Interview of Mayumi Leclerc by Naila Karim
Firstly, how are you?
I’m not so bad, how are you?
I’m not so bad myself, thanks for asking. I recently came across your Instagram page (@yuuammi) and was instantly hooked – you post a lot about feminism and LGBT rights – what would you say feminism means to you?
Feminism to me is a way I can express myself and my beliefs that everyone, no matter where you are from or whatever your sexual orientation, should live in harmony. Everyone deserves equality, justice, love and care, and feminism for me is a way I can reinforce those aspects in everyday life. It’s also a place where people are free to be who they are without being judged and a place where people who are wrong are educated about the issues to prevent further mistakes and so on.
I couldn’t agree more, what would you say to those who argue they’re “not a feminist”?
Well, first of all, if a person said “I believe in equality for all men and women” then they’re already a feminist. However, to those that wouldn’t “label” themselves a feminist, I would say, the more we fight for the right the better the world will be. To educate themselves on important issues, an individual does not have to be “labelled” as a feminist.
Your Instagram pictures are really great, do you find that you can express yourself through your photography?
Indeed. Without photography I would be a very, very different person. The fact that I have an opportunity to own a camera gives me the ability to express my inner emotions and thoughts to those willing to appreciate and take time to notice what my art says.
That’s awesome! I’m hoping to take a photography class this summer! I also saw on your Instagram you post a lot about the LGBT community, tell us a bit about that.
I love photographing LGBT people. I don’t see nor can I comprehend why it’s such a massive issue who you love. But that’s also where feminism comes in– we’re able to prevent all this hate and spread love.
You said you’ve suffered from depression and anxiety in the past, how did you cope with it? And what is some advice you would give to teens who are going through the same thing?
It’s something that has been very difficult to cope with. Not many people, including myself, would seek help because it’s ingrained that showing emotions makes us weak. But I would always recommend talking to someone, whether tht be a close friend or a teacher. If you have the opportunity to get a councillor from school, I would recommend that. It’s something that has really helped me. I also write down my feelings on paper.