Today we are joined by the incredible Latrinity Gulley. Latrinity is a Richmond Native who graduated from Leadership Public Schools and is currently attending Contra Costa College. Latrinity is very passionate about speaking out and making sure that BIPOC voices are heard along with having a space to feel safe in. She spends time educating herself on ways to make that goal possible and doing internal work in order to find out what space she feels the most comfortable in. She is here to share her experience about finding her voice as a young Black woman in society:
When I am in spaces where my experiences are validated, I feel like I have a voice. Over the course of the years of my coming into consciousness, I have learned a valuable lesson about making sure there are spaces where my voice and voices alike can be heard and understood, without having to experience a major push back. Before I go into depth about a specific place or experience where I do or do not have a voice. Due to me being a black cis woman who benefits from a system of privilege whether that’s skin color or gender, finding spaces where people listen to me, is tough but not as tough as it would be for someone of darker complexion and/or someone who is not cis or binary. When I am in a space where I’m around loving and understanding people I have a voice because they listen to understand instead of a typical conversation that revolves around listening to respond. This is important for me as a black woman that when I am using my voice to convey a message there isn’t any tension or negative energy. When I’m speaking at an event or in front of a group of people who even if they have different options still really listen to me and try to understand my perspective, for me it creates a place for me to be heard. On the other hand, settings or situations where I don’t feel like I have a voice lack all these key components to a safe space. Environments where there is a hostile environment often make me uncomfortable and weary due to the amount of energy I have to use to feel heard. When I was in high school I remember multiple occasions when talking to my peers about saying the “n” word and how I didn’t feel comfortable. I was just met with hostility and told to focus on graduation by teachers and staff. High school was a hard time for me being a part of the few black people in my entire school. Spaces where I am not listened to or taken seriously take a toll on my mental health. I remember being in high school, and instead of being the 4.0 student I knew I could be, I was a C average student. I was constantly out of school because I couldn’t get out of bed. I wouldn’t even go to classes because it was a place my blackness and my voice were suppressed. Spaces, where BIPOC have a space to express themselves and feel like they have a voice, is important to their development and growth, in a world where BIPOC are ignored.
Spaces, where BIPOC have a space to express themselves and feel like they have a voice, is important to their development and growth, in a world where BIPOC are ignored.LATRINITY GULLEY
I have a voice because they listen to understand instead of a typical conversation that revolves around listening to respondLATRINITY GULLEY