Guest Column by Joshua Magallanes

When we silence our own voice and we do not share out our story and authentic word, we are not only selling our family and coworkers short, but ultimately we are selling our own selves short.

I can remember the time in my life when I was silenced and unable to understand what that internal voice that was trying to surface was speaking. As a gay Latino male, was I silenced? Or, did I learn early on that in order to “make it” in the “white man’s” world I had to silence myself and not use my own perception to make it in this rat race?

Joshua Magallanes

Joshua Magallanes

That surfacing or silenced message was “Who am I?” and “How can I show up and be safe in every space, from work to my home to my community?” Did I need more safety?

So, as a faculty member at Highline College, I begin to wonder how I can transform my classroom into a living space of transformational leaders.

In today’s world with all that is going on — for example, on the good side, the Marriage Equality Act, and on the bad side, the North Carolina transgender law — it seems like we at Highline are in an especially good position to reach students who could be the change agents of the future, given our rich diversity of students and the inclusivity we strive for on campus. …

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This article was originally published in the print edition of the Federal Way Mirror on October 7, 2016.

About the Author

Joshua Magallanes earned his bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and his master’s degree in community counseling from Seattle University. He serves as committee chair for the LGBTQIA Task Force at Highline College and served on the board of directors for Gay City Men’s Health Project. He explores the societal constructs placed on communities of color and Queer communities as a way to continue to raise awareness and create change. Currently a faculty member at Highline College, he teaches courses including The LGBTQI Experience. For more information, visit

About Highline Voices

The Highline Voices series brings a range of diverse perspectives to our community, featuring the expertise of Highline College staff and faculty. Read other guest columns: “Urban Natives in South King County” by Tanya Powers and “Why I Do What I Do” by Liz Word.