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Embracing Joterías: Queer San Antonio Artist Launches Playful Pride-Inspired Merch

A photo of Joterías by Jose Villalobos.

After causing a stir in the Texas art scene with his participation in Mexic-Arte Museum’s annual Young Latino Artist exhibition (Young Latino Artists 22: ¡Ahora!) in Austin, Jose Villalobos is shifting his energies from the world of fine art to the creation of a brand new line of LGBTQ Pride-themed novelty items. For those of us who may not be able to afford museum-quality artworks, this line of merchandise allows the perfect opportunity to support the arts while showing a bit of pride. The…

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Sanitized or Subtle? ‘Call Me by Your Name,’ ‘Moonlight,’ and Queer Male Sex in Cinema

An image from the queer film Call Me by Your Name.

Like the Oscar-winning Moonlight last year, another gay drama has cut into mainstream cinema and garnered Academy Award buzz. Based on the novel of the same title, Call Me by Your Name is a film set in 1980s Italy, following 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and his fleeting summer love with Oliver (Armie Hammer), a graduate student in his mid-20s who works temporarily as an archaeological assistant with Elio’s professor father at their decadent villa.…

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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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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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The Queer Southern Wedding I Didn’t Need to Throw

A photo of Sasha Lamprea and Natalie Arrevalo's queer southern wedding.

I spent most of 2017 planning (and secretly dreading) a queer southern wedding.  My partner and I were together for nearly seven years before getting engaged, and a full eight before the actual wedding. We went through undergrad, grad school, four apartments, three cats, two dogs, countless trips together, an infinite number of laughs and tears, and more than a handful of awkward family moments before getting to the alter. …

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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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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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Spectrum South’s 2017 Year in Review

A photo of Spectrum South co-founders Megan Smith and Kelsey Gledhill.

Wow, what a year! Well, in our case, what a half year! Spectrum South officially went live in June 2017, just in time for LGBTQ Pride month. The next six months were a wonderful whirlwind of heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) interviews, long nights of editing, colorful celebrations of community, and building a digital safe space for queer folks across the South. We’re still learning and growing, but the journey has been better than we ever expected.…

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