Growing up black and queer in Worcester, Rushelle Frazier’s first forays into advocacy were shaped by a community that didn’t always understand or accept them. Rushelle identifies as gender non-conforming and uses “they/them” pronouns; that is, their appearance does not always match people’s expectations of what gender they should present as. The need for them to do important work has led to them taking leadership roles in several campaigns fighting for the dignity of LGBTQ people. Rushelle was inducted into the world of LGBT rights work when they helped start a gay-straight alliance in their high school. But it was slam poetry, Rushelle says, that cracked open the door to the wider range of work they’ve done as an activist.
“I’m so happy to do this work in my hometown, and to have my work amplify the people who love and support me,” Rushelle said. “I understand that some of my experience is privileged, and I’m using what privilege I have in an effective way to help my community.”