By Jacob A. English
For Chambers Features highlights the journeys of folx in our community. They are willing (and brave enough) to offer an authentic account of where they are in their journey.
We hope that a peek into their journey will help you along your own.
Next Up - Will Austin.
Check out his story below!
Will, can you tell us about your journey? What was your path to where you are today?
My biggest life change recently was moving to New York City recently (2 weeks before the city shut down). Even though its definitely been a crazy transition, it still feels like the realization of a longtime dream. Before NYC, I was living with my parents in the suburbs where I grew up. I love my family, but felt like I wasn't growing as much as I could be. I always saw myself living in a big city and working in the arts, and I'm finally doing that. It's scary and a weird time to be pursuing a dream, but I'm having a blast doing it! Currently, I do art handling. A mix of moving, packing, and installing fine art and high end furniture pieces.
Speaking of today - a lot is going on in the world right now. How do you manage life’s challenges?
I try to stay focused on the things I can control and putting my energy into things that fulfill me. I am grateful for my loved ones and my support network, because they help keep me grounded.
This is a two-part question. How do you define success? And, what are your thoughts on regret?
Success is being proud of the decisions you make. In this way, regret can be useful as a tool to learn how to make choices that make you happy, but it can be hard to avoid wallowing in the past if you don’t stay focused on growth.
We love your Instagram page. It is so refreshing to see someone just being themselves. Were you always unapologetically you, or did this develop over time?
Learning to be myself has definitely been a process. It’s really easy to sway under the pressures of society and the weight of other people’s opinions. I try to stay myself by doing things that make me feel happy about my place in the world.
In your Instagram bio, you have a link to The Okra Project page. Can you tell us more about that project?
The Okra Project is a super exciting organization founded by Black trans women in New York City. They focus on providing culturally specific meals and cooking skills to Black trans people in NYC and those dealing with food insecurity around the world. They’re doing important work and I believe we can become a stronger queer community by rallying against the transphobia and racism that is rampant both inside and outside the LGBTQIA community.
You were one of the first people to buy The Loafer shirt. How do you feel when you wear For Chambers apparel?
I love being part of the queer community and its wonderful to wear apparel that showcases my pride. I always see people reading my shirt when I wear it, and it makes me smile.
Will is wearing The Loafer shirt in black.
Lastly, do you have any last words of advice you want to give to the people?
Treat yourself and the people around you with kindness and care.
Okra Project: theokraproject.com