Sunday Spotlight is a series where we profile individuals in the Young Mormon Feminists community to hear their stories and get to know them a little better through Q&A or their personal narratives. This week we talked with Jas.
Who are you and what are you up to?
I’m Jas. I’m super cute, bisexual, genderfluid, and I’m currently living (and have lived my whole life) in the Northern Virginia/DC area. And I was raised in the Mormon Church, which is a little weird because I’m also Puerto Rican, and there aren’t a lot of Caribbean Queer Hispanic Mormons in Virginia. I actually just graduated high school last year and I’m currently attending community college in hopes of one day transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University to study Music. I am literally in love with all kinds of music, but I can only play weird instruments including the ukulele, otamatone, harmonica, and pan flute. And singing, but that’s not as cool.
What makes you a Mormon?
I was born and raised in the culture. Even though I might not stay true to a lot of the beliefs nowadays, it has, and probably always will be, a big identifier for me.
What makes you a feminist?
I think I’ve always sorta been one. I have always believed in equality between genders and equality for all. Now that I’m older, I’ve become more aware of the actually issues gender/racial/sexual minorities face. I’ve been able to better solidify my beliefs and what I can do to help. I think the combination of belief and awareness is what makes me a feminist.
What makes you a Mormon feminist?
Again, my awareness; but focused on specific discrimination that goes on in the LDS Church. I think that our Heavenly Father does indeed see us as equals, but it is the patriarchy that runs the Church that has instilled and enforced gender roles. I think a lot of what happens in the Mormon Culture is not so good, and too often church leaders are throwing God under the bus for it.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hopefully graduated from college and living on my own, teaching private music lessons and auditioning for musicals. I also see myself farther from the Church than I am now but as an even more prominent activist.
Any parting words for us?
I really appreciate the YMF community and all it has done for me – furthering my education on feminism, but in a place where everyone else understands where I am coming from. I love you all.