Societal influence is a common theme and factor often discussed here on my blog, but today I want to talk about something a little different: influence. Now, when you think of influence, what comes to mind? Is it the ability to sway an opinion one way or another? Is it the innate power you have within you to lead others? While those can be true, what I want to focus on specifically is the conviction of an opinion and the strength behind a voice that, when heard, has the capacity to change the world- after all, that was my hope when I first began IAmMe seven years ago.
Today, I hope to pay tribute to a woman that: is a leader in her community, a woman whose strength is remarkable, and one who expertly navigates difficult conversation that brings awareness and tears down ancient stigmas that can no longer be allowed to have a place in today’s world. Who am I talking about? I’m glad you asked. I am talking about the one and only Ria Demiri.
Ria is an advocate, a creator, a survivor, and a mother. She is a woman who is unapologetically herself, after finding the courage to be who she is- which to be clear, is nothing short of amazing. I stumbled upon Ria’s page while in the hospital one night. She and her fiancee were discussing trauma and healing. This was immediately attention-grabbing given what was my then present predicament; but as the live continued, I realized she and I had a bit more in common than met the eye.
She has an energy that is relatable, a story has a meaningful impact, and has learned lessons along the way that no matter one’s: gender, sexuality, orientation, or race, can be related to and connected with; and that’s why it has been my absolute honor to feature her today!
Ria, I really dislike the word, influencer because that does not come close to describing all that you do, but when did you first notice that people were really relating with and responding to the content you produce?
“As a response to your question on when I noticed people connecting to me was almost instantly after creating my first TikTok. It was just a basic video out of boredom during Covid. However, I began getting questions about my background, my identity as a gay woman, etc. I realized quickly I was igniting something within others in which they related to and it inspired me to really share some of my background. I always felt if I could impact even one life, ignite that spark for one person, I would have felt accomplished. It quickly grew into a movement I would have never seen coming.”
Last year you bravely told your story: the good, the painful, and your journey to love- both within yourself and others. You are someone who has survived what you may have believed was too painful. What piece(es) of advice would you give to someone who believes they do not have the strength to continue on?
“My advice to anyone in a rough place is to remember you are worthy. No matter what you’ve been told, no matter what you’ve been taught or had to endure, you are enough! Make YOURSELF proud and truly look at all of your trials as power. You’re in control of your journey, don’t give up on you.”