Community Spotlight: Natalie Kelley

Community Spotlight: Natalie Kelley

Natalie (She/Her) "Nat" takes us through her decade long journey of accepting and truly loving herself, opening up her own practice to help others, and how social media and clothing has helped her understand and showcase her true identity. 

Tell us about yourself, who is Natalie?

Hey there! I'm Natalie, but most folks call me Nat. I'm currently living on Whidbey Island in Washington, in a small town named Coupeville. Still, Sacramento, CA holds a special place in my heart since my girlfriend lives there. I came out as a lesbian when I turned 25, embarking on a beautiful journey of self-discovery, though it was tough not having been true to myself earlier. I recall questioning my sexuality at 12 but lacking representation, I convinced myself I was straight for over a decade, leading to uncomfortable relationships and self-doubt. TikTok changed everything – finally seeing people who resembled me and shared similar stories made everything click. Opening up to friends and having a queer therapist really helped me embrace my true self. Being gay is now a cherished part of me, and I'm beyond grateful to experience genuine love. I'm the proud owner of Plenty and Well, where I provide mindset coaching for those with chronic illnesses, inspired by my own health journey. My platforms, TikTok and Instagram, let me share my life, queer experience, and fashion. Working for myself is a true blessing. Through my chronic illness, coming out, and other challenges, I've built a strong relationship with self-love and care. Daily rituals like meditation, yoga, and pulling oracle cards, affirmations, yoga and many more remind me that I'm always deserving of love, even if not everyone understands.

When do you feel like your most authentic self? 

I feel like my most authentic self when I'm in nature, especially at the beach, barefoot and writing in my journal. Ever since I was a kid I was happiest when connecting with Mother Nature and with a pencil in hand and not much has changed since then. I feel full permission to just be ME, to feel all of my emotions no matter how messy and channel them into poetry and short essays.

Existing as a queer person in the US is becoming increasingly more difficult. How do you remain positive in today's climate?

I've been feeling a lot of immense grief over the hatred towards out community lately and it feels like every time I read the news or open TikTok or talk to my queer friends I'm constantly reminded of the hatred and dangers we face as a community and it's difficult to not feel defeated. I try to stay positive by creating content that hopefully uplifts and supports other queer folks and reminds them that despite the hatred from others, they can always learn to love themselves. Also finding tangible ways to help the community at large - through actions like donating to organizations, engaging in conversations that hopefully open other peoples' minds, etc. - has helped me feel like I'm playing SOME small roll in changing the narrative. Also focusing on and celebrating queer JOY has helped me so much - whether it's being extremely present in joyful moments with my girlfriend, creating joyful queer community with my friends, etc.

What is most important to you when shopping for clothing that makes you feel comfortable and confident?

The most important thing for me when shopping for clothes that make me feel confident and comfortable is really tuning in and seeing how the clothes make me feel energetically. I spent my entire life dressing for the male gaze and not focusing on what actually felt good to ME. Now, I have to feel fully and authentically me in everything I wear. Also recognizing that my style will be fluid and some days I want to feel more femme and other days that doesn't make me feel confident - so diversity in my wardrobe and allowing myself to just meet my energy wherever it is each day. :)

Favorite product from Humankind?

I am OBSESSED with the color block 6.5 inch swim trunks - as a typical bikini wearer, these have been such an amazing way to switch up my beach style and feel more confident on the days I don't feel as comfortable dressing femme. They're also so comfy and cute!