In college I dreamed of being in theatre. I auditioned over and over again and never got cast. I had a conversation with the head of the department and he told me I was as good as anyone else, they just didn’t know where to put me. ⁠

I had short spiky hair and wore baggy clothes. I often got “mistaken” for a boy. Even though I was willing to wear costumes or a wig. It was just one more place I longed to fit in and couldn’t. ⁠

But then I wrote a play and they let me do it as a student led production. I loved the experience. But something else happened: When we opened the show, the audience response was incredible. People packed the theatre. They sat on the floors. They audibly gasped and cried. ⁠

I realized other people were hungry for deeper conversations. They had experiences they weren’t seeing represented on stage. They had questions people weren’t willing to talk about. I realized something powerful could happen when someone was willing to go first. To ask the question. To say the things that had been forbidden. To be themselves, in public and out loud. The experience changed my life and continues to influence everything I do.

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