Bryson

West Hollywood, 2016


"I always knew the dark side of humanity. Since I was young, I was exposed to the rage, the jealousy, and the agitation of an oppressed life-- the willingness to destroy the drops of joy, no matter how rare they are, because you don't feel like certain things are 'allowed' in the imaginary realm that they have created, probably out of some former trauma. In my mind, I see a world where we can both exist, where both of our stories are valid because we both understand that the differences really don't matter like the similarities do."

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Tej

West Hollywood, 2016


"I like to look at life in two ways- light and heavy. Sometimes it's more appropriate to be a little light hearted when faced with obstacles, and sometimes the situation calls for more sincere action. The climate of today causes enough alarm for any person to feel an exigency for change towards a safer life. My biggest fear is losing my family and my freedom to be alive, and my aim is to create a bubble to protect those that I love."

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Bryson & Tej

West Hollywood, 2016

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Gracie

Echo Park, 2016


"I've never really been a person who's into politics, and this election has made me want to become more aware... Everyone has different views, and I've learned to respect that. I came into a situation where this guy that I was [close to], on the day of the election, he was like, 'Go Trump!' And I was like '[makes gasping noise] Please tell me you're just joking!' and he was like 'No, I'm actually serious.'


Afterwards, I had to really do some questioning, just thinking like, okay, because he votes for Trump does that mean that he's a bad person? Does it mean that he's a racist, that he's not supportive of the LGBT? There are so many reasons that people are with Hillary, just like there are so many different reasons why they're with Trump, and I've really gotten to an open place. I can't expect for people to be so open about me and accepting of the way I live my life, so how can I be that judgmental about someone else and their different viewpoints? I've learned that it's really okay to agree to disagree... It doesn't mean that you have to change your opinion, but it does help you in the long run to open yourself up to the other party's perspective. I feel like it makes you a little bit more educated and well rounded."

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Mary

East Hollywood, 2017


"It's been a call to action after the election, of 'you know what, we need to take care of some things,' things that have been around for a very long time that we haven't been paying attention to... It's time to really, really meet these problems head on, the systemic issues that we face--the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia that's been underground for too long and is now out in the open... We're not just gonna sit back and take it. We're not just gonna roll over and play dead, and I don't think [Trump] realizes that... It's not hopeless. It's not hopeless, it's just work. Don't lose hope. Don't give up the fight. You're not alone. We're doing this together."

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Fili

Westlake, 2016


"When I'm walking down the street, I try to be nice. I think it's more important than ever to be nice to people, everyone you meet... 


I believe in political activism, and I believe in love - in that I've got faith in love... But love can only take us so far. If you build a wall, we will tear it down, brick by brick."

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Dakota

Westlake, 2016


"Cultivating peace and compassion within my own heart is the most important step [towards change]. How else can we bring it to others? It's how you fight anger and oppression without becoming the very thing you're fighting against."

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Fil & Dakota

Westlake, 2016

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Kate

Santa Monica, 2017


"I was born with aortic stenosis. It's weird because I don't want to be someone who's defined by having a health problem, so it's not something that I've ever really shared with people. I think a lot of people define themselves by being sick, and as a disabled person, I don't want that to be central to my identity, you know?... I had always been on my parents' healthcare, but then when the economic crisis happened, my dad lost his insurance. And then suddenly going and getting my yearly checkup, which is necessary...like I don't have the option to skip it, because if I skip it they could miss something and I could die.


So I didn't have insurance, and my parents, who were broke as shit, realized they needed it for me, so they split an expensive healthcare plan for me for a few years...
When I was 18 I went in for my checkup, and they were like, this is the year! So I had to get heart surgery. And even with insurance, it's like, $7,000 for an anesthesiologist, $8,000 for a one night hospital stay, just astronomical costs... So when people are saying now, oh, you're not entitled to healthcare...why? so I'm supposed to be sick and die? Or my financial means should determine my quality or length of life? How is that fair or okay?" 

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Kate

Santa Monica, 2017


"...I’ve been lucky enough that despite my chronic illness I’ve been able to backpack through Europe by myself, I graduated from college, I’m not on any medications currently… In terms of having a health problem, I have a very high quality of life, and I would like to continue to live because i feel like a pretty normal person, but if I don’t have the option to continue to have healthcare, I could die. Because it’s a yearly thing where I have to go and get a report as to whether I’m okay.

Looking at what insurance covers, I’m still saving thousands of dollars, but one trip is still $1,600 out of pocket for just the hospital. All of my monthly expenses are still less than this one hospital bill. How do they expect me to pay one bill that’s more than my living expenses for a month?


...So it’s really discouraging and scary and weird when people like the [politicians] want to take away my healthcare, especially when they get government funded healthcare. So I have to support people whose politics I don’t believe in, but they can just write me off like that? It’s really shitty and scary and dehumanizing. All i want is to live a normal life, and a fairly average life. I don’t want to go on a huge shopping spree and spend all of my extra money on avocado toast or whatever. I just want to have a comfortable, healthy life, and to be entitled to not being afraid of going into heart failure and dying. Because I’ve gone into heart failure before, and I’ve had emergency surgery... 

The stress of a medical emergency is detrimental enough to my health, why should I have to then worry about the financial burden?


I told my dad that this year I couldn’t afford to go to the cardiologist, and he said, Kate, you have to. If you lose insurance, it’s going to be thousands of dollars more, so you might as well take advantage of the lower cost now. And it’s weird to have to think like that. It’s weird to jeopardize my health or even consider not doing a life-saving thing because I don’t want to be more in debt. It's a weird state of the world to live in."

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