Teaching Queer Houston: Mind Mapping Montrose

An illustration of a mind map of Montrose, Houston.

When I moved to Houston in 2012, there was no question about where I would be living. As far as I was concerned, Montrose was everything. Conversation over. During my childhood visits to Houston, my dad would drive the scenic route from our Galleria-area hotel to downtown. As we rode down Westheimer Road, I’d stare out the window as we passed Dunlavy Street, Waugh Drive, Montrose Boulevard, and Taft Street, romanticizing what it would be like if dad just stopped…

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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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Queer Southern Staples: Where Did All The LGBTQ Bookstores Go?

A photo of LGBTQ bookstores.

For a brief time beginning in the 1970s and stretching up to the 2000s, a new species of community institution sprinkled the southern landscape—the LGBTQ bookstore. Once prolific, these stores are now endangered. While LGBTQ visibility and community participation has expanded exponentially, economic changes have forced nearly all small bookstores to either close or shift their retail focus. Yet a few determined LGBTQ and feminist bookstores—from the funky Faubourg Marigny Art and Books in New Orleans to feminist stalwarts such…

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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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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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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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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…

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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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