Rhea was born and raised in Long Beach and moved to Fresno to study sociology at CSU Fresno. In high school she volunteered as a youth organizer with Californians For Justice and in college was offered a position working for the Fresno office. Since 2007, she’s organized youth around educational, social justice, immigration and LGBTQ & gender justice, as well as institutional racism. She’s served on the ACLU board - Fresno Chapter, Gay Central Valley's advisory board and was one of the founding members of Fresno's Queer & Transgender People of Color Community Group. She lives with her partner of 5 years, Michelle, and their puppy Nova. Rhea spends time enjoying arts, culture, & the festivities offered in the Tower District. She watches movies at the $3 theater, camps in the Sequoia mountains & engages in transformative conversations with amazing friends.
How long have you lived in the Central Valley?
Just over 10 years
When did you come out as LGBT, or as a straight ally?
Coming out is an ongoing process. I come out every time I hold my partners hand in public; but to my parents I came out my sophomore year of college - 8 years ago.
Something you like about yourself?
I’m a believer and a fighter for racial and social justice.
Something you dislike about yourself?
I’m an over-thinker and fall victim to analysis paralysis. I’m working to be more action-oriented.
Character trait in others that you most admire?
Being unafraid of confrontation. Assertiveness.
Character trait in others that you most dislike?
What is your biggest regret?
I don’t believe in regrets!
What are you most passionate about?
Favorite thing to do in your free time?
Netflix…oops I mean, reading of course!
What makes you the happiest?
Traveling. When the different pieces of my life come together: Spending time with my partner AND my family.
What are you, quite frankly, over?
Teaching white folks about racism.
What is your biggest challenge?
Making a life-plan and following through
Who is your favorite person to talk to?
Name a person you know personally who has had the biggest impact on you?
Janelle Ishida. She used to work for my organization CFJ and now is a consultant/my supervisor. She is the wisest, most brilliant person I know.
Name a person you don’t know who has had the biggest impact on you?
Besides a phone, what piece of technology can you not live without?
Is my car technology?
What superpower would you most like to have?
Ability to freeze time
Who would you like to play you in a movie about your life?
What is the best part of your day?
Coming home to my dog and partner
What have you overcome?
A homophobic family. Over these past years they’ve grown SOO much and now completely accept me. I heart them.
Where your ideal place to live?
Long Beach (hometown, family, beach, perfect weather)
What words do you live by?
The only thing you have power over in life is your own actions. Make them count.