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Lurenzone Theatrics: Bringing Dragsicals to Boston

By Richie McNamara

By day, Nick Lorenzen is a school administrator, but by night he produces drag-centered musical extravaganzas within the local Boston queer scene. Creating a network of queer talent has been a driving force for Nick since he graduated from the University of Maine’s theater program. A drag performer himself for eight years, Nick spent some time in Western Massachusetts before being drawn to Boston’s active queer entertainment scene.

When the pandemic struck in 2020, Nick used his spare time to write a drag parody of Disney Channel’s High School Musical, becoming High School Dragsical. The script portrayed protagonist Troy Bolton as a bowling star who secretly auditioned for a drag show. In the fall of 2021, he utilized this script to get his drag friends back on the stage. In the long-standing Boston gay bar Jacques’ Cabaret’s basement venue, Jacques’ Underground, Nick produced his flagship show, not realizing it would be the start of his own production company, Lurenzone Theatrics. “Lurenzone is how I can bring people I know from different places together,” says Nick.

Lurenzone Theatrics Flagship Production: High School Dragsical in Jacques’ Underground.  From left to right: Regina Jackson, Betti, Patty Bourrée, Vivienne Vagemite, and Dottie Ave

Also during the pandemic, Nick began hosting Serve-vivor, an online reality game on the streaming website Twitch. This eventually turned into a live show featuring local drag talent with long-time collaborator, Kandi Dishe. “Serve-vivor combines improv theater with a reality television competition in a really interesting way,” Nick explains.

Nick struck an untapped but fruitful market with Serve-vivor. The reality competition fandom has a sizable queer sector who appreciates live theater performances, which has helped make Nick’s live shows a success. While producing Serve-vivor, Nick began writing a Mean Girls parody. “I want to give my friends (who are drag artists) opportunities that are fun and they can get paid for,” says Nick.

Nick’s proudest Lurenzone moment was selling out his parody of the musical Six at Club Cafe. “It was three nights, 300 seats, and we filled all of them!” 

Mean Queens Cast Photo: From left to right: Anya Nuttz, Carlos, Wilhelmina, Alex Wedge, Chanel the Angel, Alessandria, Nick Lorenzen, Evan, Regina Jackson, Dottie Ave, Mike Hawk, Barry, and Gwenitalia

One of the challenges Nick has had to face is finding a venue that has the proper tech required for a theater production and is willing to host him. Since drag is generalized as a nightclub activity, it is difficult to book actual theater spaces for his productions.

Despite drag being pushed to the center of political discourse in our country, Nick has luckily avoided any public backlash.

“Drag is fun. It is inherently political, but it’s not hurting anyone,” Nick says about political discourse on drag. “Drag performers aren’t the ones causing problems. The hateful reactions are what is problematic, and they must be addressed.”

In a time when drag is being politicized and targeted by lawmakers, it is vital that we support local drag artists. You can do so by attending drag shows and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights in whatever capacity you can.

Follow Nick and Lurenzone Theatrics on Instagram @lurenzonetheatrics to find out about upcoming performances. 

Richie McNamara graduated from UMass Amherst with a BA in Communication and a published thesis project titled Beyond Our Boundaries, which looks at how face-to-face, personal narrative storytelling can create social change. Currently, Richie works in social media marketing for a local general contractor. Interests include reality television, pop culture, content creation, and cross country running.

Editor’s Note: SpeakOUT will be highlighting the work of other local drag artists in future blog posts to more deeply touch upon how the current attacks on drag performers are affecting the individuals behind the wigs and makeup. We’ll also be covering the rash of anti-transgender legislation that is rapidly spreading across the country and endangering the lives of trans youth by removing access to gender-affirming health care. In this time of extremism and violence, this is when we speak out. Want to stand up for trans rights locally? Join the community for the Amplify Trans Youth rally at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, March 28, 9:30-11:30am.

ELYSARC – A Look at Everett’s First LGBTQ+ Resource Center

By Richie McNamara

During the summer of 2020, Kay Mangan had just moved back to their hometown in Everett, Massachusetts. “It was the beginning of the pandemic, and I was reflecting on my high school experience in the closet. And when I came back to Everett after graduating (college), I felt eyes on me now that I was visibly queer.” 

