AMANDA SAUGSTAD

June 2, 2017

“The more we don’t show our true authentic self, the more off track and disconnected we can get in this world. Living your true self allows you to truly grow and learn and connect with your heart.”

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INSTAGRAM: @ajsaugstad

1. Where are you from and where do you live now?

I’m from Turlock, CA and currently live in Los Angeles, CA

2. Tell me a little bit about what you spend most of your days doing.

I think “adventure” sums up most of my days. I’m always looking for a new camping spot, hiking trail, or sunset to catch. You’ll find me trying to conquer the perfect cup of French Press coffee or talking to random strangers.

3. Why do you feel that the simple message of the Promote Love Movement is important?

Because people want to believe there are good humans in the world that support each other. Kindness and love can go a long way in this world. More than we realize some days. The message of promoting love is one that starts within. We need to be gentle with ourselves and allow our authentic self to be seen and heard. Every single one of us has a story that deserves to be shared and heard.

4. Tell me about your upbringing.

I grew up in a small country town in the Central Valley of California called Turlock. Think cows, corn, and churches. Lots of churches. At one point, Turlock was cited as having the most churches per capita. I was surrounded by very conservative, Christian views. When I was 21 and finally realized I was gay, I was terrified to come out in this town. But last week my girlfriend and I were holding hands in the same small town I grew up in. An older woman started yelling at us, “wait stop!” as we walked to our car. I turned around and she said “congratulations, I’m stoked for you!” I thought, “Huh? What did I do?” She kept insisting I stop. Finally I did. She extended her arms and gave me the tightest hug. She stopped my girlfriend and insisted she give her a hug too. She kept repeating, “Congratulations, I’m so stoked for you.” She wanted us to know how happy she was the Marriage Equality was legal in all the states. Her name was Loretta and she was amazing. We both got into our car and sat there for a minute. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. It was overwhelming. My town, that I once was terrified of, just proved me wrong.

5. Any cool stories while you were wearing your shirt?

These shirts are golden let me tell you. Every time I wear my shirts, both the Promote Love and the Lovers Gonna Love, I get stopped. “I love your shirt, where did you get it?” People see them and instantly want to be a part of the movement.

6. Why do you think it is important to be your authentic self?

I feel like the more we don’t show our true authentic self, the more off track and disconnected we can get in this world. Living your true self allows you to truly grow and learn and connect with your heart. Living from a place of true authenticity involves us being grounded in our thoughts, values, words, actions, and living a life that reflects that.

7. Why do you feel it is important for the LGBTQ community to have allies?

Because a lot of us didn’t grow up with a positive, supportive environment. So many of us have looked to friends and family for support and I know a lot of my friends didn’t have that. Any support from the outside can make a huge difference in feeling loved and cared about.

8. Do you have a message to kids out there who come out and might not have the support of their families/friends?

You’re not alone. People support you and you are loved. Live your life with purpose and positivity. Be kind. Be true. Be happy. And spread love, always.

#california #coming-out #EQUALITY #LESBIAN #LGBT #LGBTQ #LOVE #promote love #QUEER

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