Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Kobe Natachu Taylor Oral History Interview on the SOL Support Network, April 25, 2019

Oregon State University
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:00 - Introduction

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your experiences at Oregon State University, a predominately white institution, so far.

Segment Synopsis: Kobe shares that all pronouns are appropriate for them as a indigenous queer two-spirit non-binary. Kobe is a nutritionist student with a concentration in food systems and a minor in queer studies.
Kobe also shares that coming to OSU was a bit of a culture shock because even though the university claims to value diversity, there is actual very little diversity on the campus or in the classrooms.

00:02:05 - Classroom experiences

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Have you experienced moments where you felt the need to stand up for your identities in the classroom?

Segment Synopsis: Kobe discusses how in one psychology class the instructor spoke about the Native American community as if it were extinct and he spoke up letting them know that it is racist to erase indigenous people from society/history.

00:04:50 - Community

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Have you found places on campus that support all of your identities?

Segment Synopsis: Kobe shares how the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws and SOL are two communities on campus that support all of their identities. Having spaces that don't judge them has been empowering in forming their own sense of security.

00:05:58 - Self-care

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How do you self care when things get tough as a QTIPOC person?

Segment Synopsis: Kobe describes self care as removing themselves from situations that are emotionally draining. Makeup, cooking, and being in community are all things that enable Kobe to feel recharged, rested, and happy.

00:07:46 - Social Justice Work

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How did you first get involved with social justice work and help to create the QTIPOC support system?

Segment Synopsis: Kobe shares how they never made a conscious decision to do social justice work but they were kind of pushed into it as a marginalized identity since it can be a daily fight for rights or recognition. As for the QTIPOC support network, it came out of a need for other people like Kobe that needed community and support in fighting against the dominant norm.

00:09:28 - QTIPOC folks and higher education

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Do you think that the lower retention rate of students of color in higher education is due to the lack of resources or institutional oppression experienced by QTIPOC folks? How can SOL help these folks?

Segment Synopsis: Kobe thinks it’s a mix of both.They state that as students we are told that the institution is here to support us but whenever you really assert yourself and call out oppression's that affect yourself/communities, then marginalized students are told that they are disrupting all the other students. As a marginalized person you get used as a token to bring in other students of color but not invested in. Kobe states that it is exhausting to be on a campus with internalized impostor syndrome and not seeing other QTIPOC folks succeeding.
SOL has been a great source of support to students like Kobe but if SOL was granted more funding then they would be able to do more outreach.

00:13:07 - SOL

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What is your connection to SOL and how has it impacted your life?

Segment Synopsis: The SOL LGBTQ+ Support Network is something Kobe has been involved with since their freshman year. This has been a space that helped him connect to more queer folks because many of the other cultural centers are very straight focused.
SOL has made them feel comfortable with all their identities and helped with identity development. Kobe states that it was refreshing to see queer POC as empowered and happy because that is not what dominant media shows about these communities.

00:16:11 - OSU and QTIPOC folks

Play segment

Partial Transcript: In what ways can OSU and the cultural centers increase diversity of QTIPOC folks?

Segment Synopsis: Kobe feels that a lot of communities deal with many internalized -isms that they begin to accept as the norm because it gets rooted in a lot of their cultural contexts. Making the effort to be there for QTIPOC folks in resources, having identity conversations centered in multiple centers especially since many of the centers don’t explicitly say that they are spaces for queer folks would make a difference in Kobe's opinion.

00:17:46 - Advice to self

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What advice would you give your past self about college and your identities?

Segment Synopsis: Kobe discusses that they would warn their younger self about college being difficult but not impossible. College has given them language to discuss things they have experienced in life, the ability to navigate spaces of their identity, and find supportive community.

00:20:18 - Advice for QTIPOC folks

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What advice would you give to other QTIPOC folks?

Segment Synopsis: Kobe discusses how they would let other QTIPOC folks know that it's ok to not have it all figured out right away because it's hard to plan a path of success when you don't see many folks like yourself as success stories in society. Being able to write your own narrative is empowering and cultural/dominant norms do not need to dictate a person's life.

00:22:09 - Future for QTIPOC

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How do you see QTIPOC identities going forward in college spaces?

Segment Synopsis: Kobe hopes to see a whole overthrow of the system in order for there to be real changes. He states that although there is some representation of queer folks, it does not alleviate the fact that this system was built on the oppression of others. Using an oppressive system in dealing with queer folk is not a way to make progress.

00:23:57 - Practicing social justice

Play segment

Partial Transcript: In what ways do you practice social justice?

Segment Synopsis: Kobe states that he often finds himself representing culture or sexuality in spaces just by being there. He also advises others going into spaces to discuss injustices should only be done if they feel that it is a safe situation.
Kobe also discusses how the plan to educate people back in their home community after college and this will be a form of social justice.

00:28:16 - Last thoughts

Play segment

Segment Synopsis: Kobe ends the interview in giving advice to others. He stats that there is no one way to look in any identity and that monolithic ideas of how we should look or act is very toxic. People have the power to define themselves and however they present is valid.