Heather Mangione

PhD Candidate Developmental Psychology; Founder of Airspray; LGBTQ Advocate

So it’s a really important time in our history and in our lives not to be incredibly discouraged, but to move your efforts and energy elsewhere. And to really educate yourself on what’s going on in your community as opposed to the national government. I think also I’m always really reminded of the radical feminist phrase, “The personal is political,” in that we always are engaging in political rights and activism just by virtue of living as marginalized groups. As women, as queer people, whatever, I think for me getting active in the various dyke marches I have participated in, [laughs] it has been very powerful to see communities and people who look like me and are like-minded and often that I don’t see in my visual sphere.

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Heather Mangione was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1985 and is currently 32 years old. She moved to Worcester in 2009 to attend Clark University, pursuing her Ph.D. in developmental psychology. Post graduation, Heather gravitated towards community development, looking to create change for those around her. As an advocate for the LGBTQ community, she quickly recognized the lack of a social scene, founding a group called Airspray. This monthly event held at a bar in downtown Worcester has successfully filled that gap for the residents of Worcester. In this interview, Heather stresses the importance of being an advocate for change and to, “Just keep pushing on because if you live under the radar or invisibly, who’s it for.” She goes on to say, “We are all connected in one community in one world. It’s really important for people to hear your story.” Heather’s message shines through her work, and it is grounded in the idea of owning who you are, and creating the change instead of waiting for it to happen. Heather dives into the struggle she has faced in her life, and ultimately how these experiences have driven her passion and shaped her into the woman she is today. She then explains the good, the bad, and the ugly in society today, ultimately with hope and longing for major change in the future.

Interview
Interview Date: 
September 24, 2017
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