DJ MIM — or Amina Morrissey-Brown as she’s known in her everyday life — has done what many dream of. Five years ago she quit her corporate job with Verizon to pursue her passion — music and DJing — full time. The “30-something” Washington native says a 2008 visit to the Philippines proved life altering.
“They were doing a lot of hip-hop over there and although I wasn’t particularly surprised by that, just seeing the DJs at the parties using their laptops and stuff, which was so different from using records from the crates and all that, it just really sparked my interest in investing in some equipment and pursuing it as a full-time job,” she says.
She’s the resident house DJ at Lucky Strike (701 7th St., N.W.), the bowling alley near the Verizon Center, and she and her wife, Marisol, also do women’s party nightlife events as MIMSOL Entertainment Company. On Fridays, she spins a lesbian party at Vita Lounge among other events. Visit djmimdc.com for information on all her appearances.
MIM — a childhood nickname — has been in the Washington area her whole life and lives in Southeast. She enjoys playing basketball, organizing her music catalog and spending quiet time with Marisol in her free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I have been out since I was around 18 years old and the hardest person to tell was my mother. At that time I think she believed I would grow out of being a tomboy and not live a gay lifestyle.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Angela Davis. I was raised by a mother who grew up in the ‘60s, so images and literature from the Black Power movement were always around me. Seeing pictures of Angela Davis amongst mainly men with her fist in the air made me feel like I could do anything.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
The Hung Jury. I have so many memories of meeting great people, dancing all night and getting a little drunk in those days. I met my first long-term girlfriend there.
Describe your dream wedding.
On a beach facing the water at sunset. There’s such a surreal beauty in being near the most critical element to mankind — water!
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
I am very passionate about acknowledging and spreading awareness on the importance of mental health.
What historical outcome would you change?
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
The death of Michael Jackson.
On what do you insist?
I insist on being treated with the same level of respect and professionalism that I show toward others.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
“Life can be difficult for some … while we mourn losses, let’s not forget the better place they are resting in. At the end of the day, no one truly knows another person’s struggles….#CarryON”
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I would remain the same. I enjoy being a woman. As a woman, I enjoy knowing that I naturally have something men don’t — the ability to carry and produce another human being. (However, I slightly envy the fact that men can tinkle standing up or anywhere for that matter.)
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I spiritually believe souls transform when they leave the physical world, but what happens is truly unknown and I’m OK with that.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Make sure that your platforms and views encompass all races.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
To save my wife and/or marry Oprah Winfrey.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
People are of a particular orientation based on the way they dress.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
Gay: “Brokeback Mountain.” Lesbian: “Bound”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
My wife is going to get me for this one but opening car doors.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
I did a TV show on MTV back in ’97 and was able to interview and play basketball with a new NBA star at the time named Kobe Bryant. After the taping, he gave me many items, but the most significant one was an autographed basketball. The ball is in a case on my dresser and it’s definitely my most coveted prize.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
At 18 I wish I would have known that I wasn’t invincible and life truly is shorter than you think.
I’ve always said I would never leave D.C. unless I moved out of the country. I love D.C., my roots are here. I am a true Washingtonian — I was born here, schooled here, I got my first job here. There’s so much history, nightlife, a melting pot of people, great restaurants — it’s the Nation’s Capital. What more can you ask for?