Names: Julz Ignacio & Katrina Pestano
Members Since: Julz (June 2009-February 2011) & Katrina (2006-2012, currently a member of Alay ng Kultura and Bayan PNW Regional Co-Coordinator)
What they have done as GABRIELA members:
Julz: I am former Queer Education Coordinator and Kultural Co-Lead. I used to develop, organize and facilitate regional workshops on LGBTQ, gender, and community organizing workshops for youth with BAYAN-PNW members and community members in the Seattle/Puget Sound area. I marched at Seattle Pride several times as well and I am also a former guitarist and member of Pin@y choir. 🙂
Katrina: Contributed to the development of cultural work, helped cultivate some very talented cultural workers, and took lead in organizing several cultural events through the years. Represented Gabriela in the Philippines by speaking/performing for for International Women’s Day 2009, and giving solidarity statements in conferences and communities during many integrations. Served on the Executive Committee as Organizing Director and Vice Chair. Took part in multiple community accountability processes that highlighted personal and political contradictions that has since helped move our collective analysis forward. I stay reppin the QUEERS! Makibakla!
Expo Trip Dates: Julz (n/a) & Katrina (June-July 2007; March- September 2009; June-July 2011; December 2012; December 2013)
Things they’re good at:
Julz: making people laugh, storytelling, connecting with people, snacking, existing in unicorn time (aka island time), rambling passionately about Pacific and Filipino tattoos.
Katrina: snackin and rappin mostly, but also intersectional analysis, long-term vision for the movement, agitation propaganda work, asking difficult questions, providing emotional support over snacks, gawaing masa (mass work).
Why this work is meaningful to them:
Julz: This work is meaningful to me because it’s a community of Filipino people with shared values and visions striving towards justice for Filipino people, whatever that looks like, on many various journeys and portals we exist in. Gab Seattle was the first place I learned I didn’t have to compromise any of my identities, I could be my fierce bakla self, share my love and commitment to re-indigenizing and most importantly be a storyteller connecting with people through healing arts.
Katrina: This work gives me life. It makes me deepen my capacity to love. It makes me understand my place in history.
When they’re not working for the movement, where can we find them / what can we find them doing?
Julz: The “movement” is always with me, like air and water. If I have capacity each day, I try to practice rituals that infuse healing (or as some might call “self-care”) with the hard work we do in this movement. I try to make intentional time to spend with the earth to practice being present and I like to draw and reflect on the day and what I can look forward to for tomorrow. The earth is a reflection of our (inner) selves, we are a reflection of the earth, everything is interconnected, so I strive for harmony in all aspects of my life. I am one half of Pasifika mixed media arts duo Fresh Fruit, a member of ARKiology EDUtainment (Collective of Pacific Artists & Cultural Workers) and a member and co-founder of First Rain, a trans* and two-spirited collective.
Katrina: I’d like to think I am always working for the movement =) But I sometimes take really long afternoon naps. I also like to sleep in then have a luxurious brunch with loved ones. And I really really love being near (or in) the ocean. I work at an incredibly dope organization building power in Asian and Pacific Islander Communities by supporting survivors gender-based violence and exploitation and mobilizing our communities to develop long-term solutions. Shoutout to Gabriela’s community partner API Chaya. Check us out at www.apichaya.org.
* Katrina is currently a member of Alay ng Kultura and BAYAN PNW Regional Co-Coordinator.
P.O. Box 18045
Seattle, WA 98118