If you had three wishes, what would they be?
1) To have love and respect for all humans to live a dignified life with equal rights to exist and flourish;
2) To be seen for the person and woman that I am while living a meaningful life that makes a positive impact in the world beyond my individual self.
3) To create a love-filled family of my own.
If you could personally witness any event in history, what would it be?
The Stonewall Riots.
What is something that you have never done that you want to do?
I have acted before, but I would love to produce and act in a film that truly inspires people of all persuasions to see and feel what unifies them all as humans. I would also like to share this message by having the chance to deliver a speech at the U.N. one day.
More from SwimLife
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Being fired from my first professional modeling job on set minutes before shooting. I was told that the client felt it was “inappropriate” for me to represent the brand because my images would be included in a catalog “entering into family households.” They made me feel as though it would be seen as immoral and scandalous for me to be a brand ambassador for them. It was heartbreaking for me on many levels as well as embarrassing because I had excitedly shared the happy news with my university friends and colleagues when the client first confirmed me for the job.
What’s the most regrettable beauty trend you have even tried?
Using a store-bought hair straightening product at home applied by my cousin. I lost a lot of hair and it greatly damaged what was left. Also, over-tweezing my eyebrows which left some bald spots.
If you could hear one song performed live by any musician what would it be?
"I Am What I Am" by Gloria Gaynor
What’s something people wouldn’t know about you?
That I am multi-ethic. I have Dutch, African and Indigenous (Amazonian) blood.
In a world full of influencers, who influences you most?
I don’t really have a source of influence, but I do have sources of inspiration. Strong, courageous woman inspire me because they fight for what they believe in. Strong women like my mother who has raised seven children.
What motivates or inspires you?
What inspires me both personally and professionally are opportunities to have a voice to advocate for anyone facing prejudice. I also enjoy work opportunities that allow me to explore and portray different characters.
Do you have a self-care ritual or a creative pursuit?
Meditation and viewing/embracing life through a positive perspective regardless of presented/perceived challenge. I go deep within to believe in my ability to give whatever I do 100% of myself- authentically and with integrity.
What’s the worst holiday gift you ever received?
I receive everything with an open heart no matter what it looks like. It really is all about the other person’s good intention, not the actual gift itself. However, the best gift ever received was when my mother gifted me my first dress. It was the moment I felt truly accepted for who I am.
What’s your guilty pleasure snack?
Italian gelato (one whole tub) at a time and tiramisu.
Looking back, what advice would you give to your 14-year-old self?
To be strong and mature. To understand that there are situations that will be especially challenging because I don’t yet have the life experience to handle them with ease. To not feel “wrong” for being who I was born as. To not feel shame or fear for being trans.