By Tatiana Isabel Gil
February 26, 2021
Nearly a year into this global pandemic, most of our connecting experiences have transferred almost exclusively on to online platforms. Whether it’s taking your school classes via zoom, having FaceTime friend and/or romantic dates and collective movie nights, or scrolling on TikTok for the latest dance trends, and inspirations to get you through the day, the internet has become now more than ever, a source of human interaction. Some influencers have taken advantage of their platform to speak truth to power around social justice, healing, and self empowerment. Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing a Massachusetts born and raised Instagram and TikTok influencer named Mariela (they/them/theirs) who is a queer, non-binary, Latinx influncer who provides 20 min live work outs, anti-racist resources, and empowering messages with a comical twist to and for the LGBTQ+ and POC communities!
Tati: Let’s start with, how would you describe your content?
Mariela: I think my main goal with my content is to provide humor and some sort of comic relief to the societal and systemic issues that we face on the day to day with a real life lens, as well as a moment to learn. I prefer real people who are like “ I am going through this Ish” and this is what I am feeling and I am going to laugh my way through it and probably cry my way through it, but get to the other side.
Tati: Tell me a little bit more about your influencer journey.
Mariela: Once I started accumulating more followers, I realized a few months into it that people were listening to me. People were telling me that they get up and are motivated because they have me threatening them with a chancla through a video screen! The page really started to get traction right at the top of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter uprisings. I was going to protests with my friends, signing petitions and making donations. I started to realize that I should be talking about what’s happening, my experiences, and how it all intertwines. I found feminism, the queer community, and the world I grew up in the Latinx community were all very white centered and I felt excluded many times. I was like, there has to be more people out there that also feel this. I have to talk more about this stuff, and that’s when the journey really started to transition into activism.
Tati: What do you hope that your followers take/learn from your content?
Mariela: My biggest thing is to reconnect with yourself and your humanity, because at the end of the day I think that is the most precious thing we have, is our humanity. Through our humanity comes our compassion, empathy, sympathy, humor, laughter and even moments of sadness are important because we are all going to face moments of shifting and change. And if we can just be more in touch with that side of ourselves, we really can change the trajectory of the world, how we communicate and interact as a community, and how we rely on each other.
Tati: How do you think your life would be different if you had an influencer like you to watch as a young person?
Mariela: Oh wow! I would be even more me today! When stuff really shifted in my life I went through a lot of traumatic events all at once when I was really young, and I feel like that was the core moment that I really needed somebody who was going to be like “Mariela, you are going to be okay, and today may be really tough and you may feel like there is never going to be a day where you are going to be okay again but like, look at me and know that I made it into my future. And that was something I didn't see, especially being everything that I am. I didn't see fat, Latinx, funny, main character types, female presenting people in my life who got all the hype and stuff. If I had that, a lot of things would be different in my life knowing that someone else is out there doing their thing and came out okay.
Tati: Where are you now and where are you heading?
Mariela: Right now I am working on a podcast call “Pero what the Que?”, creating a non-profit called Conscience Latinos, with two amazing latinx women, and I am also working on more specific content so people can learn about other influencers that I appreciate and have learned from, as well as information and resources for them to take action within themselves and their community. After the pandemic, I would love to get into comedy and voice acting. Speaking more long term once I have the financials, I would like to get back into community advocacy. I’d like to help established programs flourish in community centers, and develop a health, wellness and cultural center that is accessible to the entire community across all walks of life. This center would be a hub to celebrate, share and learn about all the cultures in the community, as well as learning decolonized wellness and how they can manifest that in their daily lives.
Follow Mariela on TikTok and Instagram at aidios_mariela at to get your work out on, get inspired to be a better version of yourself, and learn how to do that while also getting a good laugh.