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40 of the Forty: Rivianna Hyatt

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RIV 40 website

Rivianna Hyatt is an artist. And her artistic expression goes far beyond performance. Through her work in theater, she’s out to create a home for artists and audience members alike.

Paired with her artistic vision is an insatiable inclination for learning and a staunch commitment to her own truth and story. Because Rivianna wouldn’t be Rivianna without a story.

True Colors Fund: What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?

Rivianna: Damn, where are my glasses?

True Colors Fund: What’s your biggest dream?

Rivianna: My biggest dream is to start a theater company that puts on work by and for queer and marginalized groups. I want to empower through collaboration. I want to provide a space in which artists can create compelling, fulfilling work and make a living doing it. I want to develop a community through the art we put on. I want to extend that community into a sense of home, both for the artists and for the audience. I want to make it clear that theater is not extraneous, that it is not a luxury. Theater is story and story is empowerment.

True Colors Fund: What is it like to be you?

Rivianna: I often find myself in situations where I am surrounded by people from backgrounds that look nothing like my own. I often have dual instincts in these settings: on one hand, I want to project an image of myself that is far more sophisticated than I really am – to essentially abandon my own history in favor of seeming more cultured and educated. But on the other hand, there’s a part of me that wants the people surrounding me in my daily life to know the context of where I come from. The older I get, the more I recognize that there is no shame in growing up the way I did. In fact, it is essential to the person I have become. It is an everyday struggle to be honest with myself about that, but I’m realizing that knowing myself is absolutely necessary in order to get to know the rest of the world. <- TWEET THIS

True Colors Fund: Anything else you’d like to tell us, or the people out there?

Rivianna: I graduated from City College of San Francisco last year with an AA in LGBT Studies and I now am attempting to get my degree in Theater and Business Economics at Mills College in Oakland!

There’s weight in a story. What does storytelling mean to you? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter!

The 40 of the Forty list gives lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth who have experiences with homelessness and/or housing instability a chance to speak for themselves. The young people on the list were nominated by homeless youth service providers, social workers, educators, individuals, and other folks across the country. Over the course of forty weeks, we’ll be releasing full length interviews with each young person featured on our list.

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When he’s not working at the True Colors Fund, you can find Nick somewhere in Brooklyn, listening to, making, or talking about music.