My name is Nat they/them, your local ex-girl. I’m from Chicago, Illinois but I’m currently living in Los Angeles, California. I’m a recent graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor of Arts in Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Creative Writing; and Spanish (yes I was a triple major, it was insane of me). I’m currently taking a gap year pursuing my personal interests outside of academia before hopefully returning to get a Ph.D. My research interests are around Queer Girlhood and Trans Narrative of Self- looking specifically into storytelling, folklore, art, and concrete experiences and grounding theory in real life. My final project of Bachelors was titled “Body as Home: Trans Narratives of Liberation” an essay inspired by the work of Susan Stryker, Eli Clare, and Dean Spade and their styles that incorporate poetry and art into more traditional research essays.
Outside of my academic interests, I’m currently freelancing as a seamstress in Los Angeles while waiting tables at a local restaurant. I’m spending this gap year taking risks and chasing opportunities I think I’ll never get, which is how I got my first paid costuming gig in the film industry and was recently interviewed on a podcast. I’m pursuing fiber arts in my free time. I’m especially interested in historically female ‘crafts’ and pulling them into a new modern context. I knit, sew, crochet, embroider, and quilt! Currently learning how to tat (it’s a form of lace making that I am infinitely horrible at). I also keep a few pen pals that I make cute letters for in an attempt to maintain my close relationships from college now that I’ve moved cross country. I’ve been an artist my whole life, from when I scribbled on my mom’s rocking chair with a blue marker as a toddler to now, and it’s always been heavily wound up in my identity. Exploring who I am and the world around me.
As far as a dream job- I always think back to what I wanted to be when I grew up: a breakdancing artist from Paris (they don’t tell 8 year olds that you can’t just change nationalities for fun). Honestly, not much has changed as far as breadth of what I want to be doing. I want to continue to pursue my artistic and academic interests, although I’d like to pull them to be more side by side, lifting each other up. I’ve been having a lot of fun freelancing and at the end of the day, I’m 22. I’ve got time to keep trying things out. I’d have to say that right now, my dream job is anything that lets me pursue my passions while putting food on the table. A few smaller scale goals I have at the moment would be to make a red carpet or other formal event outfit for one of my favorite queer celebrities, get into a Ph.D program, and to finish my current quilting projects. I have a hard time picking a dream job, I don’t dream of labor, especially in the context of what jobs look like in our society. I dream of community, creation, and liberation. Anything that takes me closer to those values could be the dream job for a period of my life, but I’m always changing, as are my dreams.
Museums are a passion of mine, asking me to pick a favorite is a tall order. With my move, I have a ton of new museums around me to explore, but previously my favorite museum was Newfields in Indianapolis. It was walking distance from campus (or if you’re feeling brave, a lime scooter ride away) and as a student I had a free membership. Their enormous campus of gardens and variety of arts made it one of my favorite places to spend time as an undergrad. It gave me space to learn to enjoy modern art, let me explore furniture as an art form, fashion and textiles, and more! There was a period where I was there minimum once every 2 weeks to go look at the flowers, or picnic, or wander the historical house, or visit my favorite pieces of art. I liked that it was more than a stuffy place of silence, they always had interactive pieces of their exhibits and events. It was a place I knew I could go for inspiration, quiet, or introspection whenever I needed it. There was one piece in particular- it was a big room with speakers hanging from the ceiling with people whispering to their loved ones, as well as sounds of nature, etc. If you stood in just the perfect place, there was one speaker that would whisper “I love you.” I have spent hours sitting on the floor in that room just listening. Sitting and experiencing. I’m going to miss it now that I’ve moved, but I’ve already started to work my way through the Los Angeles Museums to find a new standby to visit.
My favorite thing about girls and girlhood, and why I’m revisiting it now, is because it reminds me of how strong and powerful girls are. When I worked as a camp counselor with a Girl Scout camp, any attempts to “educate” the girls on diversity were decades behind them. The facilitators were still doing activities like naming jobs and asking if a boy or girl comes to mind, while the girls were breaking down the gender binary at its base. Girls are smart and given the opportunity can do the most incredible things. They are used to being underestimated and undercut, but break through all that and shine anyways.
I’m so excited to join this team and work with girlhood on a larger scale! I plan to bring in my research interests and to keep growing as an academic, as an artist, and as a person.
Girl Museum Inc.