See All Of Me: Representation Matters
My name is Abel Garcia. I am 19 years old, an aspiring composer and songwriter and a trans, queer latino man.I started medically transitioning right as I started my first semester at Berklee College of Music, and it was pretty terrifying. At the time I was scared of losing my singing voice, as well as forever being known as the "Trans composer guy" in my field. I wanted my work to speak for itself, and at the time I wasn't particularly proud of my trans identity. I never wanted to be a trans activist, and I didn't even want to write songs about my trans experience because though I was in a safe environment to be out, I was staring it in the face everyday and it was painful. As time went on I began to value my own voice (and coming into my singing voice stronger than ever before) and realized just how much hope representation gives to people.
A few years ago I fell in love with cinema and decided I wanted to write music for films. The film scoring industry is largely dominated by cis men, and even the top people in the field know there's a serious need for diversity. The ultimate goal in writing music for film is to tell the story, and over time I realized my experiences allowed me to empathize and better write for stories like mine- I always found solace in outcast protagonists. There were times in my life where the people on movie screens and on my playlists were my closest friends. The film industry is directly impacted by the times- the Time's Up and #MeToo movements are proof of this- and representation in media has become more prominently valued then ever before. Every time I see a trans person making moves in their field, or a loving portrayal of Mexican culture (oh, Coco), my heart swells with joy. I hope to someday move people the same way. We aren't just Trans* people. We are veterans, parents, artists and politicians. We are actively changing the world.