Do you remember where you were fifteen years ago? The year was 1996, Alanis Morrisette won Album of the Year, 110 people died on ValueJet 592 and Dolly the Sheep was born. There were three other births that rocked our world and fifteen years later, we’re all better for having them in our lives:
The WNBA was announced to the slogan, “We Got Next,” and would begin play the following summer after a year of anticipation. Each team was a partner to an established NBA team. The Chicago Bulls did not launch a WNBA team, so I threw my allegiance to the Cleveland Rockers, the closest team. This quickly established Cleveland as a frequent vacation spot for my post-college and pre-baby years. My WNBA list went dark when the Rockers disbanded in 2003, but my life brightened when Michael J. Alter (principle owner) and Margaret Stender decided to bring Chicago an independent WNBA team, the Chicago Sky. No more waiting for the Bulls! While we are still waiting for the Sky to make it to the playoffs, each year they inch closer and closer. Hopefully Pokey Chatman will be kept around long enough to mold the team into a championship team.
When Latina Magazine launched, I waved it off as just a Latina version of every other women’s magazine on the rack. I assumed behind the cover with a prominent Latina on it would be the same body-shaming and “How to Catch a Man” articles. When I started to peek at the magazine five years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see thoughtful articles on immigration, the drug cartels and Latinas in Hollywood. Yes, there are still fashion spreads, but instead of only super thin models, Latina showcases models of different sizes. Over the last year, I’ve especially loved that they have highlighted stories of young Latinas who are studying and/or working in science and engineering.
Rounding out my trifecta of quienceañeras is Bitch Magazine. When I first learned about them, they were already three years old and taking the feminist community by storm with their feminist criticism of pop culture. I vividly remember meeting one of their founders, Lisa Jervis, at the 2000 Feminist Expo. I was in awe that someone my age had already done so much. I was an instant fan. Their name has always been controversial, but they have stuck with it. Today I serve on their Advisory Board and contribute when I can.
Fifteen years ago I was still in college trying to imagine what my life would be today. I look at the next fifteen and see me finishing my PhD, sending my daughter to college and my husband and I beginning on a new chapter in our lives. I can only imagine what the WNBA, Latina and Bitch have in store for us. And there’s plenty of time and room to jump on their bandwagons to enjoy the journey.
Anyone else celebrating 15 years?