Amalonda Fillimare is one of the newer faces around Public Radio Seattle, but the respect xe commands from the rest of the staff is as if xe has been around for decades. That is how much respect Public Radio Seattle has for xir.
“It is really flattering to have this kind of respect and admiration from so many people I deeply respect.” said Fillimare, “It really makes what I do for Public Radio Seattle that much more fulfilling.”
Amalonda Fillimare is not without xir own life challenges. Xir parent’s disowend xir when xe was only 16 years old, forcing xir out on the street and on xir own. “I came out as non binary when I was 16. Somedays I wanted to be a boy, somedays a girl, somedays neither, somedays both. However my really ultra conservative religious parents were having none of it, and forcing me to be a boy full time. I finally had enough and called Child Protective Services, and my parents kicked me out after that.”
Fillimare relied heavily on a network of LGBT friendly organizations and charities to make it through high school, where xir earned a scholarship to Western Washington University, where xir studied Theatre with a minor in Women’s Studies. “I was born male, but express myself and identify as a female frequently, so the women’s studies minor was a way for me to get a female foundation for myself.”
Fillimare graduated from WWU and while working for an independent theatre group, was identified by Frank Matthews-Lester after a production. “He was really interested in my life story, and when I told him all about myself, he said that Public Radio Seattle was lacking a personality like mine. So it was very flattering to become the first genderqueer, gender neutral, non binary host on Public Radio Seattle.”
Fillimare was born named Landon McGrath, but changed xir’s name when xe turned 18 and could legally do so without parental permission. “My first name is a combo of my 3 favorite female and male names – Amanda, Loren, and Rhonda. My last name is based on my favorite TV show of all time, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and is a combination of the words “Filly” and “Mare”.
Fillimare credits My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for xir’s transformation. “I was a lonely boy in middle school when I started watching My Little Pony, and it was through that show where I discovered my true identity as a human. This show helped relay so much personal discovery to me and I owe everything to it and its creators, and it is why I honor the show with my last name”.
When not behind the microphone, Fillimare is spending xir time watching My Little Pony, going to My Little Pony meet ups and conventions, and helping other non binary kids with their struggles. “Other people helped me, and I feel the need to give back to those who are in the situation I was once in.” said Fillimare.
You can hear Amalonda Fillimare and xir program “I’m With Xir” on Public Radio Seattle, Monday-Friday from 12pm to 2pm.