NATALIE ELLE ELAINE WOODS

June 2, 2017

“You’re unique, and needed. While the rest of the universe may weigh heavy on your shoulders your existence matters every single second of every single day. You deserve love, you deserve life. You matter.”

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INSTAGRAM: PersoNatalie

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

I spent my tiny human and youth days in the bustling metropolis of Odessa, Texas. Now I’m a gypsy between Dallas and Denton, Texas after a very brief stay in Boston, MA.

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

I spend most of my time over analyzing, daydreaming about the ocean, writing post it note confessions, or educating myself on the world. I’ve been an activist for many moons now, and when I’m not working for the people, and with the people, I’m still working for the people by working for a group of suregeons in Dallas, TX.

3. Give us a little insight into your backstory/upbringing…

I am the granddaughter, niece, great granddaughter, and cousin of multiple southern baptist pastors. I was raised to love Jesus, and worry about the after life more so than the present. My father was physically and emotionally abusive and since my mom sang Sunday morning solos, and was a pastors kid, we lived a very phony life to the outside world that didn’t reside in my home. I was homeschooled most of elementary because it was another way for my father to control me. I was at church any time their was an event, revival, or even a strangers baby shower. My Mother was the only sane one, literally, but also took the abuse from my father, as well as knowing about affairs he was having, because christians don’t get divorced. Eventually he left us, and life changed for the better.

4. What is your religious background?

Christianity/Protestant

5. On a scale of 1 – 5 how supportive was your family when you came out?

2

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

My message to all of you would come in the form of a jolly, warm, southern hug honestly, but with words, I’d want others to know that you aren’t alone. Even at 30 I feel alone often, misunderstood, misrepresented, but there is always hope. Sometimes the word hope is cliche, and we find it in greeting cards or splashed on bumper stickers. There is authentic hope in you and in our community. You’re unique, and needed. While the rest of the universe may weigh heavy on your shoulders your existence matters every single second of every single day. You deserve love, you deserve life. You fucking matter.

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

Love is the final answer in life to all we do. I have worked for and with many organizations, I even started my own. I’ve put on pride events in Denton, I’ve traveled with my best friend Tempest, all over this state and others for our community, I’ve put on extravagant events in Dallas for HRC, spoken in schools, I went viral for buying some homophones dinner, I was nominated, Texan of the year in 2016. I recently have helped my girlfriend face and fight cancer and THAT has been the greatest honor of my life. No award, no newspaper clipping, or magazine. I even turned down a position in activism I desperately wanted, so that I could be with her, for even the small details like rubbing her feet or making up ioidine free recipes and watching her face light up when she laughs. I have learned how to love in the most real way I ever have. Selflessly. It’s the greatest form of activism and love. Never underestimate your actions, even when they seem minuscule, or it’s just another sucky Monday at work. Silence cannot overcome when our truth of love is loud.

8. What kind of person do you want to be remembered as when you die?

When I pass away, I would only like to be remembered as someone who wasn’t a hero, beautiful, or smart, but someone who authentically lived true to themselves and fought for the people around them. I’d also like to be remembered for my sick JFK memorabilia.

9. How do you feel like growing up in church played a part in shaping who you are?

I could rant here for an extended amount of time, but my experiences in the baptist church were pretty awful and there were so many churches with having family in the ministry. I went through hell with some of them, but I learned how to defend myself and question what wasn’t fair. I played guitar in a Christian band in high school so churches were where you could find me, playing praise and worship. I got to play for, and interact with girls who needed to see a female influence I think. I also got to take the pieces of Christianity that are beautiful and apply those to my life and leave the rest for the birds.

10. Do you still attend church/religious gatherings?

If it is an LGBQTIA function at a Unitarian church, I’m front row.

#Christian #DALLAS #LESBIAN #LGBTQ #QUEER #Religion #Texas

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