Kay, who uses they/them pronouns, could not recollect a single instance when the City of Everett acknowledged “LGBTQ anything.” Kay’s father, Michael Mangan, has previously served on Everett City Council and is currently on the School Committee representing Ward 4. Kay grew up very aware of Everett’s priorities and knew that LGBTQ+ rights and protections were not on the city’s radar. Realizing there was a lack of resources in Everett is what pushed Kay to make a change, so they joined forces with co-founder Dom Washington, who has an extensive background in community organizing, to propose ELYSARC to the city.

Kay and Dom sent a proposal for the youth center to the city, which included details like utilizing an unoccupied space in a former public school building. After months of waiting, the city reached out to tell them they had a space, and they opened their doors on June 1, 2021. Since they got that call, Dom explained that the ball moved quickly, which felt “surreal, exciting, and overwhelming.”

ELYSARC stands for Everett LGBTQ+ Youth Space and Resource Center and is for queer youth to have a space to hang out and be themselves. They offer gender-affirming products and resources, as well as provide connections to resources with STI testing, food, and healthcare in their space in the Old Pope John High School.

“We wanted to prioritize creating a physical space because that’s often the biggest barrier for an organization”

— ELYSARC co-founder Kay Mangan

ELYSARC also has vocational and volunteer opportunities for LGBTQ+ youth, as they currently have an intern helping them out for college credit. They’ve also hired LGBTQ+ youth artists to paint a mural. The organization has joined forces with Everett Public Schools to assess the needs of LGBTQ+ students and to create professional development opportunities and resources.

ELYSARC has faced some backlash from a small handful of locals, as heightened visibility can lead to more outward hate. However, for Dom and Kay, the Everett Public School system has been truly supportive of their organization in the face of hate.

Kay and Dom were incredibly proud to help create Everett’s first Queer Prom.

Kay and Dom cited Queer Prom as their most proud moment relating to ELYSARC. “A lot of us have weird feelings about prom, and high school in general,” says Kay. “We wanted to reclaim authenticity with this event.” The droves of support this event received made it apparent how necessary a Queer Prom was in Everett. Not only did people want to see the event happen, but they also wanted to attend and volunteer. 

To put on their biggest event, ELYSARC collaborated with YouForward (a Lawrence nonprofit promoting self-discovery and well-being in young adults through shared experiences and resources), and Lowell’s YouthQuake (an access center serving young adults in need of mental health support). Queer Prom at ELYSARC included a live ballroom performance from the House of Escada who has been featured on the first season of HBO’s Legendary

Currently, ELYSARC is focusing on providing mutual aid in the form of gender-affirming products, and professional development workshops with Everett Public Schools. You can find them on Instagram @elysarc_ and for other ways to show support!

Richie McNamara graduated from UMass Amherst with a BA in Communication and a published thesis project titled Beyond Our Boundaries, which looks at how face-to-face, personal narrative storytelling can create social change. Currently, Richie works in social media marketing for a local general contractor. Interests include reality television, pop culture, content creation, and cross country running.

At 50, SpeakOUT Recommits to the Work Ahead

SpeakOUT is coming to the end of our 50th anniversary year and it feels like a good time to assess, as one does when one turns 50.

First there is the looking back.

Over the course of 50 years, there have been thousands of SpeakOUT speakers who have shared their personal stories in order to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ people. Through the AIDS crisis, the movements for anti-discrimination protections in work and housing, the fight for marriage equality, the struggle for transgender civil rights, and during so many other significant milestones for our community, SpeakOUT speakers shared their experiences and perspectives of life within the LGBTQ+ community to shatter stereotypes and to put a face on the unknown. 

SpeakOUT has been just a part of the whole community’s work for equality, respect, and justice for LGBTQ+ people over these five decades and we want to acknowledge and thank all of our co-conspirators who have amplified the voices of our community and enhanced the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people.

Then you wonder about the impact you’ve had on others in your 50 years.

Kathy Brophy, a teacher at Wellesley High School shared this with us: 

“Having been a SpeakOUT speaker for a short time back in 2010, I appreciate the impact that the speakers have in our classes. They share their life experiences, offer their perspective of the history of the movement, and they come equipped to answer a range of questions that the students have. I am an out and proud educator, and when I witness the SpeakOUT sessions, I am proud that this is happening in my classroom.”

