DES MOINES, Iowa – The end of June marks the end of Pride Month but for so many of our LGBTQ neighbors, like Indigo Womble, living her truth has not always been easy — but her faith and love for the stage has helped through rough times.
Womble says as a child she knew she was different and she was often bullied.
“Like throughout middle school, I had a lot of bullying. I had people who would just call me names like all different kinds of slurs. I had people who would steal my bikes,” said Womble.
However, she found solace on the stage at church and on the basketball court.
“So a lot of people weren’t just seeing me as just the queer kid. I was also the kid who was involved in theater. I’m the kid who does mock trials. I’m the kid who likes to [play] basketball. So because I got so involved, it was, ‘I’m more than just this one thing, and because it was a way that I can talk to other people, they were like okay, you’re cool.’
But when she went to college Indigo says she was bullied and attacked several times while on campus. According to a study, Human Rights Campaign shows that hate crimes based on sexual orientation represent 16.7% of hate crimes, the third-largest category after race and religion.
“Where someone would try to grab me and fight me or grab me and sexually assault me to turn me straight, and I never really reported any of it,” said Womble.
“I think that I was really blessed because my mom and dad have always just been open and accepting when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community.”
But despite, hiding her pain from her parents, Indigo could not hide her feelings of depression and anxiety. She says 2020 was a turning point for her. After she beat COVID-19, Indigo decided to live her truth as a queer woman and pursue a career in acting.
“Acting has always been something that has given me so much joy and that’s really the place where I learned that it was okay to be queer and it was okay to be me.”
And when she is not on a physical stage Womble uses TikTok to share her experiences and create a space to be herself.
“We’re all so different and colorful and unique and wonderful and before you start judging people, the important thing to understand is how different of a world would this be if those colors were gone? We’d be beige, and that’s quite frankly not interesting to me at all.”
Womble hopes to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.