Vern Phoenix is a person who grew up as a blue-collar conservative Christian in Alaska most of their life, holds no college degree, and still came out this flavor of trans and queer. He is unlike a lot of queer folks in Portland, who generally grew up with liberal/wide scope knowledge, morals, and had more financial support and access to education. He did not have those inherent privileges to be on top of their politics and language that surrounds queer culture. Vern knows the struggle and the feelings of unnecessary shame about not having your script perfected, but was raised with the ideology to look past what a person is saying, and look to their heart and willingness to learn. And then educate them lovingly.