Meeting for Worship: Kate Wallace (they/them)

Photo by Kate Wallace

“The theme for this semester’s College Meeting for Worship is “The Path of Energy: Inertia, Stillness, and Seeking.” College Meetings happen every Sunday from 1:00-2:00pm in Stout Meetinghouse, unless otherwise specified on the schedule. Senior students (or rising seniors) and faculty members can be nominated. Nominations come from anyone on campus. The meeting pulls together Quaker traditions with the diversity and depth of our community.”
ー Jensen Pennock Earlham 16’ Alumnus & Meeting for Worship Coordinator

On Sunday, February 26th, senior Kate Wallace led the most recent meeting. Below you will find Kate’s interview from their meeting:

How can the Queer & Trans community be supported?
Contact your representatives and advocate against new and arising anti-trans and ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills. This is one of the most urgent things you can do for us right now. Show up to school board meetings, your representative’s office hours, any public policy event that involves us that you can attend. Fight for us, because we can’t be the only ones advocating for our humanity. Donate to local grassroots Queer and Trans organizations. Share Queer and Trans crowdfunding sources and donate if you can to Queer and Trans individuals experiencing homelessness, unemployment, or are in financial need for gender-affirming care. Support Queer and Trans businesses and artists. Learn about bystander intervention and protect Trans and Queer individuals if you see them experiencing harassment or violence. Provide your pronouns in introductions so others feel they have the option to share theirs. Finally, and this may be obvious, but please call people by their preferred name and pronouns, it is the first sign of respect and makes a person feel accepted and safe.

How did the process of writing this impact your journey?
Developing and writing my text for College Meeting has proven to be a very grounding experience. In the face of anti-queer and anti-trans legislation, public misinformation, and microaggressions, it’s easy to start having self-doubt. This process helped me remember who I am and feel confident in the things I’m still processing. Since sharing my message, I have felt more solid and proud of myself, which is a great place I’d like to be as I finish my senior year. If you could give advice or send a message to other Queer & Trans students at Earlham, what would that be? To all of the Queer, Trans, or Questioning students at Earlham, you are NOT alone on this campus or in this world. Interacting with other Queer and Trans students on campus and elsewhere has brought me so much joy, and I want to thank you all for that. I also encourage you to reach out and spend time with your local Queer and Trans communities, it may be healing for you too. Take all the time you need to discover yourself and don’t feel rushed to come out before you are ready. Take care of each other and remember that no matter what bills get passed, no one can take away your self-knowledge.

What are the biggest differences between queer time/straight time?
Straight time, much like straightness, is the path that is seen as the default. It comes with scheduled milestones and doesn’t require any ‘coming out.’ There isn’t as much of a ‘discovering’ phase of straightness, like there is for Queer and Trans people. Queer time, on the other hand, doesn’t abide by societal expectations of what milestones should happen when. Much of what happens in Queer time depends on when a Queer or Trans person discovers their identity, when/if they decide to live authentically, and when/if they share that information with someone.

What’s next on your journey?
After I graduate in May with my degree in Art and Education applied minor, I intend to start Earlham’s Master of Arts in Education Graduate program in June. Although I hope to build my career as an artist, I am enrolling in this program to learn more about working in community education, museums, and nonprofits. I am passionate about making art accessible to underrepresented communities and am curious about curatorial positions.

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