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Talk Derby to Me: Meet Brawler Jammer Arrak-Kiss

A photo of HRD Brawler Arrak-Kiss.

“It’s the last jam of the 2017 championship...two minutes left, your HRD Brawlers and undefeated Psych Ward Sirens are neck and neck...get on your feet, Houston!” veteran Houston Roller Derby announcer Scarlet O’Hurtya yells out with anxious enthusiasm. Wild cheers from fans vibrate Revention Music Center. My ears are ringing, my legs are throbbing from jumping up and down, and my homemade poster is ripped at each side from my clenched fists. Brawler jammer Arrak-Kiss and Siren jammer Black Lung…

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Abi Robins Teaches Accessible, Queer-Inclusive Yoga with a Twist in ATX

A photo of queer Austin yoga instructor Abi Robins.

Austin-based yoga instructor Abi Robins’ life changed when she stepped into a yoga studio for the first time in 2013. A friend in Siloam Springs, Arkansas dragged Robins to a hot power yoga class, which contradicted Robins’ preconceived idea that yoga was simply breathing and stretching in a quiet room. After an intense workout that left Robins drenched in sweat, she laid on her back for five minutes in the final shavasana resting pose. In that moment, she felt a…

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An AIDS-Free Generation: Fighting HIV With Social and Racial Justice

An illustration of social and racial justice.

As an HIV advocate, I know that my success is rooted in my resiliency. Rooted in my courage to stand up for all people, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or socioeconomic status. Rooted in my persistence to have the tough conversations others avoid. Conversations like the fact that we will never achieve an AIDS-free generation unless we embrace and advocate for social and racial justice.…

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Holidays in the Aftermath of Harvey

A photo of gay Houstonian Ian L. Haddock after Hurricane Harvey.

Six days into Hurricane Harvey, things hit me. I was living in a motel room provided by FEMA with only a few sets of clothes, the photos I could grab, and my laptop. The space was decent and clean, but my heart was cluttered with the fear of the unknown. Don’t get me wrong, I’m resilient. Like thousands of other queer-identified people, I have been homeless before, couchsurfed many times, and learned to do whatever it takes to survive. It is…

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Yule Tide Pride: A Queer Guide to Surviving the Holidays

A photo of queer heart lights for the holidays.

Happy holidays! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Blessed Yule to all! With all of the hustle and bustle of these magical winter festivities, it seems impossible to feel alone. Yet, as queer folks, many of us often do. Sometime between Thanksgiving and the New Year, the feelings of loneliness and isolation begin to creep in. If we are single, have strained relationships with our families of origin, or are struggling with our identities, these feelings can be…

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Living by Choice: My First HIV Test

A photo of Russell Etherton sharing his story about his first HIV test.

I try and live my life by choice. My first HIV test, however, was in reaction—reaction to a love story and a partner I thought I knew. Once upon a time, in a gay land far away… I vividly remember the day I met my ex-boyfriend. Like so many of my friends, Grindr was how I found “connection.” I opened the app and, in the endless scroll of faces and torsos, I’d find someone who would quench whatever thirst I had that…

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