THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Justice

Maya

Maya

 

Date of Interview: December 4, 2016

Name: Maya

Age: 22

Pronouns: She/Her or They/Them

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

I almost never bathe, I’m not a big bath person. Showering really depends, like almost everything else in my life, on how I feel that day. So it’s like, everyday, twice in one day, way too many days in between ::laughs::. It really depends.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

That’s a really hard question. I love the ocean, but I’m not a huge fan of the things in the ocean ::laughs::. It’s ’cause they really freak me out, I had too many nightmares as a kid about things in the ocean. But I do remember, when I was at the beach when I was young, there were these jellyfish blobs and they’re called moon jellies and I loved that name! They’re clear and they’re squishy and soft so I feel like I would be a moon jellyfish.

What are you passionate about?

Oh my god, too many things. But all of them have one thing in common which is growing. I’m passionate about helping people grow and about relationships and the ways that things interact with one another and the way that things shift over time and how we make space for those kinds of changes. So I guess that roughly translates to… I teach. I make art. I make space for relationships. What am I passionate about… Yeah, growing.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise.

They’re the most important thing to me. All kinds of relationships have equal value to me. Relationships are all about love and love is all about cultivation, so relationships are about growing with one another, tending to one another’s gardens and making space to be beautiful. I think back to this article my friend sent me a long time ago from Dean Spade, something that always stuck out to me is they said to treat your friends as your lovers and to treat your lovers as your friends. I think that sort of symbiotic relationship where everyone is getting the care and attention and investment that they deserve, that’s what relationships are all about to me.

Does that backdrop come from familial ties?

In some ways. I think family is so huge for me, I’ve got this big, huge family and it’s not just my mother and my sister, it’s my housemates, my soul mates, my teammates who are all there for me. All of those who have seen me grow and have grown with me. I’ve been really lucky to meet people who are committed to being there. And to sharing in whatever way they can share. There’s this word, compañerismo, and to be a compañerx to me means to be committed to love and to justice and to dignity. Compañerismo is this tie that holds you, as in a hug, but also holds you accountable to what you believe in and holds your community accountable to that and I think that is where my ideas of community comes from.

What does community mean to you?

Oh man, I just did a whole huge art project around that. I asked so many people what community meant to them and I still don’t know. For myself, what community means… community means… community means… all I have is this feeling. I don’t have the words big enough to explain this deep rootedness of what community means. It’s so within me that words will never bring them out. Yeah ::laughs::.

Angela Lester

Angela Lester

 

Date of Interview: October 5, 2016

Name: Angela Lester

Age: 25

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Columbus, Oh

 

If you were an underwater creature which one would you be?

Oh man… I really love a lot of underwater sea creatures so that’s kind of hard. I’m gonna say dolphins because they’re very community oriented and they’re very smart and they don’t have a lot of natural predators. So I wouldn’t have to deal with being attacked or eaten which would be good ::laughs::.

Do you enjoy being in bodies of water?

Yes. Yes, actually when I was really young I remember my mom taking me to the pool or the beach and when it would be time for me to come in she would call for me and I would duck underwater to pretend that I didn’t hear her so I could stay in longer. When I’m in water I have this overall feeling of like, safety. It’s a nice, cool or warm blanket that makes me feel good and happy and I’m weightless. There’s not a lot of… I don’t know… There’s just this sense of serenity.

What are you passionate about?

Ooooo, lots of things. Umm, I guess I really love food. My long term goal in life is to be a pastry chef and have my own patisserie. So like cooking for people and making things for my friends or coworkers is a thing I really like doing. I’m also very passionate about people being treated fairly and properly so I try to be as active in the community as possible. Just kind of like, human rights and people’s rights. I think there are a lot of things that have been going on for years, especially with race and police violence and I think it’s very important to be active in that and getting together as a community and doing what we can to fight that or else nothing is going to change.

What are you most afraid of for the world?

That… well just… oh man. That Donald Trump will be president ::laughs:: and that people won’t put aside their differences and come together and I’m just afraid that something similar to WWII will happen and that we’ll use up all of our resources and society will collapse on itself. Which I know we’re already at a point where it’s almost irreversible… The future seems pretty bleak to me ::laughs:: nothing matters. Going to have an existential crisis in the bathtub ::laughs::.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I’m… honestly not afraid of many things other than being attacked by a person at night. Which is something that I feel like most female bodied people or actually all female bodied people are worried about whenever they go walking by themselves at any time of day. Umm, that and also, this is so irrational and dumb but falling off of a roller coaster. I’m really afraid of heights so those are my two things.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

As far as romantic relationships go, I have always been a hopeless romantic. I love falling in love. And I love getting to know people on a romantic level. But it’s also kind of difficult for me because I am a demisexual person, so that has had a lot of people turn themselves away from me because sex isn’t a priority to me unless I have a very strong emotional or intellectual connection to them. Which I guess is good in the long run because it turns away those people who aren’t right for me. I am currently in the best relationship I’ve ever been in ::laughs:: and my partner is really wonderful and we have great communication which I think is the most important, be it a romantic or platonic relationship; you have to talk about things with your partner or friend as soon as you can. If you let something go on and fester, it can become this weird passive aggressive thing and neither of you can grow and develop from that.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Oh man. I recently got published in Vogue International and that was a big step for professionally modeling. Also, I have now been to every state except for Hawaii through modeling and also a recent trip out west. I never thought I could travel for a month at a time due to finances but I was able to do that and spend time in a lot of states that I would have never visited and meet cool people so yeah.

