An Older Story


Ivan Castillo, Editor of Opinion

Karen Castillo is a role model for her 3 younger siblings. She is a very independent women and when her parents are out at work she does her very best to care for them. She is also a queer woman that had questioned herself for a long time feeling as if she was broken. Sooner than later, she found her place and value in the world. She is a student at Cal state LA that is currently studying to in sociology and putting in hundreds of hours of work day and night. She hopes of one day giving other people the help she rarely got. 

IC: So how was life before me?

KC: Before you? In what context?

IC: Like what did you do when you were younger? What were some interests?

KC: Well I was 5 before you so…

IC: What can you remember?

KC: I like to watch T.V. do little kid stuff like play with dad, Our dad. Do I need to make that clear? We’re related

IC: No I’m pretty sure that’s clear

KC: Ok, so play with dad, watch cartoon’s, I liked Sesame Street umm yea that’s it.

IC: Alright now after me?

KC: Wait before or after you?

IC: After me what was something difficult that came with having a younger sibling.

KC: I mean do I have to explain our younger lives

IC: You could but there’s no need for that

KC: I mean it does kinda does because after you were born, given our sircomestans. I had to take care of you more so I guess my biggest worry as a 5-7 was mainly taking care of you and how I was gonna eat the next day.

IC: So your biggest difficulty was-

KC: It was just making sure both of us were ok and surviving you know when mom was out

IC: And our dad

KC: Dad wasn’t really emotionally available. I think thst was another issue, I don’t know about you because I don’t how much you remember from when you were a little kid but I guess but our dad being emotionally able and physically able to take care of us cause sometimes he wasn’t really there,  physically there or not he wasn’t there.

IC:(02:48) Ok so after that kid era, 10 maybe 5, after that when you were entering your early teenage years. What was a difficult thing for you? Entering middle school then High school how was you life then?

KC: I think it was mainly trying to find myself..? I’m sure your at that stage where your trying to find who you are and what you doing. Figuring out who I was and making sure my grades were consistent because my grades back then reflected a lot of who I was. So personality wise who you are, what you like so there was a character development. Then in high school it was more focusing on my grades and figuring out who I am, which is fine and where I think you are and college applications.

IC: Have you found out anything throughout your journey?

KC:(04:15) Well yeah I’m gay

IC: Could you specify what part your in

KC: You want me to say how I identify?

IC: If you’d like

KC: Like everything?

IC: If you want to

KC: Well I identify as a woman, I go by she/her. I identify as Asexual. … Asexuality is different for many people. So it’s on a spectrum and I identify on the Ace spect but being Asexual is not having a sexual extraction to others and depending on who you are and your identity you can develop a romantic relationship with someone but that’s not necessarily something you strive for. I am also Pansexual so you like people for who they are no matter their gender. They/them, doesn’t matter.

IC: You found this out during Middle School or High School?

KC: During High School, part of being Asexual is not really having crushes. So my experience with Asexuality was kinda funny because in Middle School like I explained I was trying to figure out who I was. Part of that is your sexuality so when you don’t fall into heterosexual normative ideals and stero types. You try and create that for yourself which is what I did because all of my friends were like ‘Oh my God’ like ‘this person’  I was like ‘Should I like this person?’ So I developed this insane crush on this person. I Say developed because I created it in my head rather than I actually liked him…in summary I pretended to like this person and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t like this person because this person tried to kiss me and I suckered punched him and was like ‘Yeah I’m definitely Asexual’. That definitely went into my Asexual file when I was discovering who I was in High School.

IC: So it was in Middle School when you found this out?

KC: No, because in Middle School I didn’t know what that was and I thought something was wrong with me. I thought ‘Why don’t I feel this way for anybody’ like I just don’t. Even if I did FOCUS myself, like this person. Another discovery I guess about myself

IC: That you could kick someone’s a**?

KC: No, no , no I could kick his a** just another discovery like you said. What was the main question about High school?

IC:(07:32) The main question was did you ever find out who you were?

KC: Yeah, well one of my identities is that I am a queer woman, I’m Hispanic, I mean I know that cause when I came out of the womb they said ‘its a brown baby!’

IC: (7:49) You are the brown baby. I also know that currently you are trying to get you masters or-

KC: My bachelors

IC: Your bachelor’s in so… I’m sorry

KC: No its cool I can just say it. So I’m trying to get my bachelor’s at Cal State L.A. for psychology and currently I am a psychology major and I’m studying to become a social worker in the future.  So at Cal State L.A. I’m studying psychology. That’s my major and my minor is sociology and eventually with the way I am working with my classes I should be expected to graduate in the spring of 2024 but I will not be taking classes in spring of 2024 because I’ll technically be done with all my classes as of fall 2023. After that I will be applying for my masters also at Cal State L.A. for social work because what I want to do is go into social work. My main focus is to become a High School counselor or college counselor. Maybe work with children and family’s. I don’t know depends on where I want to go.

IC:(8:59) So you said something about High School counselor and working with family’s. Is there anywhere you would want to preferably work at?

KC: OH Yeah! Big time! I don’t wanna work with little kids because when I was a little kid I feel like it’s hard to work with children. But I would not be aposed to them. I would want to work specifically in like community colleges with other students. Helping them out with classes and stuff like that mainly because the job I work at right now is pretty much what I want to do for the rest of my life just in a student position. So I would wanna be their for students and their classes or be their support when they need support, help them get those resources that they need. So yeah college would be cool and High school would be cool.

IC: (09:47) Ok when did you figure out you wanted to do this for the rest of your life?

KC: Dude, you say that like doifn it for the rest of my life is so devastating.

IC: I’m not saying that it’s a bad profession, I feel like it’d be perfect. It varies but if you feel like you want to do it. When did you did you-

KC: That is definitely not what I want to do for the rest of my life. Mainly just cause with getting my masters in social work and finalizing my bachelor’s with a psychology degree and a minor in sociology. I want to make sure I have a lot of choices so being a High School counselor or social worker is not the only thing I want to do. I want to get my license in social work to open up my private practice, which is already in action. Clearly because I’m almost done with my bachelor’s, going into my masters. I need what 6 more years? 7 more years? To get experience and all that but going back to why I want to do the High School and social work material, right now up until I have the credits for opening my private practice and working with people who need help. I learned I wanted to do this when I was it High School because in mu senior year I was provided with elective where I worked to get my credit for that elective. As being a peer consular. Think of a peer advisor as a mini counselor. Literally just a student helping 9-12th graders get into college, asking college questions and that’s pretty much it. That’s what I had to do, so that’s how I found out I wanted to work in social work because I liked what I was doing there and my current job I’d kind of doing the same thing.

IC: Alright well is there anything you would like to tell readers or listeners

KC: About what?

IC: Just some motivational thing or a lesson you might have learned. Just some advice.

KC: I don’t know. Stay in school, don’t do drugs.