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Production: Cornland Studio

Marius Diserens, queer activist for several years now, and elected to the communal council for the Green Party in the city of Nyon, where he works closely with public security to open it up to issues concerning LGBTQIA+ populations. He responds to the pronouns he is given, defines himself as gender fluid and has intersectionality at the heart of all his struggles. He has a master's degree in gender studies and specialises in queer theory, while also doing project management for awareness and visibility of issues concerning LGBTQIA+ populations. Also a yoga teacher, it is this contact with the other, whether human or other natural entity, that is at the heart of his discourses and actions. His perspective is, as he says so well, fundamentally ecofeminist: a liberation of the human being must necessarily go hand in hand with an anti-capitalist and planetary fight for the defence of biodiversity, the safeguarding of resources, the protection of natural environments and the visibility of the destruction caused by climate change.


Who are you and what do you do in life?
My name is Marius, I'm 25 years old, I'm a newly elected member of Nyon's town council, a yoga teacher, a gender and diversity specialist, and a bit of an activist on social networks mainly.
What is your current state of mind?
Very proud and determined for the future.
What is your main character trait?
I am very, very persistent and will never take no for an answer if I would like it to be a yes.
What does it mean to be green today?
I think we all have our own ways of being green and that starts with respecting others in their ways of doing and functioning ecologically. So respect for others mainly, we go through stages, it's a personal transformation and we have to accept that we don't all have the same rhythm. And we all have different commitments, as far as I'm concerned this is done at a political and personal level. There is a certain perfection that I don't think we can have yet, so we look for a maximum of coherence and for me that's also perhaps what being an ecologist is all about, it's looking for this coherence while always being a bit imperfect.
Who inspires you and why?
My biggest inspiration today is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is in the House of Representatives in the United States, because she is a woman who fought for her values and really grew out of a grassroots movement, as they say, and is now one of the most influential people in the American political scene at least. She is a person I look up to with great admiration.
How did your desire to get involved come about, what was the trigger if any?
I don't think there was a real trigger, it came about very naturally and it's actually mainly the violence I suffered that made me so offended and angry at society that I wanted to find another way to respond and stand up for its values and identities.
How does your commitment manifest itself on a daily basis?
I often tend to say that my gender, my identity and my values enter a room before I enter it, so it's also just being me and having a discourse that allows you to act and to be an activist already. And then it's also about doing your research, supporting all your knowledge to have a real background and arguments when we have debates. This is what inspires me and enriches me the most, but at the same time it is the biggest challenge, to have a discussion and meet the other person and try to debate constructively to move forward together.


How do you integrate the notion of sustainability into your work?
I don't have a background or expertise in ecology or sustainability but from my political involvement I think it's really an ecofeminist mix, a mix of struggles. Sustainability is not only of course in the environment and in what we can do personally and politically, but also how do we respect others, how do we walk together, how do we advance all the different struggles and fights for different identities and values and that's really a struggle that I'm rooting for and trying to promote.


What are the biggest challenges you face?
It's very simply to defend my reality and my identity, while at the same time detaching myself from it and freeing myself from it to show that I am not just that.


What has the pandemic changed in your relationship with the world?
On the one hand, she pushed me to get involved politically, which was already a good start, and afterwards she woke me up even more to the importance of mobilising, of finding each other and respecting each other in all our struggles and in our different rhythms. It allowed me to be much more tolerant with myself mainly and to really go at my own pace. 


Tell me about your best nature memory.
When I came home last night from my swearing-in with my heels in my hands, jumping through puddles in the rain. The coolest one let's say will be this one.


If you were a tree which one would you be and why?
I had once read that the oak tree attracts lightning but also symbolises majesty and strength and so I might be a little bit bold enough to say that I would be an oak tree.


What capacity of nature would you like to have?
Regeneration to recover faster from the spikes that are thrown at me.
If you were a source of energy what would you be?
With humility the sun.


Your favourite season and why? 
Spring because nature is reborn and it's really so beautiful, inspiring and hopeful.
Your favourite landscape? 
Lake Geneva and if possible with the people I love out front. 


What does preserving the planet mean to you?
It's not only having stricter policy measures on the environment but also somehow forcing yourself to having the courage to make this personal transition and then respecting the people and tolerating all the people who live there.


What kind of pollution do you dislike? 

People who talk about nothing.


What solutions for the planet are you most looking forward to?
A real awareness of environmental issues, that it is really something that is transversal and that is understood by all of society and by everyone, because we are still far from it and we saw it in the last vote on June 13.
The anti-sustainable act you find hard to give up?
Taking baths because I need them a lot for my mental health.


What is it that you no longer have in your kitchen?


Which environmental action makes you feel better?
Walking, even if it makes me sweat in summer.


Your biggest contradiction?
Advocating gender equality and myself wearing clothes that subjugate women, typically heels.
If you had to have a green motto, what would it be?
To do violence to oneself because a transition is not necessarily always easy and neither is change, but it is so worth it.
What is your idea of happiness?

When people look at me with kindness.

What about your idea of fun?
To see the things I aspire to come true.
How can we act at an individual level to make a difference?
First of all, listening to the social justice movements, I think this is very important. Voices are being heard in the public space and in the media and we have to take time to listen to them, to see them, to hear them, to digest them too. And we have to listen to the people who know better than us because I think we are all imperfect beings, we all have to learn from the people who can teach us. And even I have no background or training in terms of the environment, ecology or biodiversity, but I am in politics to learn and I know that there are many people who are professionals and experts and they are there to help me move forward.
How can we make a difference at a collective level?
A community is more than just being with each other, it's taking each other by the hand and trusting each other, loving each other and I think we need more of that today.
What is your utopia Marius?
A world where communication would be crystal clear.
What are the three things or three steps that are necessary to change the world?
I think the first thing is to change yourself before you change the world, and that will come in four steps. There's a quote I often repeat at the end of my yoga classes and that is: 

"observe, accept, release and transform

What should the new world community look like?
It will come in all sizes, all shapes, all colours, all possible forms of identity, it will be flamboyant.
Thank you
With great pleasure

You too can tell us your stories that can inspire us all! If you want to try your hand at the Proust questionnaire or share your experience, your commitment, your tips or your gripes, go to the "Share with us" discussion forum on the La Mèche platform:

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