in july of 1877, a man named L.L. Zamenhof created a language called Esperanto, which translates to “one who hopes”. he wished to bring those from different countries together and create peace among them. during the first world war, a territory composed of many Esperanto speakers was referred to as “an oasis in a desert of destruction.” 

in the peaceful language of Esperanto, ilekso means holly. i stumbled upon Esperanto a few years ago while translating my name into different languages, as one does when desperately trying to create a new username for social media. the history and the meaning behind the language fit seamlessly with my beliefs, my goals, and my practices. and so my new identity was born. 

i have come to realize that my purpose in this world is to care for others and to create my own sort of oasis, a space that is safe for everyone to express themselves freely and feel significant in their own lives. i am consumed each day by the joy and love and beauty in the world, and i am determined to spend the rest of my life trying to spread it around to anyone who needs it.

i am ilekso.