QueerGirl Exclusive Interview: Bobbi Jo
QueerGirl got a chance to sit down with Bobbi Jo for an exclusive interview. We talked about her favorite and least favorite aspects about the lesbian community, her top female role models, and her thoughts on the attitudes surrounding the LGBT community in our country today. Read the full interview below and make sure you get tickets to the event she is hosting on August 27th in San Diego!
QueerGirl: Start off by telling us a little bit about yourself; what are three things that all your friends know about you?
Bobbi: My life is a black aesthetic, except for my soul. However, I’m always drawn to all things rainbow related. I have a 5-year-old bearded dragon named Moose who (I’m convinced) is the reptile embodiment of a gay man. If I could make being a klutz a career I would. I am so clumsy when it comes to anything. You can count on me falling off my board, tripping on flat ground, or spilling my drink all over myself at least once a day.
QG: We noticed you recently graduated- congrats! What did you study? and what do you plan on doing post-grad?
B: Yes! Thank you! I recently graduated from Chapman University with my BFA in Graphic Design and my minor in Entrepreneurship. As for the post-grad life, I’m planning on working for a few years and freelancing until I go back to school to get my MFA.
QG: Who are some female role models you look up to? Why?
B: My mother is hands down my top role model. She is the epitome of love and is unapologetically herself. She has showed me that change comes and it must be handled with grace, understanding, and most importantly, stepping out of your point of view, even if it is just for a second. A close second is Frida Kahlo. Frida, Frida, Frida. She tackled subjects like feminine beauty and cultural norms though her art during a social and political environment that told her that she couldn’t. She had many limitations (physically and environmentally) but persevered through it to create something bigger than the things that held her back.
QG: Do you believe that attitudes in our country are changing for the better surrounding the LGBT community?
B: Politically, not so much. Statistically, yes. People are becoming more educated on issues regarding sexuality and gender and in turn, help others understand the LGBTQ community. However, it did take us a while to get to this point and not letting up on the push for human rights will continue leading us in a better direction.
QG: Have you personally ever faced discrimination for being a lesbian?
B: Unfortunately, yes. One time I was let go from my first job after someone outed me at work which really sucked. I was young and didn’t think things like that happened anymore. It was a major wakeup call for me.
QG: What would be your advice to anyone who is too afraid to come out due to fear of being discriminated against?
B: Hang in there. Being in the closet is painful and difficult. But living life being 100% yourself is something that no one can ever take away from you. It’s not easy coming out but the fear of being discriminated against isn’t worth the hiding and shame. Anyone who discriminates against you based on your sexual identity or any other basis, reflects more about who they are as a person, not your worth as a human being. Everyone comes out in their own time and I think that time comes when being your true self and being recognized by others as such is more important than any backlash you receive based on your sexual identity. There is an entire community standing behind you, all with stories of their own and I’m sure I can speak for the LGBTQ community when I say you are not alone.
QG: What are some of your favorite queer-female events you have attended?
B: Honestly, I haven’t attended a lot of queer-female events other than prides. I love meeting other people in the LGBTQ community and that’s why I got excited that QueerGirl is doing these events to provide a platform for queer women to meet with one another and provide a new environment for our community to mingle.
QG: What is your favorite thing about the lesbian community?
B: There is a lot of camaraderie with the lesbian community and I feel as though there is a sense of belonging. I don’t have to hide or be afraid to talk about really gay things and girls like I would around my straight friends or people I don’t necessarily know very well.
QG: What is your least favorite thing about the lesbian community?
B: Not that it is a bad thing, but the lesbian community is pretty small. It’s only a matter of time before you know someone who talked to someone’s ex-girlfriend’s current girlfriend’s ex-hookup. The L Word was on point with that one.
QG: What is one thing you would want to see more of in the lesbian community?
B: Well, how can I say this? Lesbians are a little cliquey and it can be hard to meet other girls in different circles. I would like to see more girls step outside of the crew that they showed up with and be open to meeting new people.