And from a Boston business where we conducted an online engagement during Pride Month:

“For myself it really helped me to gain a better understanding of the perspective of someone who is gay or transgender…SpeakOUT is truly a great resource for the community and we would hope and encourage other organizations to take advantage of the programs being offered. I think the discussion last week will have a lasting effect on the culture [of our business].”

And, finally, there is looking ahead to what comes next.

We’ve had a strong year in 2022, indicating that our programs are in demand by the schools, colleges, businesses, organizations, and faith communities that we work with. But with the increasingly hostile legislation and violence that is targeting our community, we need to do more. 

Our intention in the new year is to continue to build our capacity beyond the one staff member and our board of directors and volunteers in order to do more and reach more people. We need to train more speakers to expand our reach through our online programs beyond the Boston area. And we need to create a stronger financial base for that expansion. That’s where your support comes in to help us succeed.

As our 50th anniversary year comes to a close, we ask you to make a gift to support the important work that we are doing throughout the Greater Boston area and beyond. Make your tax-deductible donation today by making an online donation, either a one-time gift or become a monthly or quarterly donor!

There is no resting on our laurels in 2023. The work continues and SpeakOUT is committed to doing our part by opening minds and changing attitudes. We appreciate your support in helping us do that!

SpeakOUT Condemns Vandalism at The Pryde

SpeakOUT Boston was deeply saddened and angered to see the vandalism perpetrated upon the construction site for The Pryde in Hyde Park last week. Hate speech against the LGBTQ+ community, including specific threats of violence, can never be tolerated, and its seriousness can never be minimized.

SpeakOUT joins all those in the Hyde Park and greater Boston communities who have condemned this attack and who have expressed solidarity with LGBTQ Senior Housing, Inc., the nonprofit organization building this much-needed LGBTQ+-friendly residence and community center.

We call upon Boston’s Mayor Wu and the Boston Police Department to stick to their pledges for a full investigation into this threat to public safety and the civil rights of LGBTQ+ citizens, and thank them for their swift initial response. We are heartened to see the LGBTQ+ community, the Hyde Park neighborhood, and the larger Boston community rallying around The Pryde and its eventual residents and will do our part to continue that support in the weeks, months, and years to come.  

If you have time, please contact your state representatives today and urge them to vote for Amendment #665, Pryde for All that will support LGBTQ-friendly senior housing in Massachusetts. The vote may take place as early as today, so please act now.  You can find your legislators here

Appreciating Our Members & Continuing to Raise Our Voices for Change

On June 28th, SpeakOUT held its Appreciation Night at Club Cafe to thank its members, board of directors, and supporters for another very busy and productive year. Among the achievements were completing 21 engagements during June alone, with 30 of our speakers completing these in-person and online events! We also announced our three LGBTQ+ Student Scholarship winners, who are impressive youth leaders already making a difference in their home communities and school/college campuses.

Executive Director Ellyn Ruthstrom welcomed everyone to the event and made some opening remarks about the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and how the local LGBTQ+ community is responding to it.

“Before we move on to the program of the night, I want to acknowledge the terrible injustice that took place last Friday when the Supreme Court released its decision on the Mississippi abortion law and simultaneously overturned the protections of Roe v. Wade. Jane Roe was a made up name of a woman who was too afraid to use her real name for this important abortion rights case that took too long to earn her the right to abort, but whose fortitude has allowed millions of Americans to assert their own right to control their reproductive choices. Her real name was Norma McCorvey and she was a young poor white Texas woman who was a lesbian, or at least that’s how she identified until the Christian Right got a hold of her. All of her identities put her in the crosshairs of a cruel system that did not allow her to have control over her own body.

On a personal note, reproductive justice was an area of activism that I put incredible energy into in my earlier years, both as a straight woman and later as an out bi woman. Many of the women I worked side-by-side with were queer women. All of us, working together, understood that abortion rights is about control over our bodies, the most basic human right there is. In the current fight, our own LGBTQ+ community understands this and we must make clear that abortion rights and contraceptive rights affect women, trans men and nonbinary people – anyone who can get pregnant. SpeakOUT has joined a group of LGBTQ+ organizations that has co-signed a statement that was released today condemning the actions of the Supreme Court and advocating for other actions to protect reproductive rights as well as other rights for LGBTQ+ people that are being threatened. You can see the statement on the information table and you will continue to see SpeakOUT respond to ongoing actions that affect our community.”

