Volunteer Spotlight on Aiden Vargas


KBOO is open to the public! To visit the station, contact your staff person or call 503-231-8032.

Authored by: 
Aiden Vargas photo person wearing fishnet top standing in front of rainbow flag
Published date: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 10:00pm
Aiden joined KBOO's volunteer community in March, and has been staffing the front desk and contributing to TransPositive ever since.


1. Please introduce yourself to the KBOO Community — who are you, and what are you passionate about?

I'm a Conversion "Therapy" survivor, a gender-bender, outspoken man who arrived in the US back in 1992 to participate on a Latin, talk-show and speak against homophobia. I came out in 1989 while I was still living in Costa Rica - when I was only 16 years old. I was one of the dozens of homeless, teenagers who were forced to go in full drag and roam the streets of the capital - hoping to survive by renting our bodies to strangers. Today, I am an activist: I publish videos on YouTube to share my stories, raise awareness - and hopefully touch people's hearts and cause positive change. 

I'm very passionate about our huge LGBTQ+ family and our allies (our extended family). I'm especially passionate about our youth because I don't want our kids, nor our future generations to go through what I went through. I hope to, someday, go back to a talk-show to speak about my experience and tell my story. I'm hopeful that someday I'll get to go to Ellen's.

2. What's your favorite thing to do on a day with no commitments?

Spend time with my love: Jason and I have been together for over 11 years! I honestly never thought someone could ever love me so much, and I fall deeper and deeper in love with him each day. So I try to spend as much time with him as I can; we have a lot of fun together - no matter what we do, but in case you're curious; we love taking pictures, we like playing HearthStone, watching documentaries, comedies - anything Netflix. We just love spending time together and talking (well, I love talking - lol).

3. What brought you to KBOO?

I've always had a strong desire to help people, but back in October I almost died due to an ulcer (bacteria ended up poisoning my blood). After the surgery, I went into deep depression for about three months. After that, I felt that I needed to go back out to the world and do my best to contribute and help our family raise awareness and fight for Equality. I met Emma and Ani and was happy to have an opportunity to start taking training sessions and volunteering at KBOO.

4. What have you done at KBOO?

I currently collaborate with Emma, Jean and the rest of the Transpositive team. I also volunteer at the front desk every Thursday from 4pm to 7pm. I am also trying to learn as much as I can so that I can help wherever it's needed.

5. What have you learned?

I've learned FCC laws (the do's and don't's), how to place a call on the air, how to jump in when co-hosting a show - and a little bit about board operation and remote broadcasting.

6. Are there other things you'd like to do at KBOO in the future?

Yes! I want to learn how to do podcasts, work in the news department, and eventually submit a proposal for a show.

7. What's your favorite moment at KBOO? Any highlights?

I love being at the station, but my favorite time so far was when we interviewed Buck Angel. He was very wise, kind and fun to talk to - and also very humble.

8. How does KBOO help your family/community/etc/?

It has definitely helped me to keep depression away, to give me a sense of purpose, and the feeling that I'm part of something greater. Being at KBOO is perfect for a social butterfly like myself. At home, it has helped me do more chores - listening to KBOO is what helps me to actually get them done. I recommend everyone to try and do this: you can enjoy music or expand your neuron-net by acquiring new knowledge while taking care of things at home. It makes time go by very fast and before you know it - your chores are done!

9. Why is KBOO important? 

There's just so much: KBOO is a safe place for many people. When I first walked in, I felt like I was walking into a crystal cave or a room full of crystals. KBOO brings our community together, it teaches people how to work in teams, it surrounds each individual with an aura - with a certain kind of energy that is replete with love, kindness, and compassion. I simply have no words to express how much I appreciate KBOO.

10. What else do you want people to know about you?

I dream of the day in which I travel the world - speaking to the masses, helping prevent children and teen suicide - and create a foundation with the sole purpose of giving homeless kids - not only a roof, but a home, not just a meal, but sustenance (in all sense of the word); a place where they can have a voice and share their stories with the world. I am a Reiki Master and I also love metaphysics.

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