Hi y'all, Klie here again!
I’m here this time with Carmen (one of our Content Developers) who does everything from brainstorming ideas with me and Basil, to transcribing interviews, researching state laws, and making graphics for our social media. She’s awesome -- obviously -- so we thought it’d be cool to do more of a conversational type blog this time… giving you another “behind the scenes” glimpse into our lives down here in New Orleans as part of the Transilient team.
KLIE: What’s a typical day look like for you? Or what’d you do today?
CARMEN: This morning I woke up to my boyfriend’s sleepy kisses around 7 AM. After lying in bed and telling myself “5 more minutes” for about an hour, I got up to let my dogs out. Once they were fed and snuggled back up in bed with their Papa, I took a quick shower, did skin care and makeup, then got back into bed to enjoy the rest of my lazy Sunday morning. I let the dogs out again before work, and Trevor kindly drove John Bruce (or “JB” my pit bull/boxer) and me to work at the Tahyo dog boutique on lower Decatur. We spent our day helping customers, ordering merchandise, editing the online store, and eating treats because JB is a super good boy. At closing time, Trevor picked us up from the French Quarter, and we went home to drop them off so I could go grab some groceries to make an amazing pasta recipe my Mom shared with me last week. She and I talked on the phone the entire time I was shopping. I love calling her after a long day to vent. Trevor and I ate our dinner and settled down at our laptops as our usual nightly routine goes. He’s editing music while I work on content for Transilient and obsessively check the tracking information of an eyeshadow palette I ordered myself for my birthday! At the end of the day I always reflect on how amazing my life is, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
KLIE: That does sound like an awesome day/life :) So, you were interviewed by Basil for Transilient last year at the very start of the project. What was that like?
CARMEN: John Bruce and I met Basil at Crescent Park and we walked around, talking about my life while he recorded it and JB marked every bush in sight. I’d just been through a rough break up, so I was still pretty shaken. Transilient helped me reflect on my life and it was very validating.
KLIE: What made you decide to be a Content Developer this year?
CARMEN: I never really had the opportunity the do any sort of advocacy type work before Transilient. Of course I followed the project all last summer, so when I saw Basil reaching out to people (specifically women) to help out, I was all about it. I knew that working with Transilient might be tough to handle on top of my other jobs, etc, but it has been well worth it.
KLIE: Yeah it’s definitely a lot to take on. I’m so thankful for you! Do you have any thoughts or feels about this summer so far? I have so many already just from being a part of the #MoreThanTrans miniseries and transcribing an interview...
CARMEN: Today I transcribed an interview for Basil and it was so freaking cool. I had never done anything like that. And listening to all of them talk, I felt like I was there! It was like I really got to know the person by hearing their voice. I enjoyed getting that little window into their life. It’s so inspiring that people are willing to open up for the sake of the project and mission.
KLIE: How have you grown this year? And what’s the future look like?
CARMEN: It’s fascinating how much life can change in such a short amount of time. Last year I was so comfortable in my situation and just kind of going through the motions. Since then I’ve enrolled at the Aveda Institute of New Orleans to study esthetics this fall. Afterwards I plan to move to Baton Rouge with my boyfriend and hopefully start my career at some sort of cool spa or medical spa type business.
KLIE: Congrats on enrollment! Note to geek out with you on hair/face products at some point… Anything else exciting going on right now?
CARMEN: I’m so excited to travel with my coworker to the SuperZoo conference in Vegas at the end of the month! It’s a huge conference of pet retailers, basically heaven for us. We’ll be there with the brand Treatibles, which makes CBD supplements for dogs. We really believe in their product and how beneficial it is for pets.
KLIE: Speaking of pets… True story, one time I got stuck in a wall trying to rescue my girlfriend’s cat, and the fire department had to rescue me. Do you have any fun, totally random stories?
CARMEN: So my best friend Hannah and I have known each other since we were in kindergarten. As you can imagine we share some pretty silly stories. One of the strangest is when we were 16-17 (8 or 9 years ago)... one afternoon we decided that we wanted to drive to Atlanta (a good 2 hours from my parents’ house in north Alabama) to go to record stores. Because we were teenagers and we could, right? So we drove all the way there and didn’t take the time change into consideration, so by the time that we got there, they were closing up. Irritated, but it could be worse… We were teenagers in Atlanta after all. So we decided to stay there that night. In the car. And go to the record store the next day. We ended up driving around until at least 3 AM. That’s when we retreated to a Walmart parking lot (I think it was in Marietta because apparently there are no 24 hour Walmarts in Atlanta proper) so we could try and sleep in shifts. We rolled around on the ridiculously uncomfortable seats of Hannah’s Nissan Versa for a short amount of time before deciding there was no hope. We stayed up riding around, listening to music, talking, laughing, bitching, until the next morning when we shopped for records and fun clothes in Little Five Points. It is definitely one of my most weird and favorite memories.
KLIE: I would’ve definitely preferred that to the wall/fire department experience, haha. Thanks for sharing these parts of your life with me -- and soon everyone else! Two more sorta serious questions… what would you like to tell or ask of our allies or people who want to support the trans community?
CARMEN: I would ask them to please listen. You would think it’s so simple but I see people that claim to be allies not listening to trans people all of the time. If a trans person tries to tell you something about their transness or injustices they face, listen. Similar to how you should never talk over POC, especially in a conversation about POC, you should never talk over trans people in regards to trans issues.
KLIE: What would you like to tell or ask of our trans community?
CARMEN: Love each other. We are all family. Never let jealousy, pride, or your privileges let you lose sight of that.
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