Being a SpeakOUT Speaker

SpeakOUT is hosting its Spring Speaker Training on Saturday, April 9th at Suffolk University in Boston. This is the first in-person training since the pandemic, so it will be exciting to spend time together in LGBTQ+ community space. Two of SpeakOUT’s trainers share their memories of how they found SpeakOUT and what the experience of being a speaker has brought to their lives. To find out more about the training or to register, visit the SpeakOUT website.

Trevor Boylston

SpeakOUT’s Impact on My Life

When I signed up for the SpeakOUT training in 2018, I did it to satisfy a development goal for my job. I wanted to learn to be comfortable speaking in front of groups and the thought of taking the internal workshop with co-workers terrified me. Frankly, the thought of speaking in front of anyone made me sick to my stomach. A friend had shared the SpeakOUT registration on his Facebook page and it seemed like a safe space to do what my manager wanted me to do.

What I didn’t expect was the impact SpeakOUT would have on my life. By sharing my story, I’ve been able to unpack memories that were painful and buried deep, almost forgotten. I’ve been able to process the emotions that come with those memories in a productive way, and hopefully have helped other people understand a little more about the LGBTQ+ community with each engagement. I’ve become a better person, a better partner, and a better advocate. I’ve met incredible people with unique stories, many who have become close friends. Without SpeakOUT, my life would be missing something. I’m thankful to be able to give back to SpeakOUT by helping the next group of speakers learn to share their stories by now being a trainer.

Joseph Alcantara

My Story Found a Voice

Just when the world thought that the 2020 pandemic could get the best of me after experiencing loss of a job that I treated as a vocation, loss of residency to a country I once called home and loss of a father who loved me unconditionally for four decades – I found new hope, meaning and redemption instead after I stumbled upon SpeakOUT.

As a new immigrant, married gay man and POC planting new roots in Massachusetts, I was in search of an outlet that would bring me peace as I started anew in an overwhelmingly intersectional life. Being an LGBTQIA+ and AAPI advocate juxtaposed with my passion for communication (writing, public speaking, and social media) was an envisioned path, yet I didn’t have an organized platform and structured approach to bring the self-imposed mission to fruition. After Googling ‘LGBTQ advocacy Boston’ I found one of the sparks of light at the end of the tunnel.

I joined SpeakOUT by sending a bold unsolicited email to its super warm, friendly and welcoming Executive Director, Ellyn Ruthstrom. Next thing I know, I’m attending one of their online Speaker Trainings where I eventually found how my unique coming out story as a gay man could be purposeful. While I knew how to share my authentic life anecdotes, the course was very powerful as it reminded me where to source my core, inspiration and rallying call. As a seasoned corporate speaker, the training also liberated me to unlearn ‘too formal’ habits that overshadow the beauty, sincerity and vulnerability of raw stories that come straight from the heart. The constructive feedback and motivation from the small groups also helped define improvement areas while keeping me empowered in my own narrative.

Today, not only am I an active speaker but also an engaged volunteer for the Training Team, SpeakOUT in Color (the BIPOC social group of the organization), and a new Board Member. Indeed, from a simple training to finding an outlet, my work-in-progress story unfolds as it finds its true voice to make this world a bit better for the folks in the generations to come.      

When the Catholic Church Oppresses LGBTQ+ People, Dignity Offers Safe Spaces

Theologian Edwina Gateley said it best: “We are the Church; they are the hierarchy.”  This is demonstrated in the latest oppression by the hierarchy in the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan, where LGBTQ+ people are being excluded from the sacraments and roles in the church.

In response to these recent discriminatory actions, Executive Director of DignityUSA, Marianne Duddy-Burke, noted, “It is a cruel attempt to prevent LGBTQ+ people from living as we were created, becoming our true selves, and experiencing the joy and grace of loving relationships. That just won’t work. What it will do is shame people, potentially into despair and suicide.”

The Marquette actions are yet another example of how the hierarchy in the institutional Roman Catholic Church are not acting as members of God’s church on earth. The hierarchy are meant to take the role of shepherds in the Church, guiding and caring for the flock. Pastoral care is meant to be a primary function of the hierarchy. Yet, people who identity as LGBT+ are excluded and 50% of the Church, women, are excluded from the Church’s highest positions.

