Speaking Out: Intersex Texan Promotes Protective Policy

A photo of intersex advocates Koomah and Mo Cortez.

When Mo Cortez was five years old, he woke up in a hospital bed, peeled back the sheets, and discovered a large red “X” on his groin. Cortez was born intersex—with ambiguous genitalia—and surgery was an attempt to “normalize” him. Instead, it made it him feel dehumanized, he says, “like a Frankenstein.” But despite his many challenges since then, Cortez says he has found truth in his identity, and has used his own experiences as motivation to tirelessly advocate for…

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Queer Colombia: Uncovering Gay Culture in Centuries of Tradition

A photo of Plaza San Pedro Claver in Cartagena in queer Colombia.

Traveling as a queer individual is always stressful, but when you and your partner decide to travel to one of the most traditionally Catholic countries in the world, nerves are on edge—especially when you don’t speak the native language! But with South America calling our name, my partner and I traveled to Colombia earlier this month to experience culture in every sense of the word.…

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‘We Are All Human’: Austin Transgender Advocate Fights for Visibility and Understanding

A photo of Austin transgender advocate Danielle Skidmore

Danielle Skidmore is a runner. She’s the parent to a special needs child. She’s a civil engineer. She’s an out transgender woman. And she’ll fight for your right to live your life authentically. “My experience, having lived in Texas for 23 years, is that it is—at least on some levels—a more open and progressive place than the mythology might imply,” Skidmore says. “I think there is something fundamental about the ‘Texas spirit of individually’ that does allow people to accept…

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At The Forefront: Texas A&M Research Fellow Explores Evolution of Queer Youth Culture

A photo of Nikita Shepard, a research fellow focusing on the history of queer youth at the Don Kelly Research Collection of Gay Literature and Culture at Texas A&M University

Queer scholar Nikita Shepard sits at a long wooden table—the soft overhead lighting shines down as they dive into another issue of ONE magazine, one of the first pro-gay publications in the United States. This library has been Shepard’s home for the past month as they conduct research in one of the country’s premier collections of LGBTQ scholarly literature. But Shepard isn’t studying in the halls of Berkeley or the Ivy Leagues of the Northeast—they’re in College Station, Texas, in…

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Asking for a Friend: How to Achieve an OMG Orgasm

A gif of how to have an OMG orgasm

Welcome to the first installment of Asking for a Friend—a new sex education series where a queer certified sexologist (that’s me!) will answer all the sex-related questions our readers Google late at night (or on lunch break—no judgies). So send us your questions—from inverted nipples to anal paps to the age-old question of how much lube is too much lube, there’s nothing we can't answer together.…

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From One South to Another: Houston Dash Player Talks Journey from South Africa to Texas

From South Africa to the U.S., soccer player Janine van Wyk now calls the Houston Dash home.

For Janine van Wyk, playing soccer—or football as it’s known in her home country of South Africa—required her to be a trailblazer. “There weren’t any girls’ teams or girls who even played soccer back then,” says van Wyk, one of the most recent additions to the Houston Dash’s team. “There were no ways for girls to participate in the sport.”…

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Talk Derby to Me: Out Houston Roller Derby Skater Chats Life On and Off the Track

Houston Roller Derby teams the Brawlers take on the Psych Ward Sirens at Revention Music Center.

“I was recovering from foot surgery in 2010 and saw Whip It—the movie that I swear changes everybody’s life,” recalls Punch. “I Googled Houston Roller Derby and ended up going to watch my first bout...it was fantastic.” A week later, she bought a pair of skates and has been all in ever since—becoming one of the most-skilled blockers in the league and for her home team, the 2017 championship-bound Brawlers.…

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Exploring Identity: How Spectrum South Inspired College Students to Embrace Their Truths

Illustration of diverse people exploring identity.

Shortly after my summer class began, Spectrum South launched with its series of narrative pieces in which the publication’s core group of writers explored their own queer and southern identities. While each piece was unique to the writer, all of them spoke to the intersections of identity and journeys of queer self-discovery. This inspired me to use these pieces—written by queer millennials—to get my students thinking about their own identities (queer and not) on a deeper level. Each student was…

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