Q and A with Amara from Yona, Guam, currently living in Jacksonville, Florida
“You come home, make some tea, sit down in your armchair, and all around there’s silence. Everyone decides for themselves whether that’s loneliness or freedom.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: These past couple of years I’ve been lucky enough to be able to put in time toward myself and all the things I am passionate about. I’ve learned that I’m not perfect, but I am also driven, creative, a good listener, and above all an old lady at heart. In my spare time, I like to make playlists, eat Korean BBQ, and enjoy a cup of tea on a rainy day. Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to become the Outreach Manager for Fanachu! Podcast. Fanachu, which means to rise up or stand up against something, is a podcast and video series based out of Guam that is dedicated to being a safe place for Pacific Islander voices. Right now, I am currently working on a zine called “Voices of the Diaspora,” and its main purpose is to showcase the artwork and short stories of Chamorros (the Natives of Guam) who are displaced from their homeland. As a Chamorro in the diaspora, this is a subject I hold close to my heart. So to be a part of a project like this, that is something larger than myself is an absolute dream come true.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: Moving to the mainland from Guam, I remember having a very confusing childhood. There was always this constant battle between the values that my parents were trying to instill in me and the westernized culture that I was growing up in. For years, I was ashamed of where I came from and how different I looked compared to my peers. But as I got older, I realized how beautiful some of our customs were like respecting our elders, making sure everyone gets a bite to eat, lending a helping hand, and putting family first. I recognized that these were all important qualities that made me proud to be Chamorro.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. Learning to be vulnerable doesn’t mean throwing all caution to the wind, but rather not being afraid to be yourself in such a way that you open yourself up to criticism and ultimately, change. Looking back, some of the most rewarding moments and relationships in my life were a result of me taking a chance and being vulnerable. This is one thing that is not easy for me, so I try to work on it every day!
You come home, make some tea, sit down in your armchair, and all around there’s silence. Everyone decides for themselves whether that’s loneliness or freedom.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: To me, feminism represents the women in my life that mean the most to me. It makes me think of my mom having me at 18 years old and doing her best. It’s knowing that I’m not related to my stepmom by blood but she still loves me and treats me as if I’m her own. It’s the memory of my Grandma Rose and how she was the strongest person I have ever met. It makes me think of my sisters and how they’re the most compassionate, emotionally intelligent people in my life. Without them, I would be half the woman I am today.
Thank you for reading!
If you’d like updates on my upcoming zine, feel free to follow Fanachu! Podcast on Facebook and on Instagram here.