by The Bathtub Project
Date of Interview: October 3, 2016
Name: Kalani Naihe
Location: Philadelphia, PA
If you were an underwater creature which one would you be?
Ohhhhh good question. I would probably be an orca. I really like whales, I think they’re really cool and interesting creatures and like, they just swim around and shit, it’s pretty cool.
What are you passionate about?
Very passionate about the DIY music scene, booking shows, being vegan and embracing my queerness. That’s something that is very new and very fun to become more passionate about. I never… I mean, it’s strange to me to talk about because I’m really new to this whole embracing my queerness thing. I’ve always been like, I’m definitely pansexual and I’ve always thought that my whole life. I’ve been very into loving people for who they are but recently come out to those that are close to me as non-binary when it comes to my gender so I started using they/them pronouns and I think that just making sure that my queerness doesn’t doesn’t get lost in relationships with those who are not. And I think that’s very important. In the past I’ve let people over step boundaries with that for me, like they kind of dictate my level of queerness especially if I’m dating a cis, straight male. So I’ve recently became very passionate about learning and accepting who I am instead of just letting someone else, just because they’re around a lot, dictate that I am this person that I know I am.
Do you feel like you have to carve out spaces that you exist in?
Always. Absolutely, especially because I book shows and being a queer promoter and trying so hard to be inclusive of everybody. It’s like having a third job a lot of the time. A lot of the time I feel overwhelmed by trying to make sure that my space in which I’m occupying is safe for those around me and for those who are also attending. It’s everything from entering into my home, to going to a show, it’s so important to be aware of. Lately I’ve been going through a lot, I moved back into this house after a year after some bad things happened and everyone just took me back in, but I feel better being around other people who are queer. They just sort of encompass my life. Having my friends, even having people in my life who aren’t queer, just making sure those people in my life are also accepting of who I am… All of my friends are and I feel so good and confident about it. But it’s important for me to dictate what is safe for me and those around me. Cuz people do look up to me when it comes to all of that stuff because of how loud I am and how I’m in charge of the spaces that people are in, especially for shows and stuff.
What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise?
My platonic relationships are soooooooo important to me. I love all of my friends with my whole heart, and I always have, that’s just the way I’ve been my whole life. My platonic relationships, because they’ve always gone better than my romantic ones, have always meant more to me. That’s definitely one of the reasons why my romantic relationships have failed, because I have tried so hard to make sure that if I’m in a romantic relationship, my platonic ones will not be overlooked at all. They’re so important. I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t met my best friend five years ago. And if I have ever treated them terribly or completely disappeared on them or whatever because of getting into a relationship they wouldn’t be here today. So it’s definitely paid off, caring so much about platonic relationships. The people I surround myself with are like family to me because my family is over 500 miles away. I think it’s important for everyone to think of their friends like that. You get to choose them so you should put as much effort into them as anything else, they’re important.
What is something you’re afraid of for yourself?
The future. It’s very scary and uncertain. I think about it all the time and it terrifies me. I’m soooooo scared of it because every aspect of it is scary. Things that are going on politically are scary, it’s sooooo fucking terrifying and then jsut my everyday life, like what am I going to do in two years!? What am I gonna do in two months? Because everything has been so uncertain for me lately and I’ve been kind of just going with the flow, doing whatever. I don’t know. The future. The future is very scary and I’m terrified of it.
What do you wish you had known when you were 15?
I wish 15 year old me, I’m going to go into this crazy vegan thing because that’s who I am, I wish 15 year old vegetarian me, fence walking peanut butter eating piece of shit who REALLY didn’t do ANYTHING, it’s cool, like I was vegetarian so young and it took me so long to vegan. I wish someone would have told me “there’s something called vegan-ism, this is what you want to do” because my mindset was “I want to help animals BUT I’m still gonna eat dairy” ::laughs::. So I wish 15 year old me would have known what being vegan meant.