A Day In The Life: Dani Frame


Dani Frame. Photo by Mike Hnida

Hi, my name is Dani Frame, for now. I am changing my name however, so you can call me Ellie!

Where did you grow up?
Inver Grove Heights, MN is where I grew up and lived for a long time.

Where do you live?
I am currently staying in St. Paul after living in Minneapolis for about five years.

Who do you live with?
I share my home with my wonderful partner Hannah Howard.

What is your occupation?
My job right now is at MHC Culinary Group, as a banquet server for events at the St. Paul RiverCentre. My partner and I also have a small business designing and crafting 3D illuminated sculptures and other art projects that come up from time to time. Rebel Minx studios is the name of our business.

When did you come out?
I came out to my friends and family about six years ago. I knew who I was a long time before that though, I just wasn’t comfortable expressing that part of me yet.

How’d that go?
After I decided to come out as transgender, I didn’t know what to expect from the people close to me. The fear of other people’s perceptions and judgments weighed on me quite a bit. I didn’t make a huge announcement or anything, I just let everyone know individually or when I saw them in person. Count me lucky that my family is cool and my friends are super positive and supportive, because I know that it isn’t like that for everyone. There are some people I drifted away from, and a lot of great new people I’ve met on my journey. Coming out lifted a weight from my shoulders and lifted a long standing sense of depression and anxiety. I am able to do a lot more self-care now that I care about myself.

When do you wake up?
If it’s a normal day, I will wake up between 8-10 a.m., but it’s not a rule for me.

Phone alarm or old school alarm?
I don’t remember the last time I actually owned a working alarm clock. I have a phone alarm, it’s really quite alarming.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
The very first thing I do in the morning is snooze the alarm, and try to return to my dream world. If that doesn’t work, I go brush my teeth.

For breakfast I with usually enjoy fried eggs over easy, with hash browns and a fruit smoothie.

Yes, I want all the coffee I can drink in the morning.

Cream or no?
I occasionally enjoy cream in my coffee, but generally I drink it black.

How do you spend your commute?
I spend my commute dancing in my seat and singing along to whatever’s on the radio as loud as I can.

If your job were like a yearbook, what would you be voted? (Class clown, best dressed, most
annoying, etc.)
My best guess would be most the hardworking, nicest person! Possibly most likely to take over the world!

What inspires you?
I get inspired by almost everything. Architecture, art, technology, philosophy, culture, music and dance. There’s so many great things in the world, ideas, creations, events. So much effort, work and soul goes into everything and it’s like what we create is something that connects us to anyone who encounters it. I am also very inspired by everyone in my community and beyond who puts effort and time into fighting injustice, creating safe spaces, keeping their peers informed of important social issues. I am inspired by the idea that we can make the world a
better place, not through hate and retribution, but by love and forgiveness.

Do you eat your lunch while working or take a break?
I get a break for lunch, so I’m gonna take my break.

Is your work space tidy or a hot mess?
My work space always ends up a mess, but that can’t be helped, just gotta clean it up.

What’s been your favorite job?
My favorite job is my current job. I get to be part of some interesting events as a server, and I work concessions when there’s not banquet work. So there’s concerts and roller derbies, that kind of stuff.

Who are your heroes?
My heroes are the beautiful people reading this right now.

Favorite weeknight meal: Go out, take out, or cook in?
On a weeknight, my favorite thing is home cooked. I can make and season everything how I want at a fraction of the cost of one of those fancy sit-down restaurants.

Most embarrassing moment:
I tried stand-up comedy for the first time at an competition at Acme Comedy Club. It was my first time, so I was nervous. I had prepared but wasn’t sure I had enough material, so I tried to prolong the intro and joke set-up to take up time. I went over my time and I think I only got a couple actual jokes in. I got a couple laughs, but for the most part it was really awkward. I was happy to be off stage when it was over.

On a usual weeknight, you are doing what?
Most of the time at home I’m making some kind of art, cleaning, playing guitar. I’ve been known to binge watch TV and play video games.

It’s probably irresponsible of me, but, I have no bedtime.

Favorite weekend activity:
The weekends are for dancing!!

What are you most proud of and why?
I’m proud that I have the opportunity to be part of the community and contribute my part to the arts. If who I am or what I do can have a positive impact on anyone’s life, whether I know it or not, I am proud of that.

Words of wisdom to share:
My words of wisdom… believe in yourself, confidence is important in everything you do. Think of fear as a challenge to overcome. Know that it’s okay if there’s something you don’t know, it’s a chance to learn. Know that it’s okay to be you, any version of you that you want to be. Don’t answer hate with hate. Aspire to greatness. Help others for the sake of helping. Put as many good vibes into the universe as you can, I will too.

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