Tesnim Smith. Just by looking at my name you can tell I come from two very different backgrounds. I am half Palestinian, and part Swedish, Scottish, and Slovenian. I was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, living in the Dearborn area until I was eight. After that, I moved to Manistee, Michigan, a complete opposite of my life before. I went from living in a big neighborhood, next to a major city, to living in a small town where everyone knew each other. Three years later we bought a house in Okemos, where I currently live. Not only is Okemos in between Manistee and dearborn, but it also is a perfect balance of town and city. Growing up in different places has formed my split-preference for living. I love the city, but I also love the country. One day I party and shop downtown, the next I’m going fishing and sleeping in a tent.
Throughout my life, I have always loved art and theatre. My favorite parts of school are after-school activities. The main one being the theatre department. My love of theatre has also led me to choir and dance. Participating in every school play and musical I can, I’ve managed to snag some lead roles. During school hours, my favorite class is art and literature. I’m a creative person, so I love activities that allow me to express myself.
My current community is my favorite of the places I’ve lived. I appreciate the safer feeling it provides. However, I fear I will never feel safe in society as a whole, due to me being a young woman in a man’s world. Though my community is safer than most, my mom still tells me to carry mace when I go for a run. I can’t walk alone at night, and I have to be careful about what I drink when I’m out. Women shouldn’t have to be afraid of these things, but even in my safer community, we are. Feminism is one of the main movements I support and has become a big role in forming my identity.