Cait Beck

Cait Beck

Date of Interview: September 7, 2016

Name: Cait Beck

Age: 26

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Arlington, VA

If you were an underwater creature which one would you be?

When I was little my favorite animal was the orca. And I think that, still, it’s the coolest animal to be because they have families and it must be nice to float all the time. They also get to sing all the time. They seem like the most peaceful underwater creature, and they’re able to swim really far, so you can see a lot and explore still.

Do you strive to have a peaceful life?

I say that I do, I think that it is… I’m really lucky. The family I come from and where I’ve lived, that I haven’t had to deal with complex and unfair problems like some people in the world have to deal with. Like, bombings and stuff. And I think that it’s not that hard to have relationships with people that aren’t filled with strife. That you can communicate your problems in a healthy way, or at least learn how to. And I think that relationships are so much better when you know how to work through problems. And if it’s not peaceful I have always worked to make sure it can get there.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

I’m in a really happy relationship right now. But, or actually AND. And I’ve been thinking about before you’re in an actual relationship you kind of dream what the relationship will be like, when you are in one and it’s really nice that certain parts come true and I think that it’s crazy how much media makes relationships unfair… That’s not the right word. It takes the truth out of them and the imperfections. I think the imperfections are what make relationships so much stronger and when I first met my boyfriend one of the conversations we had was about exploration. It was a really fascinating conversation because it’s kind of come up from time to time. Because while we are together, it’s also really fun to explore where this relationship will go and kind of the idea that we will both explore other options and grow together. And so some of the things that I’ve discussed with other people, including my boyfriend, is how do you have a primary, romantic relationship and still explore sexual relationships with other people. Which still is kind of a taboo thing in our society, that everyone you talk to agrees with the ideal; to have someone you really love and still get to explore other relationships. And we’ve been working to try to understand ourselves and explore that option. Which, don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to figure out how to balance both and have been hesitant to explore. So… I have mixed feelings about them all, but I think they’re wonderful.

What are you passionate about?

Helping people. A thing that has been there throughout my life is that I care about other people, and my relationships with them and how they’re doing. And I’ve been really unhappy, not lately, but in the recent past. And I’ve noticed that it’s because I’ve cut myself off from a lot of people and once I started reaching out to other people I realized I was much happier. And even in my job, I work in helping people with disaster relief. I think it’s really meaningful to get to share your life with someone and it doesn’t have to be in a relationship, well, every connection with another person is a relationship, but I think that’s why it’s so nice to get to really connect with people.

Do you think your up bringing impacted this?

My mom is someone that really cares about her relationships with her family and other people, she talks to everyone. We always joke that you can get anything out of her if you were a stranger and asked her a question. I think being exposed to that, she always cared so much when we were growing up, if there was someone on the street asking for help, she would give it to them. So I think that being raised with her being that type of a personality, I think that brings a lot of it out in myself.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I think failure is a really easy word to use for what I’m afraid of. But I feel that failure is such a overarching thing that I’ll fail at communicating or fail at being honest with myself. And I think that most recently the thing I’ve been afraid of is losing sight of my own dreams for fear of not succeeding, And I think that success is something I’ve been struggling to define. I think if success was clearly defined it might be easier.

What are you afraid of for the world?

That lack of community will make everyone be alone. And when people are alone they do… scary things. And technology has kind of started to scare me. Because globalization is a good thing and a bad thing. But I don’t think it’s something that we’ve balanced. I’m that people will abuse the tool that technology is rather that use it to enhance their lives. And I think that technology is currently cutting people off, it’s isolating people more than it’s connecting them. So while we’re able to make calls from here to around the world, people will forget to knock on their neighbor’s door and talk to them. And that scares me, it’s such a wonderful community right in front of you that people are missing out on. And it’s nice that people are more connected to others who aren’t right in front of them. But I wonder sometimes how deep those relationships are.

What does the word community mean to you?

I think it’s synonymous with strength. It’s a group of people that rally around one another, to support them. And make sure that they can help each other. Having that, having people that ask you how you are and actually want to hear the answer is really important. I think that people can forget to stop and say “how are you” and actually wait for the answer. Something I’ve noticed throughout my life actually, is that in hallways and on the street people will ask “how are you!?” and before you have a chance to say anything they’re already past you… ::laughs:: it’s just so superficial. I can’t stand that, I would actually want to tell them.

What is something that made you happy this week?

It’s funny you ask, because about a week ago I took stress meditation training and I thought to myself “something that I should do is stop everyday and think of something that made me happy” and I haven’t proactively done that. Until right now. Meeting someone new made me happy. But actually, I recently started a part time job outside my nine to five and today is the first time in awhile that I haven’t had to go to that right after work. So I actually got to walk home, in the perfect weather and it was really nice to get to enjoy my own time. And get to sit on the sofa for a moment and just do something at my own pace versus thinking “I have to do this, I have to go home, I have to do this to get ready for tomorrow, I have to go to bed”. It was really nice and it made me really happy.

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