Hey, Hey, my name is AnDrea Williams and I’m a Trans Woman of Color. My pronouns are She/Her. I have been going to The Attic Youth Center for 5+ years. When I first came out, I didn’t know who I was, how to identify, or even what the letters of LGBTQ+ meant. I knew I liked guys but didn’t know what that meant. I just knew I was different and felt like I never fit in.
I met Attic staff when I was helping to put together the first ever Philly Youth Pride and they told me about The Attic, and that it was a place for LGBTQ+ youth and allies to be a part of a community. I was searching for clarity and, affirmation, and I was looking for a place to land and connect and belong. With so many questions about myself, I went to The Attic to find some answers.
My first day at The Attic was a blast! I met some amazing people that I now know as family. I created a drag persona, “Tiffany Uma Mascara.” Tiffany had the confidence and freedom of expression that I wasn’t yet comfortable showing. In addition to being fierce, I see my persona as a Big Bundle of Everything, bringing Energy, Life, and Laughter to the stage and the party. Now my Tiffany persona has become part of my personality and I want people to feel Tiffany’s energy and feel good. It all started at The Attic.
I also received help in writing my first ever resume, getting jobs, applying for college, and figuring out financial aid. I increased my support network of personal and professional connections that continue to show up for me today. I also continue to benefit from professional development opportunities with The Attic’s Bryson Institute, and I have participated in drag performances at community events.
Since my first day at The Attic, I have learned so much, not only about myself, but about my community. I learned just how resilient I am, and to believe in my potential. I learned that my voice matters and to give myself roses and credit for my experiences. I also learned that in Philly, people really come together for each other in good times and bad. The Attic has given me the courage to be myself and to speak out about what’s right, as well as the resources to fight the patriarchy and try to make this world a better and brighter place for the new generation of youth.
Now I am a proud Trans Woman, strong, resilient, and independent- All thanks to The Attic Youth Center.