Woman Warrior

To what fictional character do you most relate, and why? You may select a character from animation, art, film, literature, television, theater or any other medium.

Every winter break, my siblings and I snuggle under the fuzzy Eeyore blanket in the bonus room, watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. As the December blizzard shrieks outside, we find warmth in following the wholesome, familiar banter between the main characters of the show. Although Sokka, the show’s comedic relief, is the character closest to my heart, I have gained a deep and wholly deserved appreciation for Katara, his younger sister.

As the last living water-bender in the Southern Water Tribe, Katara practices her skills every chance she gets, determined to preserve her culture’s traditions and to protect her family and friends from danger. When she discovers that the Northern Water Tribe outlaws female waterbending, she abolishes these patriarchal standards by proving her strength--as a girl--to the Master. By demanding the Master train her in waterbending, she paves a path for future generations of female water-benders who are now free to practice their hereditary skills without punishment or stigma.

Like Katara, I was also dubbed a defiant spirit starting from a young age. When I was first exposed to LGBT discrimination in fifth grade, I asked my father if he supported gay rights. This was my first political debate with...

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