illustration of a nonbinary Latine brown person with chin length black hair, glasses, and a deep blue cropped shirt. they have thick eyebrows and hairy arms.
Hair: Chronicling My Journey to Queer Joy

The hardest part about being a Brown person who was socialized as a girl was enduring the constant jabs about my hair. I hit puberty at 9, which meant that there were years and years of constant insecurity about my hair. It was too much, too messy, and there was always hair in all the wrong places. The hair on my head was beautiful, thick, and long, but the hair on my body was ugly, thick, and wrong. As a Brown person, my facial and body hair were always under scrutiny, especially because my hair grew at faster rates (and was much thicker) than my other peers. I was tormented for my Frida Kahlo-like brows, for my arms that looked like a werewolf’s, for my body not being up to par with white, cishet beauty standards. One time, my aunt cruelly joked that she was going to gift me money for laser hair removal because the hair on my arms was too much for her.

compilation of nine album covers from MUNA, Troye Sivan, Remi Wolf, Kehlani, Janelle Monae, Kim Petras, Isaac Dunbar, Rina Sawayama, SOPHIE, and Lady Gaga.
Queer Joy: A Soundtrack

Queer yearning and trauma are common themes through many of pop’s greatest hits from “Sofia” by Clairo to “TALK ME DOWN” by Troye Sivan. But, queerness is not just struggle, sacrifice, and heartbreak. Queerness is bold, vibrant, and exciting. And, while it may be cathartic to sob along to songs alone in bed, sometimes we need music to remind us that queer joy exists. Here are ten songs by queer artists about the queer experience that radiate sunshine and serotonin.

illustration of a nonbinary south asian person wearing a bright green turtleneck sweater and purple pants. they swing on a swing set and smile up into the dusk sky, rainbow shapes emanating from their head into the night.
A Revisit

In July 2021, I decided to revisit my childhood school, Eisenhower Elementary. I decided to go because I had felt so many emotions from the culmination of so many situations, relationships, experiences, and lessons, and I was left with this feeling like I was losing myself. I had recently discovered I was attending UCLA, and much of what was tying me back to the Bay Area was slowly dissipating. The days felt like a blur, like reading the pages in a book and realizing you’ve made it to the end of a chapter and you remember nothing. The sense of liminality and being in a transition plagued me. I was looking for definition from the abstract, something concrete from the abyss.

The Realities of (Mis)Representation

Graphic by Zoë Collins (She/Her) This article was originally published in our Winter 2022 Volume 1 zine “Queer Rage, Resistance, & Renaissance.“ We’re constantly told as queer people that representation matters. There is this pervasive narrative sold to us that…

My Body Is Not Your Political Playground

Photo by Caitlin Ochs/Reuters On Monday, May 2, 2022, documents leaked from the Supreme Court that Roe v. Wade would be struck down. This didn’t surprise me. For years, I knew that this was a possibility. Since the election of…

The Lavender Laws

A deep dive into the history of legal rights for the LGBTQ+ community in the United States

Evolution of the TERF: An Analysis of The Feminist Mystake (Fall 2013)

Graphic by Christopher Ikonomou (Xe/He) *This article is a modern analysis of the themes and content of “The Feminist Mystake“ (Fall 2013), the seventh installment of our From The Archive series.* “To speak of trans and feminist theories and activism as…

The Danger of “Traditional Values”: An Analysis of From Russia With Hate (Fall 2013)

Photo from @ukraine.pride on Instagram *This article is a modern analysis of the themes and content of “From Russia With Hate“ (Fall 2013), the sixth installment of our From The Archive series.* **Trigger warning: violent queerphobia** Since the passing of the…

It’s Not a Phase: Attacks on the Rights of Trans Youth

Photo from Dallas Morning News There is an ongoing increase in legislative attacks on the transgender community in the United States, especially targeting transgender youth. According to the Human Rights Campaign, in 2015 there were a total of 19 anti-transgender…

“Risk vs. Stigma”: Inherent Homophobia in U.S. Blood Donation

Graphic by Zoë Collins (She/Her) In January of 2022, the American Red Cross declared that the United States was in the midst of its worst blood shortage in decades. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with more positive cases every day, the…