This next person does not need an introduction you know her as Diosa Femme from the popular podcast Locatora Radio!
I met Diosa at a work event over a year ago that she was tabling. My first impression of her was how approachable and kind she was and I knew right then and there that I needed to find a moment to get to know more about her on a personal level and here is this moment! I reached out to Diosa to learn more about her outside of the incredible work she does with Locatora Radio:
1.Can you tell me about yourself? The community you grew up in and your family?
I am a first generation Peruana-Mexicana from Southeast Los Angeles. Both of my parents are immigrants, but my father came here from Callao, Peru in his 30s and my mother immigrated here from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico with my grandparents when she was 5. I am very proud of both of my cultures and herencia Latina. I have a big family on both sides and feel extremely blessed and privileged that the majority of my family (on both sides) live in the U.S. Growing up in Los Angeles, I easily identified with my Mexican culture/side. It took a level of consciousness and willingness to learn about my Peruvian culture and history. I even lived in Peru for 6 months in 2014 – a period in my life I’ll never forget.
I went to catholic school from k-12. I would describe my immediate family as more culturally catholic, rather than devout catholics. My parents made education a priority ever since I can remember, which is why I think they sent me to catholic school. I identify as queer and “came out” at a relatively young age. I was 15 when I told my parents and even though I was attending a Catholic high school, I didn’t experience blatant homophobia like you’d imagine. Many of the faculty members were queer and I even went with my high school girlfriend to prom. It wasn’t an issue and for that – I am so lucky. Even at a Catholic high school, having LGBTQ faculty on staff can make a huge difference.
2. I am a big fan of ‘Locatora Radio’ and admire the work you and Mala Munoz have accomplished together – Outside of the great work you are doing on the podcast what do you dedicate yourself to from 9 to 5?
When we started Locatora Radio, I was working as a Community Organizer in Hawthorne, Ca. I worked with immigrant women and assisted them in putting on events in their community. Not that different from the events we produce for Locatora Radio!
Currently, I work at a private company that provides residential and living services to folks with Developmental Disabilities. Folks with developmental disabilities are often left out of the conversations especially around Sexual Health and Wellness. I’ve been advocating for Sexual Education & LGBTQ trainings for our staff and clients. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s a goal of mine before I move on from here!
3. How do you manage all your passion projects on top of your day-to-day? Any advice for aspiring creators?
Honestly, it’s really difficult. One simple thing is having a planner. I take it everywhere I go and am serious about scheduling. I allow myself flexibility if needed, but I try to stick with it. I also schedule a weekly “self-care” date that is non-negotiable. I do not take physical meetings that day. My self-care date consists of a therapy appointment, grocery shopping, and going to the gym. These are actions that make this work sustainable.
4. One of my favorite things about you is how you advocate for Mental health. Can you tell me about your on-going journey to healing and how you have become an advocate for mental health?
Thank you! I have always needed therapy. I was a very self-aware child and I recognized early on that I was anxious and depressed and asked my parents several times to find me a therapist. They never did but I don’t blame them either. Culturally, Latinxs don’t talk about therapy and don’t ask for help. Now I’m very open about seeing a therapist and my journey to healing so that I can set an example that it’s okay and it’s normal. It’s also a way to heal my inner child. I had a need and it wasn’t met. How can adult ‘me’ care for my younger self?
5. What other ways are you practicing Self-Care?
I think of self-care as sustainable acts that your future self will thank you for. Things that are going to help me through the week: cleaning, laundry, cooking, and journaling are going to help me feel grounded in my hectic life. Also, It’s really important for me, as a survivor of sexual violence, to feel connected to my body. I like to do yoga, work out, cook (for myself), and read.
6. What is one of your proudest moments to date at both an individual, community and professional level?
As an individual, creating and setting boundaries! I’m a recovering people-pleaser so that’s a big one for me!
Creating survivor centered spaces is something I’m proud of. I want our listeners and community members to feel seen, heard, and safe when they enter a Locatora produced event.
