Nicole Thomas, 30, Field organizer
Hidden talent: I'm really good at making strange nicknames for people. I don't know how appropriate they are to share, but they're usually very specific to the person based on our history together.
Biggest fear: Not completing a lot of the good things I think are in store for my career and more specifically, not getting to support my family.
My bad habit: I am notorious for talking too fast.
My guilty pleasure: Not getting dressed until 3 p.m. on my day off.
You'd never guess: A lot of people are surprised that I identify as queer, based on appearances.
I can't live without: A book in my bed. Even if I don't read very much, or just a couple pages, there's something very ritualistic around having a book in my bed.
My hero: My grandmother is a hero of mine. She passed away a couple of years ago, but she was very, very big in community-based work.
On my bucket list: I don't have an actual bucket list, but there are some things I'd like to get accomplished. One of them is to travel more widely, get out of the U.S. and see the world a bit. Another would be to really explore where my career path is going to take me. The work I do right now opens up a lot of doors in terms of working with the social justice movement and I want to see where that takes me.
Biggest accomplishment: Being really up-front and making sure my family is aware that I am an LGBT person and I identify as queer.
When I'm not working: I like to hang out with friends. A lot of us live on the East Side and I have a really nice tight-knit community of women of color. We spend a lot of time in what we call the "Gayborhood," which is on Larchmere.
Find me here on a Saturday night: A Saturday night could be as simple as enjoying some time with my friends or it could be more involved, like working at an event with my job.
If I had one wish: It might be for all of us — and by us I mean the world — to figure out how to stop trying to one-up each other's mistreatments and come together and realize our powers that we have together. We can make some really big changes if we stop trying to find who has it the worst off.
Once-in-a-lifetime moment: I work in politics but my degree is in music. One of my once-in-a-lifetime moments would have been being on stage and working with Stanley Drucker, the principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic, who recently retired.
On death row, my last meal would be: Holy crap! This one is a huge no-no, and I have real anxiety around it, so I don't know how hungry I would be. If I had to choose, I would have some amazing seafood, like a freshly cut fish dish.
If I won the Mega Millions, I'd spend it on: I would definitely be sure that I no longer owe the educational institutions any money and beyond that, I would make sure that the people I care about are well taken care of and then make a thoughtful list of organizations I would want to give to.
My No. 1 dating rule: Be as real as you possibly can be and don't do anything you would not normally do.
Deal-breakers: When someone empties all of their emotional baggage on the very first date. That is a nasty deal-breaker. I want to have a really organic relationship, and I think if you spend the entire first date talking about your trials, tribulations, and personal hurts, then there's not a lot of space to talk about the good that's coming or the way you recovered from those things. It just sort of sucks up all the air in the room.
The perfect date: Something where we both agree that it's comfortable enough to be ourselves but also maybe a little challenging. I'm being really vague, but that's because someone out there should figure that out and let me know.
I'm a sucker for: A strong, confident, clever woman.
Most romantic thing you've ever done: I'm rolling my eyes right now because I am not a romantic person and any of my exes will tell you that.
What I look for in a significant other: I'm really intrigued by women who are smart and very aware of their abilities without being cocky. Women who have some power but don't take themselves too seriously.
Celebrity dream date: Robin Roberts. I hope she's reading.
Celebrity look-alike: I don't think I have one. That might be my ego talking about how individualistically wonderful I am, but I don't see it.
Dogs or cats: Dogs.
Beach or mountains: Mountains.
Signature dish: I can whip up a friggin' mean chicken noodle soup for those cold days when you're not feeling good. It's super delicious and fresh, not out of the can. Nobody wants that.
How I stay healthy: There's a micro and macro on this. The micro might be in the heat of the moment, when things are pretty stressful, take a minute to step back and zoom out, and really think about the outcomes and how much stress you really need in your life right now. Can you get away with taking a minute to breathe? In the bigger picture, it would be making time for family, making time for friends and making time for self. I need time on my own as well.
Favorite ... love story: I am not a romantic comedy kind of gal but I always loved the story in the movie Love & Basketball. ... book: One is the book Wicked by Gregory Maguire. The other is Zami by Audre Lorde. It was critical for me when I came out in college. ... TV show: I love My So-Called Life because it breaks my heart, and I love Arrested Development because it makes me giggle. ... movie: I really like the movie Adaptation. I love that it has a story that seems pretty mundane and then it takes a huge world turn and then goes in a way you couldn't have anticipated. ... blog: I was into Google Reader for a moment, but time is of the essence these days so no more blogs for right now. ... music: I love Little Dragon, Zero 7 — and Marvin Gaye has my heart completely. ... restaurant: I have a lot of favorites, but I love Souper Market on Carnegie Avenue. You can't really beat a great bowl of soup. ... app: Pocket is a good one on my phone. If someone sends you a link and it's this great article but you just don't have time to read it right now, you can save it to Pocket. It links to all of your devices, and you can have this ongoing list of things you can check on when you get time.
What I'm reading: Nonfiction is the order of the day. I just finished reading David Plouffe's book The Audacity to Win about his time with the Obama campaign.
iPod embarrassment: I have a really great, what I call, gay club remix of Deborah Cox's "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here." It gets me all day.
I'm so over: Reality television. It does not interest me, but it dominates everything right now.
Dream job: To help implement progressive policy on the state or federal level.
Dream vacation: I would love to go to Vienna or Montreal.
Best date I've been on: Things that were impromptu and things that I didn't expect to happen but just occurred. You know when you're sharing space with someone and all of a sudden it's like you're on a date.
Worst date I've been on: When I went on a date with someone and the entire night she explained all of her heartache over her ex and all the therapy she would need after her ex dumped her, and then she asked me if I would see her again the next day.