WRITTEN BY admin
What’s your name, and preferred pronouns?
Bee and no pronouns…just my name!
Where are you from?
St. Paul, Minnesota.
How would you identify?
I’ve identified in so many different ways in the past and none of those boxes fit quite right. Identities are constructs, antiquated ones at that, so I have a hard time connecting with them—especially because most were created for the wrong reasons. So personally, I try not to identify as anything, but respect those who do and only when necessary/important (like on a census or in this interview) will I label myself.
What will Gen Z be remembered for?
Hmmm…taking the trash out? Lol. To put it more eloquently, identifying and getting rid of the things that no longer serve them (most of which never actually has).
How many places have you lived and what’s so special about each place?
I moved around the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) a bit, but my first big move was to Madrid, Spain. I had the privilege of studying abroad there in college (as well as Ecuador) with the intent of learning the Spanish language and culture. However, along the way I ended up exploring my sexuality and other aspects of identity. It was in Madrid that I first “came out.” They have a relatively large LGBTQIA+ community and I figured that if I wasn’t accepted there, I could always come back to the United States and pretend like nothing happened. However, I was accepted, so much so that I decided to move there after college. Unfortunately, Madrid was going through an economic crisis and as someone who wanted to build their career as ethically as possible and not take away important jobs from Madrileños, I decided to move back to the Twin Cities until I figured out my next step.
However, during my layover in New York—which happened to fall during Pride weekend—I got a little side-tracked, fell in love with the city/people, and excitedly accepted a job there. New York has the largest and most diverse LGBTQIA+ community I have ever experienced. And because there are so many people and NYC has this IDGAF attitude, I never felt like I was queer when dating there. I just got to be a person, who had a lot of options like a straight person would have. Also, like in Madrid, there was this anonymity factor, which helped me feel safe as I continued to explore different aspects of my identity. From careers to dating, there were a lot of options to choose from—especially as a feminine presenting blonde woman. That said, no matter who you are, New York can be a difficult place and I’ve moved away a couple of times. I first went to Mexico for a job and to improve my Spanish, but missed the diversity. The same thing happened when I moved to Portland, Oregon to be near family. Despite growing up in a homogenous environment, I prefer to live in a diverse setting. I just wish those places were safer. One of my long-term goals is to create a safe place for young LGBTQIA+ creatives who come from underprivileged backgrounds to create art. Where that will be…who knows.
You have an interest in acting and yet also in cryptocurrency, can you please fill us in on those interests?
Though cryptocurrency and acting utilize different skills, it’s advantageous for me to be both right and left brained. To be both artistic and analytical. And moreover, to understand how currency, the thing that controls everything, is changing…especially when those new headshots are costing me a month’s rent!
What does the word worth mean to you?
For me it’s not based on money or accomplishments, because those constructs can be taken away in an instant. Worth is deeper, it exists without the material because it is based on an internal validation of one self.
Growing up a queer femme in this world, have you faced any challenges?
Of course as a cisgendered queer femme, I have straight passing privilege. However, in the LGBTQIA+ community that can be a bad thing. You often feel invisible and not queer enough. Also, we live in a patriarchy, so being femme no matter what your sexual orientation, you’re automatically considered as less than. Seeing that still so ingrained in the LGBTQIA+ community is heart-breaking. But now that it’s being brought up as a topic of conversation more and more, I think there’s hope in combating that.
What advice would you give other queer femmes?
Try not to think about it too much and don’t let others label you/make the rules for what a femme is supposed to look like. In my opinion, all clothing and make-up is drag and identity is merely a performance/construct. So dress however you like and demand the same respect as everyone else.
What question would you ask yourself if you were me?
“Is Bee your real name?”
I get this question all the time. So the story goes… I first started to go by “Bee” when I moved to NYC and my boss asked me what name I wanted to use for my company email. A lot of people at the office had nicknames (i.e. Bones) and as a kid, my fam called me B, so adding two Es on the end didn’t feel like a stretch. It was also me taking ownership of my identity and not the one I had been given at birth. Eventually, it became a way for me to wear a bit of a mask as I explored the world and my creative pursuits. As a writer/artist/performer, you are constantly putting yourself out there and as a “queer femme” that can be a scary thing, so having this alter ego/nickname/alias helped me feel safe/free.
If they made a movie about your life, who would play you and what would it be called?
Oh, I would definitely have to play myself and it would be called Praise Bee…or something cultish like that.
Give us your best winning actress speech…
I’d like to thank…everyone who didn’t believe in me. Everyone that did. And my delusions of my own extraordinary ability for allowing me to get this far.
But on a serious note, thank you for giving me this award so that I can continue to tell stories that need to be heard.