Name: grayson

Social Media Handle/Username: insta: emmaarutledge twitter: grayrutledgee

Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: I am a non-binary lesbian teenager in the southern united states. i am also a college student studying nursing at a university. i also have many chronic illnesses that I live with and help advocate more.

What Inspires You Every day? : Environmental sustainability, lgbtq activism, and chronic illness activism are all very close to me because of the current state of the climate and I am a member of the lgbtq living with a chronic illness. I am passionate about advocating for equality for lgbtq youth and for bringing awareness for other rare chronic illnesses that are rarely talked about or researched. I am inspired by everyone who stands up for what is right and what they are passionate about. It gives me the courage to speak out about what I believe in and helps me have a voice of my own.

What is some words of wisdom you live by?: Some words of wisdom I live by are that no matter what you do, people are going to say something bad about you so why not be yourself? Meaning no matter what you do everyone will have an opinion, so you might as well be yourself. Some other words of wisdom are that nothing is going to change without others willing to change. I have changed my lifestyle in order to hopefully save our earth and speaking about it to hopefully inspire someone else to change.

What is your ultimate goal in life? : My ultimate goal in life is to inspire one person. If i just can help inspire one person then my goal was completed and that one person will also inspire another and create a ripple effect. My other ultimate goal is to have no regrets.

How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : My mental health was affected by the pandemic as we couldn’t go anywhere and had no distractions of life anymore. However, the pandemic also shined light on serious problems in the country that I was able to ignore before with my daily distractions of life. The pandemic forced me to be aware of issues and gave me no choice but to educate myself and stand up for what is right and help create change.

What is a message you would like to give others? : Always be authentic to yourself and use your voice.

What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: My life is sometimes hard with multiple chronic illnesses, but i’ve overcome it all with strength I never knew I had. Even if you don’t feel strong at times, you have all the strength you need in yourself. Sometimes life is hard but it ultimately makes you stronger.

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