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Arts+Culture

Houston Premieres ‘Major!’ Film on Transgender Day of Remembrance

A photo of Miss Major for Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on November 20 was created to honor the memories of those who have lost their lives due to violence based on gender identity. This year, Houston community members will come together to not only honor this significant day, but to show pride and respect for the trans women of color who started the LGBTQ rights movement. To mark the TDOR, Transform Houston—a grassroots campaign dedicated to improving the lives and legal protections for transgender,…

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Documentarian Fiona Dawson Headlines Houston Transgender Unity Banquet

A photo of Houston Transgender Unity Banquet speaker Fiona Dawson.

Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Fiona Dawson, a dynamic documentarian, bisexual advocate, and speaker at the 25th annual Houston Transgender Unity Banquet on November 4. Her recent work, which centers around trans military members, is especially near and dear to my heart as a child of veterans. The short documentary, 'Transgender, at War and in Love,' was nominated for "Outstanding Short Documentary" at the 37th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards, and is now used in…

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A Closer Walk with Aj: Southern Born Actor Chats Gay Exorcism Film

A photo of gay actor Aj Knight in a new exorcism film.

As a group of young, white evangelicals move into a predominantly Latino neighborhood to preach the gospel, one of the missionaries, Jordan, develops sexual feelings for the leader, Eli. But once Jordan is caught touching himself by the bathroom door while Eli showers, the group tries to exorcise his gay demons in a kind of conversion therapy. Thus is the premise of director John C. Clark’s new film A Closer Walk with Thee, starring Houston-raised out actor Aj Knight as…

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50 States, 50 Pieces of Art: Artists Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin Excavate Queer American History

A photo of the Texas installation of 50 States by Jake Margolin and Nick Vaughan.

A few years ago, visual artists and married couple Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin stumbled upon some little-known 19th century queer history in William Benemann’s Men in Eden. This uncovered book charts the journey of William Drummond Stewart, a Scottish lord turned fur trader, and his male lover Antoine Clement as they led an expedition of around a hundred men from St. Louis to what is now Wyoming. Inspired by this caravan of same-sex loving men, Vaughan and Margolin crafted…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Your Friendly Neighborhood Queer: Rooster Teeth’s Mariel Salcedo

A photo of Mariel Salcedo on Always Open on Rooster Teeth.

Mariel Salcedo has become a Rooster Teeth fan favorite, previously producing and guest starring in the now cult classic, Free Play, before taking on her current role on Always Open. For the production company’s LGBTQ devotees, however, she’s more than a comedic Internet celebrity—she’s someone they can connect to on a deeper level, someone they can call their own.…

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