AUSTIN, Texas — What a month June has been! We have had over 6,600 stories read from over 3,300 different people in 60 different countries – WOW! With that said, Pride is coming to a close – so it’s only fitting that we feature someone today who helped us get connected to so many within this community to tell these stories in June.
Please welcome, Drea.
What You Need To Know
- Originally from Corpus Christi
- Helped us organize many of the June stories.
- As worked in the service industry all her life.
Drea and I snagged time at Co-Dependent downtown and treated ourselves to an above average gin martini.
We dive in.
“I was born in Corpus but moved around a lot as a kid – we went to Chicago, then to Dallas then back to Corpus – my dad wanted to be closer to his family. I actually came out when I was 16 believe it or not – not too many people were coming out at that age, but I knew I wanted to. I was even brave enough to bring my girlfriend to my prom and my parents were very accepting of who I was – they always welcomed whoever I brought into the house.”
There’s nothing we like to hear more than acceptance from family – we continue.
“If you think Austin is small, Corpus is WAY smaller” We both laugh. “I’ve been in Austin for a while and though it was totally different back in the day, I’ve been super lucky to be able to grow alongside the city. Meeting amazing people and making strong connections that have helped me propel opportunities within my life.” Drea explains.
What opportunities are these? I wanted to know more.
“I was the first female to be hired at Rain – but it all started from me working originally at Warehouse – the first week I was there my boss took me out and showed me the ropes and I was off and running. Then, a few years before Covid I won tickets to a pride event in Florida – somehow, I became friends with DJs and other people of influence, and everything was just falling in line. I started working for a company called Queer Girl being the Texas operations manager here.”
As Drea is explaining her journey – it’s easy to see why she is plugged in with so many different people. She is easy to talk to, relatable and legitimately open to listening and learning.
“I think my time in Austin is coming to an end – I’ve done what I wanted to here but I’m a Cali person at heart.”
Drea has a unique way of knowing what she wants and listening to her gut.
“I just go with what feels right – I’m very intuitive. I follow my gut for what feels good, if it doesn’t feel good, I won’t do it. Covid was a big turning point for me because it taught me that it’s okay to take time to breathe, slow down and pause”
We close in typical fashion, advice and looking through the lens of the future.
“Yeah, I think like I was just saying – it’s okay to slow down and breathe and not have shit figured out. You don’t have to be married with kids by the time you’re 30. The universe is getting to a place where everyone is being clear with their intentions which is amazing to see.” Drea explains. “At the end of the day you must follow whatever your heart says – too many people are trying to please everyone but themselves. However, when you take the time to focus on yourself, actively creating a healthy and happy environment – that’s the true key to a good life…”
“..You know – part of living life is to be challenged – life is going to make it rough – I’m just focused on being as genuine as possible and following what feels right…”
As we close and end our talk – it’s finally clear to me what the big picture is of these June Pride stories. At our core – we are all human. As humans, all we ever want is to do what feels right. As Drea explained – that’s the cornerstone of how she lives here life – by following what her gut is telling her. Many of the stories we heard this month all have elements of people wanting to do what feels right. Be who they truly are inside. Live the life they desire. With the people they love.
It’s been my honor to meet all of you, hear your stories and provide a platform for these stories to be shared. The feedback we have received in June has been truly amazing and we so appreciate everyone being vulnerable, honest, and inspiring.
So, here’s to all of you – thank you for sharing your story, thank you for inspiring – and most importantly, thank you for being, you.