Jems Loves GILFs is a series in which we ask guardians of all kinds what gives them life.
Here, bicoastal community icon Yoma tells Jems about being a Godbrother to her young friend Nima and what qualities their community embodies.
Portrait by Peter Sutherland
How has being a guardian changed your relationship to your inner child or sense of play?
"I try to take things less seriously. At the end of the day, you can laugh at everything. Even if I’ve lived so many more years than Nima, I also don’t know better than him. I’m reminded of that often."
What’s your proudest guardian moment?
"My proudest moment is traveling to Nepal with Maia [Ruth Lee] and Nima. He wasn’t even a year yet. We went to Nepal because Maia’s parents were there. It’s not easy doing a 24 hour flight with a baby. But it was incredible."
How has your fashion sense changed since becoming a guardian?
"Oh, I got this one! My Godbrother look is Glam Samurai. I dress like a Japanese grandfather with this very fluid glam style. I’ve gotten more confident in my style thanks to Nima. He wears a costume everyday, sometimes changing multiple times a day. He’ll be Spiderman then Venom then the Frozen princesses. We get to do that together."
“My Godbrother look is Glam Samurai.”
If it “takes a village to raise a child,” who’s in your village, and how would you like to see it grow?
"Diversity is huge. A resilient community and village. Down to earth. Grace and compassion. People with a good moral compass. They’re not supposed to be perfect. It’s this thing that everyone has—this gut instinct. People with basic integrity. Like what I grew up with."
Giving. Important. Loving. Fun. These are just some of the words we associate with GILFs. (That and the obvious: Guardian I’d Like to...) What’s in your GILF acrostic?