I grew up in Central Massachusetts going to a small chapel where my Catholic faith was nurtured, never hearing a “fire and brimstone” homily or a homily that excluded people in the church. I was very lucky. As I became a teen, I grew to learn that those who had same-sex attraction, like myself, were excluded. This led me to lead a double life in my young adult years, separating my sexuality from my spirituality.

In my 30s, I was lucky to step into the doors of a church where my spirituality and sexuality were encouraged to be integrated. That church, that community was Dignity/Boston, a chapter of Dignity USA, a Catholic community where people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are fully welcome as full members of the Church. Liturgies at Dignity are frequently lay lead and have gender parity. Dignity/Boston has performed many same sex weddings, including my own. I was fortunate to be married to the man I love through the sacramental blessing of Holy Matrimony in front of over 100 family and friends.

Many changes will need to come to the institutional church in order to preserve itself in the future and not be perceived as a “leaner, meaner” church, a direction that the Diocese of Marquette appears to be taking currently.  The institutional church could learn a lot from Dignity—a welcoming church, a church of radical inclusion. 

–Dave Houle is a member of both SpeakOUT Boston and Dignity/Boston.

Celebrating 50 Years & Moving Forward

As SpeakOUT heads towards 2022—our 50th anniversary year!—we are excited to highlight the work that has kept our organization going for half a century.

  • Fifty years of LGBTQ+ community members participating in peer-led trainings to learn how to create and share an effective story to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ lives.
  • Fifty years of SpeakOUT members sharing personal stories in public and private schools, colleges, businesses, faith communities, public libraries, community organizations, and more.
  • Fifty years of helping to create safer and more inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ people throughout the region—SpeakOUT speakers have traveled to all the New England states to share their stories.
  • Fifty years of SpeakOUT speakers building understanding about sexual orientation, gender identity, coming-out experiences, workplace discrimination, bisexuality, marriage equality, transgender rights, queer youth, nonbinary identities, and everything else that is included in the richness and complexities of LGBTQ+ lives.

Think about all the things that have changed for the LGBTQ+ community in 50 years! SpeakOUT has proven the power personal storytelling has to open minds and change attitudes. We know our work with diverse audiences has helped raise awareness about the lives of LGBTQ+ people and created change in communities.

The Challenge

We all know how difficult and strange 2020 and 2021 have been. A lot of sacrifice. A lot of loss. A lot of changes within our worklife, personal life, and social interactions.

SpeakOUT, too, has adapted to the realities of the COVID era, and we spent 2021 primarily in online environments with our clients. With continued violence against LGBTQ+ people and legislative challenges that threaten our rights, SpeakOUT believes that our personal approach to discussing LGBTQ+ lives is still making a difference!

To cope within the changing climate—and as an organization that thrives on personal interactions with our audiences—we have learned how to leverage technology to bring that same sense of connection to our online engagements.

50K for 50 Years

Starting with this end-of-year appeal, SpeakOUT is launching a 50K for 50 Years campaign to provide sustainability and growth for the organization in 2022 and beyond!

This is a large goal for a small grassroots organization like SpeakOUT, and we are asking our supporters and sponsors to help us expand our program beyond Boston with this campaign. LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces are essential in our schools, in our workplaces, and in our communities and we want to do our part in creating more of those spaces—wherever they may be!

Your Contribution

We want to end 2021 strong in order to step into our anniversary year with renewed momentum to support our goals that will carry us past the COVID context. This past June, we had the most successful Pride Month ever and spoke to online audiences in the Boston area as well as corporate audiences across the U.S. and internationally.

With your support, we will continue to expand our work through the online approach beyond the Greater Boston area.

Make your tax-deductible donation today by making an online donation at You can make a one-time gift or become a monthly or quarterly donor!

Ellyn Ruthstrom

Executive Director

SpeakOUT’s Statement on Boston Pride

SpeakOUT Boston wishes a Happy Pride Month to the entire LGBTQIA+ community. We know it has been a very difficult year (and more) for our community and, in many ways, even more so for people of color and trans people within the community.

