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Life & Work with Ren Fernandez-Kim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ren Fernandez-Kim.

Hi Ren, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My story depends on how big or small you need it to be. It can be seen as something whole or dissected to focus on something. But at the end of the day, it’s all an interconnected part of who I am.

So—let’s go big and then focus on the core of who I am and what I do.

My name is Ren Fernandez-Kim. I wasn’t always. And it took me about 27 years to get to that point.

I am a Nonbinary Koruvian (Korean-Peruvian) leapling with a tendency to never stick to one thing. Ever since I was little, I was open to the experimentation and pushing of boundaries of who I was and am. There was a lot of push back because of society…which is to be expected. But even as a young child, without the vocabulary to describe who I was, I knew and felt that I was more. More than just a Cis-Heterosexual Christian Multicultural Girl.

To know the young version of me and me today, there’s one thing that ties us together. And it’s the concept of “Ren”. Ren in Chinese philosophy is the concept of ‘Mankind’. The idea that people cannot survive and thrive without each other. And I reminded myself that despite the labels, I am a human being. One worthy of love and respect. One that strives for a better tomorrow. One that aims to be good, soft, and whole even with the world can be cruel, hard, and unforgiving.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Absolutely not. I had to make my own road. Make my own space. Accept my own space. And recognize its validity on my own. Ever since I was little, I knew and understood the stigmas that existed. Kids pick up on that really fast. And I was in no way the traditional expectations of gender, sexuality, religion, etc. I was everywhere and nowhere. Constantly wedging myself into spaces that didn’t exist. I made that space. I became that hyphen. And it was hard. Because there was this constant struggle of wanting to belong somewhere, but forcing that onto myself made me writhe in my own skin. I was uncomfortable. And I’m now at a point where I am understanding the space I made for myself and treating it with love. And making space for others.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
To say what I do and my work history would be massive and somewhat all over the place. I’ve done many jobs. Whether it’s in entertainment, managerial, data entry, customer service, retail, hospital work, etc. It truly is all over the place. Part of it is based in survival and just taking any job coming to me. And another part is me wanting to learn anything and everything and how the world works, as well as learning new skills. For me, the goal has always been the continuous search for knowledge. Whether it’s in the academic sphere or not. The one thing that I think connects it all is my love and search for knowledge. As well as my interest in connection and collection of experiences and people. It’s what I do now in my content creation. Yes, I definitely have some educational pieces, but I really love the moments of connecting with people and creating community. I love that so much. And I think that’s what gives me so much joy and pride. That I’ve been honored to create a safe, loving, and creative community of people who are the same.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
Los Angeles is an experience. One that full of stories. No matter who you talk to, there’s someone here talking about their lives…and their dreams. And I love that. The thing I like least about our city is the lack of resources for unhoused people, the abusive power of authority, and the overwhelming surge of gentrification that pushes generations of stories and people into the outskirts. The people that give that community the essence of and power of different areas.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Illustrated by Me. @corpusren

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