"The context that I’m coming from, with #HeLLaRIDES… Is that I’m looking at populations that typically don’t get the same sort of attention that we see with other apps… Like… communities that are low income, communities that are working class, communities of color… etc."Watch the full video recap here.
“Autostraddle described Ari Fitz’s new YouTube androgynous style chronicle, TOMBOYISH, as ‘a hybrid documentary and fashion show.’ […] Sartorially smart folks know that the key to head-turning swag is knowing how to blend “off limit” colors, patterns, and textures to create a personal style that is both unique and affirms one’s identity.” -DapperQ.com
This week my buddy Ari decided she wanted to feature me and my closet on the series. This came on the heels of my trip to DC for the first ever LGBT Innovation Summit the White House. I hope you enjoy it!
Each portrait is labeled with an “identity,” expressed in the the subject’s own terms.
I met Dr. Angelou at a private family gathering many years ago. It was a white party, for 4th of July.
Family gathering or not, she had been my idol. The person to whom I looked to when I first learned to express myself… through word on a page. She was black and unapologetic. And honest and open.
My mother knew this and took me over to say hello. I, however, have always been a shy person (don’t let the introverted extrovert fool you) and was understandably shy as a pre-teen going up to meet HER.
My mom would not have it any other way.
Dr. Angelou was tall like I was (and am), but was sitting when I met her. I remember distinctly being miffed at her telling me to “stand up straight” and not to hunch. Keeping it #allthewayreal, I wasn’t just miffed. I was mad about it.
But I was also a queer (tomboy) pre-teen … and angsty … and in drag. I was in a white skirt and crop top and probably visibly uncomfortable, though trying to look the part, and fit in. In context, I was just in my head about a whole lot.
Admittedly, at the time I’d probably hoped for some lofty poetic piece of advice. She wasn’t about that “placate your feelings” life.
It made more sense later.
Drag or not, she was telling me to own it. My height, whatever it is I was looking like (I was cute) - despite the other circumstances.
I still adjust my back when I feel myself sliding into a slouch. People sometimes comment on my posture. If they only knew it was she who played such a pivotal role in me standing upright today… and proudly AND tall.
Rest in Power dear Dr. #MayaAngelou. Thank you for all that you are.
You FAIL if you remain a startup.
"In his book Who Owns the Future, computer scientist and author Jaron Lanier talks about entities called ‟siren servers”—computer systems that collect data and then take advantage of information asymmetry to monetize that data for their own personal profit. Lanier argues that the primary business model of the current technological revolution is the creation siren servers for every possible informational niche."
When talking about my mobile app startup HeLLaRides, I explain that I’m focusing on the East Bay (rather than San Francisco) for a few strategic reasons.
Yes… I know, transit is frustrating in the Bay Area overall. But I’m biased, I live in Oakland. And if I’m really honest about it, I’m also frustrated. So many of the best apps that start here in the SF Bay area tend to cater their Alpha or Beta launches to San Francisco ONLY. This needs to change.
Case and Point: Enter Unwind.me, yet another cool application that I just learned of… that is ONLY available if you have an SF zip code, at least for now. WOMP…
My Beef? I’m a techie. I love products, especially digital ones that solve hairy human problems that we face everyday. And I know that there are solvable challenges in the East Bay (or any other place where working class and poor people live). And those folks need tech to solve their problems too.
So… for the time being I will WUUUUSAAA through it and work on “be[ing] the change,” if you will.
But for my SF based friends, who need to work out a knot or two — take advantage of your golden Zip Code — and check out Unwind Me. If you sign up here » you’ll get $20 toward your first massage. And the massage comes to you!