Humans of Saint Martin's: L.J. Montefalcon
I want to be an inspiration for other nonbinary or gender non-conforming people on campus. We may be a small community at Saint Martin’s, but we are here.
- L.J. Montefalcon '25
- Computer Science Major
I am a queer Filipino artist. If you had met me before college, I would have introduced myself as a straight-A student who does Running Start, sports all year round, and all these other extracurriculars because I used to think that book smarts were the most important thing people cared about. If you couple this with the fact that I’ve always been shy and introverted - when I was in high school, it was like I couldn’t settle into being my own person. I was afraid of being myself around my peers and teachers because I didn’t want to be cast out of my classes and friend groups. It always felt like I was standing on the sidelines in high school, so when I got accepted into Saint Martin’s University in 2021, I decided I was going to be a brand-new person. I decided I’d finally be myself or die trying. My new mentality was part of this drive of wanting to be part of something and actually making a difference because it sucked being on the sidelines for so long. I was always just there on the outside, looking in, and that kind of showed in my art at the time too. To me, art is something that is really personal and raw because it reflects an extremely vulnerable part of yourself. Because art entails so much vulnerability, sharing it with others can be dangerous, especially if you’re not open to criticism. My art is in everything I do. Every time I code, my art is there. Whenever I write essays or make presentations, my art is hiding in those pages and slideshows. This is one of the biggest reasons why I bury myself in my work – it's a reflection of me. I want to be proud of what I make.
When the Campus Activity Board (CAB) at Saint Martin’s hired me as their new graphic designer halfway through my freshman year, I was hit with the realization that I was going to be sharing my art with everyone on campus. I thought to myself, “Everyone is going to be able to look at my art. Everyone is going to have thoughts on it.” It was exciting because people were going to recognize my art, but it was also terrifying because it’s a part of me that everyone is going to be able to see. In the end, though, I’m glad I did it because it was those posters for CAB that really helped me follow through on my decision to be true to myself. The year leading up to joining CAB, I didn’t feel like I was matching my expectations to the promise I made to myself; I was still hiding in the sidelines and being shy – even in my really close friend group. During the summer event at the beginning of this school year, I was able to speak with a bunch of people who saw the posters and other things I designed for the event. It felt really good to receive so much positive feedback and support. People told me that they loved seeing my posters in the halls and loved wearing the buttons and stickers I designed as well. This gave me the confidence boost I needed. It helped me live in my own skin. After that, I didn’t feel afraid to dress the way I wanted on campus and let people know that I’m nonbinary. Knowing that people supported my art helped me gain a sense of freedom to express myself more genuinely.
Today, I am proud to be out on campus as a queer person. I like knowing that when I'm at campus events, people can look at me and see that I’m living my best life; I hope it inspires them to start doing it too. I want to be an inspiration for other nonbinary or gender non-conforming people on campus. We may be a small community at Saint Martin’s, but we are here.
Ready to put your computer skills to use in a career serving others through future technologies? Computer science may be the best major for you.
- Main (Lacey)
- Type of Instruction
- In Person
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science