosing to adopt they/them pronouns and to describe their orientation as “queer.” Leanne continued their intersectional activism as a Peer Educator at the Gender + Equality Center, where they led the development of a workshop on healthy relationships, and as a Resident Advisor, which sparked their interest in advocating for gender-inclusive housing.

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