We Are All The Same: Mississippi Artist Uses Paint to Unite Queerness and Faith

A photo of queer Mississippi artist Jonathan Kent Adams.

Mississippi is known for its soul food, singing the blues, and deep southern culture. But Oxford painter Jonathan Kent Adams dreams of putting the Magnolia State on the map for something more—queer art. Adams grew up in a small town outside of Yazoo City, building forts in the woods, wading in the creek, and running through pastures to his grandparents’ house. He dabbled in singing, which taught him passion, and learned self-discipline by playing basketball.…

Continue Reading

Transouthern Youth: Meet Lily Pando

A photo of trans youth Lily Pando.

Lily Pando tucks a strand of bright pink hair behind her ear before she speaks. I’ve just asked her if she knows where she’ll be attending college—such a mom question, I know. “I don’t know where I want to go to school yet,” she responds. “But I’m definitely on that track.”…

Continue Reading

Asking For A Friend: Spooky STIs

An illustration of lesbian STIs

I know I'm supposed to get tested for STIs regularly and, while I do get tested at my annual well woman's exam, I feel like maybe that's not enough? I'm not in a monogamous relationship right now, sometimes have casual sex, and when [I do], it’s with other women and isn’t always "protected" sex. How often should I be getting tested for STIs? Also, I've never been tested outside of my annual exam. Are there free STI testing centers I…

Continue Reading

What A ‘Nancy’: Hosts Tobin Low and Kathy Tu Talk Queer Podcast

A photo of Kathy Tu and Tobin Low, hosts of the queer podcast Nancy.

As 20-something Dominique Crisden speaks, his voice carries a tone of youthful optimism. Across from him sits David Gable, his face and voice hardened with age, wisdom, and experience. Though generations apart, both are gay men. Both are HIV-positive. The elder looks into the younger’s eyes before asking the question that has brought them together: “Did we go through a plague for nothing? Did we learn anything?” This is the caliber of storytelling presented on Nancy, a new radically-inclusive, surprisingly deep…

Continue Reading

Don’t Let ‘It’ Get To You: Facing Your Childhood Fears with the King of Horror

An illustration of the horror movie It.

My childhood was texturized by horror films, particularly adaptations of King’s work. People still gasp when they hear I watched the original Carrie and It before age 10, The Shining by age 12, along with a host of other classics in between. In Kentucky, I would always spend a night at my Aunt Judy’s and we’d huddle under blankets while watching a horror movie on her wood-paneled TV. I say they left traces; my friend says, “more like craters in your…

Continue Reading

Meet Fran Watson: Queer Black Houston Lawyer and Activist Seeks Texas Senate Seat

A photo of Texas Senate District 17 candidate Fran Watson.

As an assistant professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Comparative Cultural Studies at University of Houston, I’m particularly thrilled to see candidates who make the Texas political landscape reflective of the diversity of Houston. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Fran Watson through the city’s LGBTQ activist networks, and have seen her consistently show up to serve and engage with many different Texas communities. Fran and I traveled to Austin together this spring—as part of a…

Continue Reading

Love is Love is Love: Producing Queer Theatre in the Deep South

A photo from Glow Lyric Theatre's production of Love is Love is Love

I booked a venue for the evening of Valentine’s Day, and asked 10 LGBTQ singers, actors, dancers, poets, and artists from the community to help me jump-start the project. We all gathered together. Unsure of how to start, I asked everyone what message they wanted the piece to convey. At this question, the room bubbled over with stories of young love, first times, heartbreak, and the loss of love. Their vulnerability reminded me that the feelings and situations surrounding love…

Continue Reading

‘Welcome to the Jungle’: A Mother and Son Trip to Vietnam and Cambodia

A photo of author Josh Inocéncio at Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Our last mother and son venture—to New York City in 2014—was shattered of all joy when I came out to her as gay at the airport before we departed Houston. But hey, she coaxed me. That, and since my dad and I had hiked Mt. Fuji in Japan, my mom hungered for a trip with me. And I wanted her to go, especially amid the busyness of her new position at work. She longs to see the world, and we…

Continue Reading

Teaching Queer Houston: Part One

A photo of queer Houston participating in a Pride march against Anita Bryant.

When I began teaching Intro to LGBT Studies at the University of Houston in Fall 2016, I barely took the local queer community into consideration when I designed the course. Aside from having my students watch the documentary A Murder in Montrose about the Paul Broussard murder in 1991, my course was largely void of queer Houston content. This was surprising given my focus on local communities in my research and advocacy work. Even so, while discussing the events following Paul…

Continue Reading