As an organization dedicated to “…ending homo/bi/transphobia and other forms of prejudice,” SpeakOUT Boston is in solidarity this year with other organizations boycotting official Boston Pride events. More importantly, and in the spirit of being actively anti-racist, especially regarding systems and structures, we join the calls for Boston Pride to commit to much greater diversity, equity, and accountability within their board and operations.

While we are thankful for the work done on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ community by Boston Pride in the past, we recognize and affirm that the time has come for meaningful change. Black Lives Matter. Black Trans Lives Matter. And an LGBTQIA+ organization committed to true social and legal equity for all of its members should be able to say so — and act accordingly. Similarly, trans people and their voices and ideas deserve to be in leadership positions in any broad-based LGBTQIA+ organization.

Queer, Trans, and Bi People of Color (QTBIPOC) have always been leaders in the fight for equity and liberation, and yet, sadly, in the last several years Boston Pride has turned away from that legacy, even in the face of today’s increased understanding of the need to be actively anti-racist. As a result, they have lost 80% of their volunteer force as well as the trust and support of many other members of the Boston-area LGBTQIA+ community and our would-be allies. Many of the volunteers are organizing as Pride 4 the People and we encourage you to become informed about their experiences and demands for a future Pride organization for Boston.

We understand that Boston Pride’s board president has agreed to step down and we want to encourage more changes to the board and organizational structure to ensure that Boston Pride evolves into an anti-racist community organization. SpeakOUT Boston will not be participating in Boston Pride activities until the QTBIPOC community is satisfied with the changes that are made.

From SpeakOUT’s Executive Director and Board of Directors

There Is No One Way

By Tai Tran

I recently sat on an online SpeakOUT panel in a high school health class. Between the students in the classroom with the teacher and the other students on zoom we had a small audience. Even in a pandemic, our teachers and students are continuing their education and meaningful work together. I shared my story about how I taught middle school math and science in California for the past two years and had made it a point to be an openly out queer educator. We live in a world that stigmatizes and erases queer identities in the institution of education; I was not going to recreate that in my classroom. I always introduce myself as “Mx. Tran, not Mr., not Ms., and I’m happily independent, so not Mrs. either.” After sharing our stories, a young male student asked me, “Mx. Tran, you say you identify as nonbinary, but the pronouns on your zoom say she and her, what does that mean?” 

I thanked the young man for his question and quickly added, “Good question!” Afterall, young people nowadays need more encouragement than ever. And to ask questions is a sign of intelligence, or so I tell my own students. We had only reached the halfway point of the panel  and even if we had more time it would not have been enough to explain the intricacies of gender and sexuality to the students. Why do I subscribe to a binary pronoun when I claim nonbinary as well? Are the two mutually exclusive? Should I, perhaps more accurately, use they/them as pronouns instead? Or hir? Or ze? 

For me, these were of course questions I asked myself long ago. And ones that I continue to ask myself. But in the moment, I replied “It just feels more me. More like me. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried he, him, his pronouns. I have tried and used them for years and I certainly know those are not what I want to be referred to as when I am talked about.” And trans/nonbinary people are definitely talked about, especially so when we are not in the room. I didn’t need a whole seminar to tell these young bright minds that there is no one way to be nonbinary. Just like there is no one way to be a good person. I told my story about when I started to experiment with other pronouns I found out this was the pronoun for me. When my trusted friends and colleagues started calling me by she and her pronouns I felt seen and respected. I felt seen the way I wanted to be seen and respected. The way I see myself; not the way the world said I should be. 

Whether principals, districts, lawmakers, or governments are willing to admit it or not, we live in a world that scripts out the life of our youth before they are even born. To be a “boy” or to be a “girl” means something. We all have an inkling, large or small, of what it means. Yet, what would it mean to be nonbinary? I am grateful that I am alive to continue exploring what it means to me. I am grateful to be involved with an organization that lets students hear the stories behind the statistics of people who are so different from them, who are likely very different from their family as well. And I am also grateful for that student’s question. 

Tai recently finished her service with Teach For America in Richmond, California as part of the 2018 corps, teaching middle school math and science. She is a bright, bold, and brave queer educator who goes by Mx. Tran in the classroom. Her passions include dismantling the anti-queer patriarchy in the institution of education, empowering students with comprehensive sex ed, and being the change she has always wanted to see in the world.