V127: The Thought Leaders Issue With Patia Borja

The curator on voting selflessly, the school to prison pipeline, and social media.

V127’s Thought Leaders Issue is available for pre-order now.

“It’s important to vote because collectively our opinions make a difference. It’s a statement on what society is going through at the time and what society is fed up with. People are changing their ideas and realizing that what has been going on doesn’t work anymore, and that the system needs to change. I am voting because I have a mother who is an immigrant and a group of friends that include many Black trans people. I am most concerned about their safety and their rights.

Patia wears jacket, Prada.

“You have to vote selflessly. It’s not always about you; you have to consider that there are so many other people in the world. And when I think about those people, those are the people around me who don’t really look like me or live the same life as me. Those are the people who don’t have the privilege to voice how they feel, but I consider them and their influence a big part of society. I believe that ultimately it’s about the greater good and not just the needs of one specific person or group.

“Something I always think about is mass incarceration in America and the school to prison pipeline. It is disturbing how slavery and prison are so interconnected…more than people even realize. It is disgusting how many Black people are incarcerated; it makes no sense. Regardless of what they are incarcerated for, it’s a disproportionate number, and I think that trickles down to everything we consume. This keeps me up at night, a lot of what’s happening right now is connected to colonization. Decades have passed but nothing has truly changed.

“If you want to use your platform to speak out, don’t be afraid; it’s what got me here today. Even if you have 10 followers, it’s still a platform. Information is meant to be shared, and as humans we don’t know everything. Social media is a great tool to disperse useful information but also keep one another informed on issues that may not affect us directly. I am a cis-gendered straight Black woman—if the marginalized communities around me can find the power to keep on pushing and fight for what they believe in, I can as well. We all can.”


Discover More