Reparations and Rescue with @GeecheeThreat!
My name is Liana, but most know me by my Twitter name, GeecheeThreat.
If you’ve heard my FIRST Industry talk entitled “F—k You, Pay Me: Knowing Your Worth and Getting Paid in Cybersecurity” with Alyssa Miller and Cover 6 Solutions, then you’ve seen me before.
Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW1DlVLiC9w
Check out my DEF CON version of my talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6I6O-3LCUc
For those who don’t know me, allow me to Introduce myself further:
I’m a Black, Indigenous, Disabled Woman, and citizen of the Gullah Geechee Nation with experience in Public Safety, Incident Response, Physical Security and Disaster Response. I served as a Public Safety Coordinator on a Private University in South Florida, with clients to include the Department of Interior (DOI), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and Former FL Senator Bill Nelson’s team.
I’m also Powered by Autism, which means I am on the Autism Spectrum for those who do not know.
After suffering Full Immobilization from the waist down in 2019 due to (previously unknown) Osteoarthritis, I lost my job. It was the only time I have EVER missed work, and the subsequent workplace trauma associated with the experience has haunted me ever since. In that ONE moment, I finally understood what it meant to “Be loved one day and replaced the next.”
Add that to being Disabled, and know that the demographic of folks gets smaller — but there are people still pushing to change their world (and others) in spite of it.
I’m one of them.
It would take me a little more than a year to explore the world of Tech to understand that Black and Brown people are literally - Minorities within a Minority - because of the lack of Resources among other obstacles that come with Advancement in a VERY white industry that is slowly changing.
It’s not very welcoming to those with Disabilities either.
Because of my Osteoarthritis, I can become immobilized at any given time, and with *no* warning as I did that morning in 2019. Since then, I have suffered immobilization for a 2nd time. Being young with Arthritis has resulted in Discrimination by folks of all ages and creeds because when you have a Visible but Invisible Disease, it’s extremely difficult for people to just accept that Young People can in fact suffer from all kinds of Ailments.
It also means you’re stuck in a sick loophole of not being able to get medical assistance because no one takes you seriously.
I have been DENIED THREE times and am working on my FOURTH DISABILITY APPLICATION now. I am under 30 years old and cannot get any insurance to see a physician nor obtain medication because in order to qualify under my state for state Medicaid, I have to be approved for Disability. A DECISION for Disability can be anywhere from FOUR TO SIX MONTHS, and that’s an AVERAGE wait time for an answer. That doesn’t include time for an appeal either if I’m not approved.
Because of this, I haven’t been seen an Endocrinologist for my annual Biopsies for Thyroid Cancer, haven’t seen a Neurologist or an Orthopedist for updated MRIs, Physical Therapy, or Pain Management.
Osteoarthritis is also known as Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), and I experience Chronic Pain in my Spine as a result. I have TWO Herniated Disks , Sciatica, Scoliosis, and have been recommended for Surgery. My body will continue to break down as I age.
I want to be in Cyber, but I’m running into issues from all sides.
With these things in mind, I asked myself:
How could I pursue a career with an Intersection of things I enjoy (Safety, Criminology, Cybersecurity), obtain the Health Care I need, and ALSO go back to my Community and help them do the same thing?
After long, my answer came to me in the form of me forming Reparations.Tech, with the goal to train BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and Disabled individuals to become UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, aka Drone) Pilots and expose them to a curriculum that is built upon and integrated within both Physical and Cyber Security concepts so they can enter the Workforce well-prepared.
I have the burning urge to launch my business, but I can’t build the business without being able to take care of myself.
It has taken me a VERY long time to sort through emotions and reassure myself that my Disabilities (all EIGHT of them) do not make me any LESS of a Person, nor does asking my community for HELP.
Ironically enough it’s been MY Community that has encouraged me to share this in hopes of reaching the RIGHT person who can help me with my health and my business needs.
Funding will immediately go to the following:
1. Living Expenses: I am still waiting on my Disability decision, which means I am in SEVERE FINANCIAL EMERGENCY. That leaves me in Financial Limbo and I am STRESSED OUT. If the stress becomes too much, I can become immobilized again and also lose my place of residence in the interim.
2. Medical Assistance: Dr’s appointments, Co-Pays for Specialists, Examinations, Physical Therapy, Medication, Transportation, and Medical Supplies.
3. Business Needs: Training for my License, a Drone, Business Dev assistance and Insurance for my company. I have already registered as an applicant and am studying now to prepare to make this a reality.
This has been the hardest and one of the scariest things I’ve done before, but I NEED my call to be heard. Please, share this within your communities so that I can help both myself and my community going forward.
For those who want to avoid fees, you can also send via Cash App at
$GeecheeThreat as well.