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If Only We Could Remember: Being Queer and Indigenous in the South

A photo of queer indigenous activist Eydka Chilomé.

I am an unapologetic queer indigenous femme woman, activist, artist, and educator with hair on my legs and under my armpits. I currently live in a place called Texas where I bear witness to police killings, klan/neo-nazi rallies, confederate flags, and trump propaganda—essentially white supremacy wrapped in the violently-appropriated indigenous Mexican aesthetic of the “cowboy.” Today, the u.s. South yells the same war cry that my ancestors have heard over and over again—a proud declaration of settler colonialism. …

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Spectrum South Snapshot #2: Mike Rudulph

A photo of Marine Mike Rudulph.

I am a 37-year-old gay man from Alabama. I was raised in a predominately white upper middle-class neighborhood just "over the mountain" from Birmingham, and now own a home in city proper. I live with my partner of over 13 years. We have two cats, Uly and Sergeant, and our pit-mutt, Khaleesi. I am a veteran of The United States Marine Corps, serving eight years during “Don't Ask Don't Tell” from 2000 until 2008. During my career in the Marines,…

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Spectrum South Snapshot #1: Izzy Broomfield

A photo of Izzy Broomfield.

I am a non-binary transfemme panromantic demisexual Appalachian! At least that’s the basic bio version of my identity. I’ve also spent most of my life living in the rural South, so that’s important to me, too, but it doesn’t come before my Appalachianness. My skin’s white, but I definitely don’t identify with mainstream imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy, so my lefty politics are also a central part of my identity (but shhhh, don’t tell anyone! They might think differently of…

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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.”…

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‘I Feel That I Have Arrived’: The Journey of a Southern Latina Trans Health Advocate

A photo of Latina trans health advocate Lea Córdova.

When you meet Lea Córdova, MA, MS, you don't know what is more astonishing: the action-packed life she has lived as a Latina trans health advocate, or the fact that this irrepressible dynamo is in fact 76 years old. Lea and I have seen each other at LGBTQ and activist events around North Carolina for many years, and I've come to admire her as one of my elders. I caught up with her on a sunny September afternoon, shortly after she'd…

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Like a Mimosa Blossom: Making My Peace With the Queer South

An illustration of mimosa blossoms in the queer South.

Well, that’s what I always told myself, at least. When I arrived in North Carolina from the Northeast as an effeminate, bookish eight year old, nothing seemed right. Southern twang and slang mystified me, while I struggled to adjust to new foods, schools, and manners. And the homophobic and gender-oppressive bullying I’d always encountered seemed, if anything, to intensify. I couldn’t wait to grow up and get out.…

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Reclaiming Brujería Through Queerness

A photo of a queer brujería spell on Donald Trump.

Brujería often possesses a negative reputation and is feared as a manifestation of evil. But for many young Latinx millennials—and more specifically queer Latinx millennials—it is an outlet for empowerment and freedom. Spectrum South recently caught up with Alex Aguilar, a self-identified queer bruja from the Rio Grande Valley who is now based in Austin.…

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Why I Won’t Use Latinx

An illustration of Latinx.

In the past few years, “Latinx” has stormed to prominence—first in online communities, then in mainstream media platforms as well as academic discourse. “Latinx” seeks to end the gendered designations in the Spanish language, replacing “Latino” and “Latina” with a term that includes both genders, as well as gender nonconforming and non-binary people.…

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Transouthern Youth: Meet Landon Richie

A photo of Houston transgender youth Landon Richie.

To his 26,000 Instagram followers, Houstonian Landon Richie embodies confidence—his posts are eloquent and encouraging, his face smiling and strong. In person, Richie is just as self-aware. He chats effortlessly about his activism, identity, and passions. It’s not until his mom, Erika, mentions an upcoming school band practice that I’m reminded the savvy individual sitting across from me is only 14 years old.…

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