“If you put enough closets together, you have enough space for a room. If you put enough rooms together, you have enough room for a house. If you put enough houses together, you have space for a town, then a city, then a nation, then a world.”
― David Levithan, Two Boys Kissing
Too often the history of minorities, of the oppressed, and the taboo are pushed into the side-notes of textbooks, the unopened boxes of dusty museum shelves, or destroyed altogether. And when these groups and cultures intersect, they are even less likely to come to the surface of the public’s space and memory. As a queer, transgender man – my own life is a daily struggle of pushing and hiding. Of attempting to preserve my authentic self and ensure that those like me and those unlike me have the chance to do the same. Although a few, enriched archives for LGBTQ+ history do exist in both an online and offline capacity, they are still small, hard to access, and show only a small portion of the history that many have shared. A history that many others were never able to pass on save to their own early graves.
I started my work with ONE, the National Gay and Lesbian Archives at the University of Southern California, which is the largest repository of LGBTQ+ materials in the world with just over 4,500 items in its collection. The archive covers a myriad of content such as: art, essays, videos, protests, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, political activism, intersectionality of race and sexuality, gender, and more. The information has been collected to preserve a culture at risk of being erased, while also attempting to appeal to a wider audience and shed light on existing exigencies faced by the LGBTQ+ community. It is my hope that in analyzing this archive, I can understand the methods that it has employed to successfully meet these goals of preservation and change within our modern society.
My work has more recently expanded to include journalistic insights into American English and linguistics, one of my main academic interests at university. This portion of the blog is more causal, calling out issues of language discrimination and thoughts on the future of language use and education.