As part of my interview series, We Chat, I wanted to share recent conversation with Dannielle Owens- Reid, activist, author, musician, artist, and South Carolinian ginger. I met her in Chicago, before co-founding Everyone is Gay, or writing This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, or contributing poignant commentary on modern society at Lesbians that Look Like Justin Beiber.
When I first met her, I was confused but cautiously impressed of how she could just make interesting thing after thing, all the time, and with so many unique people. At a time when life seemed *so complicated* – those messy and ugly post college years- she was using her mind and her tremendous kindness with people and building so much.
For example: She’d think of an idea, “let’s do talent show at our coffee house job!” People wouldn’t bail on her- they’d actually participate and throw a delightful talent show. The show would evolve into a hilarious, *weekly* web series full of comics and disparate peoples, and create this *fun* and well put together, scripted & edited event for people also struggling with recession era mid 20’s angst, to be creative and produce things…
Dannielle’s like that; she puts people together, brings out the talent in others, and takes fun ideas to tangible fruition. Without a doubt, she’s the most prolific and industrious person I’ve *truly* known. She also has tremendous heart and puts her energy towards the causes she cares about-but that benefit everyone else- such as DAPL, LGBTQ, and so many more. The sky’s seriously infinite for what she will create.
Take a peek at her responses to a few questions I pitched to her recently….
Tell me about yourself in a haiku…
had to look up rulesto write this haiku for younot a big poet
How would you label yourself personally? professionally?
Professionally – Author / Speaker / Activist / OrganizerPersonally – Organizer / Activist / Speaker / Author
Do you miss those early Chicago days? Coffee shop escapades, thrift store shopping, or playing in a dynamic trio, Vintage Gramma?
i miss vintage gramma, chicago, dollop, comedy friends, living off of $400 per month and eating day old bagels for almost every meal. I miss it all and I miss it often. I miss seeing you and the rest of the dollop crew. I don’t know how many groups of people working in a coffee shop are as lucky as we were, to actually enjoy each other’s company.
What is the most important thing someone should know about you?
What is the most important thing someone should know about your work?
Why do you do the things you do?I figured out sometime last year that my life objective is for everything I work on to contribute to making the world a better place and to make people feel good about their choices. That is my #1 priority, everything else kind of falls in place.
Who inspires you? How do you keep track of these things? How do you manage your thoughts and feelings about these things? How do you deal with creative pressure?
What’s next for you?
What are you most proud of? Do you miss your Grammaw band days?
Why did you decide to write your book?
Reads & References
- Clothing Line
- This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids
- Everyone is Gay
- Kate Nash Kickstarter
- You can find my previous posts about Dannielle’s work are here and here!
All content has been posted with Dannielle’s permission. Edited for emphasis and flair. Photos belong to Dannielle and were taken by Charlotte Patmore.