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Identity

Spectrum South Snapshot #4: Laura Bullard and Kayla E.

A photo of Laura and Kayla of Durham.

I identify as a queer, southern, Indigenous American woman. My father is Indigenous American and my mother is of European descent (my maternal grandmother would want you to know that she's Czech and makes an excellent stuffed cabbage). I am an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, a tribe that is currently and actively fighting a 130-year-old battle for federal recognition.…

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Reclaiming Roots: Sin Muros Theatre Festival Puts Queer Latinx Talent Center Stage

A photo of Josh Inocéncio performing Purple Eyes at Sin Muros Latino Theatre Festival.

Texas Latinx talent takes center stage this February 1 through 4 at Houston’s Stages Repertory Theatre during the inaugural Sin Muros Theatre Festival. Headlining this four-day event is the world premiere of the ancestral autobiography Purple Eyes, written and performed by queer Latino playwright Josh Inocéncio. Inocéncio, who is also a member of the Sin Muros task force committee, speaks on the festival’s intent. “We were looking to consciously represent diversity. A Latin theatre festival that pushes for female voices,…

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Mermaids, Mythology, and Marble: Finding My Identity In A Multitude of Conflicting Selves

A photo of MLe Williams exploring her asexual identity through mythology.

Crowded around a makeshift table in the middle of the gallery, we began to pour wine and feast on spaghetti. Surrounding me were seven other students who, like myself, had chosen to study abroad in Athens, Greece, as well as eight local elders. The night marked the last of our semester-long traditional marble carving class and celebration was in the air. Towards the end of the night, our instructor, Demetris, asked us to share the marble carvings we had each…

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Spectrum South Snapshot #3: Shane Farmer

A photo of queer South Carolinian Shane Farmer

I think most people would look at me and believe that I am a plain boring boy next door. I identify as a white, gay, cisgender male. However, I find that my skin features sometimes throw a lot of people off—my darker complexion and other characteristics cause many people to mistake me for Hispanic/Latin (I’ve literally been asked if I’m “like white white”). I grew up in a working-class family where my mom dropped out of high school to take…

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A Southern Gentleman: Crimson Jordan Makes His Truth A Reality

A photo of transgender Texan Crimson Jordan.

I identify as a gay, black, transgender man and a proud southerner. I know—it’s enough to make heads spin in confusion and curiosity. And while I wish this wasn’t most folks’ initial reaction, I’m not offended by it. I understand the reality of our homogeneous conditioning down here, below the Mason-Dixon line. I understand that, to some, much like the jackalope or Bigfoot, we queer southerners are thought to be a rarity or even a myth. To others, much like…

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Transouthern Youth: Meet Gwen Lambert

A photo of non-binary transouthern youth Gwen Lambert.

Gwen Lambert believes in trying on labels. As part of their gender exploration, they’ve adopted several labels, only to find most didn’t fit quite right. Now, at age 18, the high school senior has finally found comfort and confidence in their identity as a non-binary, bisexual person.…

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A Long and Winding Road: Finding The Way As A Queer Christian

A photo of queer Christian Sam Fagan.

Like water and oil, Christianity and LGBTQ identity are often seen as separate and impossible to mix. But for southerner Sam Fagan, her faith and queerness are both equal, essential parts to her holistic identity. While she admits the process is ongoing and has not been easy, Fagan has found a way to reconcile the two and finds peace in the balance.…

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A Place to Call Home: Finding Peace in My Queer Jewish Identity

A photo of queer Jewish Houstonian Brittany Weinstein

When my family celebrates Hanukkah, I know two things to be true every year: I will eat entirely too much and I will be interrogated like a criminal suspect. I don’t have a single family member or Jewish friend who hasn’t been asked, “So when are you going to marry a nice Jewish boy?” What am I supposed to say to that? “Well bubbe, I actually have a live-in girlfriend. We’ve been together for five years. We sleep in the…

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The Cowboy in Me: Baring My Queer Christian Country Soul

An illustration of a Christian cowboy hat.

Writing this feels like taking a selfie. Normally, focusing too much on myself makes me uncomfortable. But I hope it can help others who relate. Let me begin by saying that I feel more like a soul than a physical body. Like souls tend to be, I’m moved by and connect with art. I feel nestled beneath towering prison walls when I listen to a dark Johnny Cash album. Like I’m lying in a field of bluebonnets when the Dixie…

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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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