Professionally, we’ve gotten amazing press coverage, such as Forbes and Oprah Mag. Locatora Radio is still indie and it’s truly amazing to see everything we’ve accomplished as independent creators.
7. And just for fun, a speed round,
- What is your favorite color? PINK!!
- How and why did you choose the name Diosa Femme? Before I graduated UCSB, i played around with the name Diosa after experiencing sexual violence. Embodying and defining what a goddess is allowed me to reconnect to my body, sensuality, and sexuality. During this time, I was creating art and learning about Femme identity. It was an intentional joining of both identities. I feel as if I’m engaging in performance art, especially now with the podcast growing. It also gives me a level of anonymity that is important because of the content we created through Locatora. We have received death and rape threats. We don’t take that lightly.
- What is your favorite make-up brand? It’s hard to pick one (I’m a libra). Fenty, vive cosmetics, and sweet street cosmetics.
- Favorite novel and author? I cannot pick a fave, but I’m currently reading Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Marie Brown.
- Favorite Mexican and Peruvian dishes? Mexican – frijoles a la olla! So simple, so good. Peruvian – aji de gallina!
- A quote you swear by? My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.-Maya Angelou
- Favorite words of affirmation in the morning? “I do not have to be perfect to be safe or loved in the present.”
- Your all-time favorite movie and artist? Beyonce is definitely my favorite artist. She is not only a great vocalist but an incredible performer. All time favorite movie…this is tough because I’m so indecisive, but I’m a big fan of Merly Streep. “It’s Complicated” is a top 5 movie.
- If you could describe your style in three words what would it be? Flirty, Chic, and sometimes Funky.
- How many tattoos do you have? 7 tattoos & county. I definitely want more.
- Favorite ‘Locatora Radio’ episode? Multidimensional Heaux.
- Your biggest pet peeve? When two people sit next to each other as opposed to across from each other!!
- Where and what did you study in college? I studied Literature and Creative Writing with an Emphasis on Latina Writers at UC Santa Barbara.
- Current movements that you are supporting? I’m a supporter of movements that are Pro-Woman, Pro Sex-Worker, Pro-Trans, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Black. Goes without saying, the Latinx movement of course, but our movements have to include all of the above as well or it’s not truly for our community.
- A womyn you admire and why? This is also so hard because I want to name everyone! I would say, Kim Katrin Milan is someone I’ve admired and followed for years. She’s a writer, educators, and has been theorizing and writing about Femme Identities for years. She’s paved the way for many of us that are creating and writing about Femme identities.
- Your favorite body part and trait of yourself ? I am a fan of cheekbones and bone structure. Everyone on my Peruvian side has prominent cheekbones and it’s one of my favorite things. I also love my legs! Took a while to get there, but I’m very comfortable in my skin. Not always, but overall yes.
- Currently, who is your favorite presidential candidate and why? Julian Castro is one of my faves. I feel that he’s truly advocating for marginalized and underserved communities. I definitely have my eye on Elizabeth Warren as well.
- Favorite country or state you have visited? Aside from Peru, Puerto Rico has been my favorite so far. The music, ambiente, food, playas.
- How would you define your feminism? I would say my feminism is aligned with Womanists and U.S. Third World Feminists. During undergrad, that was the feministy theory I studied, practiced, and it shaped my understanding of feminism. Through my work, I want to uplift marginalized voice and “pass the mic”, which is why we (Locatora Radio) are committed to archiving the stories of different Black Women and Women of Color.
- Favorite article you have written? A tie between an article I wrote about Abortion Bans in the U.S. and the other – highlighting 8 Peruanas around the U.S.
- Favorite late-night snack in college? Sour gummy belts!
- And lastly, a hidden talent? I have really great reflex skills and I have no idea why.
8. Lastly, five years from now where would you like to be mentally, spiritually and professionally?
FREE! In every sense of the word. I want to be free of imposter syndrome and self-sabotaging thoughts! I want to create art full-time and be financially secure. Pay off my student loans. Maybe have a master’s degree. I see big things happening in the next 5 years.
Keep up with Diosa Here: