Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and walking along with them for a while…this is how our new interview series “A Walk in my Shoes” creates space for people to come together. Conversation allows us to break down old patterns of thought and come up with new ideas. And that contributes to building a regenerative community.
Being free to be who you really are, standing up for each other, being loud together sometimes – actor Brix Schaumburg, the host of the new interview series, tells us, why these things are essential for him and which other topics are close to his heart.
When we face each other at eye level, share our experiences and change perspectives, a new togetherness can emerge. Like with Brix and our guests in "A Walk in My Shoes": Anne Menden, Britta Kiwit and Thelma Buabeng.
➧ Interviews on Youtube
Hi Brix, nice to meet you. Care to introduce yourself?
Hi. My name is Brix Schaumburg. I am 33 years old. I'm an actor and I'm very happy campaigning for diversity in a sustainable way. And that includes sustainability issues, of course.
"A Walk in my Shoes" is about to go live. What are you most excited about?
I'm happy to be exploring a change in perspective with “A Walk in my Shoes” and you, and to listen to guests' stories and learn. I think, first and foremost, I'm really pleased that we're being given a platform to talk uncomfortably, openly and honestly about topics that are mega important to all of us. And that we have found each other and are allowed to walk freely through this incredibly beautiful setting.
What is essential for you?
To love and be allowed to be just as I am. And that is what I wish for everyone in this world. And here, too, I think it's essential to be loud together, to be united, to stand up for each other.
Remind us: How did we meet?
That starts with one word: I always wanted to be wild. I still am today. And I simply love this wordplay. That's how it started. You had me with the name, then with the look, and then I met all of you. And then I stayed. And it just feels good. I feel really comfortable.
Image: Nora Tabel | Wildling Shoes
In the past, you often had to justify being trans. What has changed?
I used to justify myself because I felt like I had to. Today, I don’t think I justify myself like that. Instead, I choose to stand up and be loud and visible because I know who I am and I dare to do that today. But I don't think we should expect that from everybody. And that's very important. That's why I'm doing it.
"A Walk in one's shoes" change of perspective. Can you recall a situation that was formative for you?
So, if we see my life now as the Walk, I would say that about at the halfway point, when I knew who I was, I started my transition and today I get to be Brix as you see me right now.
The privileges that are thrown at me as a white male often overwhelm me. And that's the biggest shift in perspective that I live.
Brix Schaumburg in conversation with Thelma Buabeng. Image: Nora Tabel | Wildling Shoes
Our guests each bring their own topics. What would you like to talk about?
Breaking away from the binary construct is super important to me personally. Simply because, maybe, I've lived all sides of it. But if we really get into it and go back to remembering what we were like as kids, did we live in these constructs? Or did we just do it?
I think we should see the world again a little bit more as children see it and be daring. Starting with clothing. Let's get away from binary thinking. There is not only one shape, one color. We dance around it and in the middle of it. I think that's where we just have to be daring.
What do you consider to be the key to a good conversation?
Courage to have good conversations. It’s ok to be uncomfortable, it’s ok to debate, but you should respect and accept that the person walking with you might sometimes have a different opinion.
Brix Schaumburg in conversation with Britta Kiwit. Image: Nora Tabel | Wildling Shoes
Why is education essential for a good dialogue at eye level?
To me it is most important, that we humans should accept each other for who we are. We are diverse, multifaceted, colourful, all different and all beautiful just the way we are. If that is seen and accepted, then we really wouldn't have any more problems. But there is still a long way to go.
Only ignorance leads to hatred and that's why education is incredibly important. Because what we know, we can name, and maybe we’re not afraid of it anymore. And we also have to accept that not knowing is perfectly okay. Because what we don't know today, we can learn. We should be open and also put ourselves in the other person's shoes and accept that knowledge can still be added on. We have to be open to learn new things and continue to learn. The world is fast. It's spinning incredibly fast. In the same way, labels and concepts are little things that change rapidly. Change is sometimes uncomfortable and that's why it has to happen.
But dialogue is still not always enough for you. Why are you extra actively involved?
Because I know today that I needed all that back then. A club, a regulars' table, simply the community I have today. But it's never too late. I’m still allowed to live and have that at 33. And that feels damn good. To create something together. Maybe education in schools or just being a bit uncomfortable, that's good.
Brix Schaumburg in conversation with Anne Menden. Image: Nora Tabel | Wildling Shoes
What's the best way to support your activism for acceptance?
Stick together. My favourite phrase is: “Together we are louder.” I dare to be visible and loud. I certainly don’t expect that from everyone. People have to decide for themselves what is bearable. But it's often easier when you're not alone.
What does re:generation mean to you? How can you regenerate yourself best?
I think what I still find very difficult is to endure silence. Even though that's the thing that "resets" me the most, isn't it? And walking in the forest with my dogs, that's what I like to do the most. Or just playing Duplo with my child. That's just as good.
With Wildling shoes in the forest - what's the best part of that?
I feel free. I feel myself, I feel the ground. I am very grounded. And I'm walking through a beautiful forest, as it happens. I’m trying to connect at the top and feel it at the bottom as well. It's a lovely feeling.
Cover image: Nora Tabel | Wildling Shoes