etcetera: my work

Sandra Bland’s alma mater band, The Marching Storm

I am a freelance writer and photographer from Oklahoma raising my three children in Dallas, Texas. My work has been seen in Buzzfeed, The Guardian, VQR, The Daily Beast, et al. I currently serve as an associate editor for Hromadske in Ukraine and teach English to immigrants and refugees at a public high school in Dallas.

My writing and photography focus on intimate portraits of minority communities in conservative areas. Because I grew up gay on a Pentecostal compound in Oklahoma and have spent a large part of my life in the area, I have a familiarity with the region that breeds both contempt and a fierce, protective kind of love. Below are links to published pieces; on Medium and Instagram I do a lot of work that doesn’t quite fit anywhere else.

from 2018:
The Baffler: What So Proudly We Hailed: guns and god at the NRA convention in Dallas

from 2017:
-The Virginia Quarterly Review: No Republican Shall Inherit: Tulsa gay couple are, legally, “father” and “son” — and ask the court if they can marry
-Into: How Ms. Sage Chanell Learned To Shake Her Shells: a trans NDN woman’s journey from “warrior” to “head lady cook” at the stomp ground

from 2016:
in The Guardian: “Gay, closeted and buried in history
in VQR: “His Faithful Servant” — gay and Pentecostal in rural Oklahoma
in The Revealer: “#AcrossThisBridge” — interviewing a mother about the loss of her gay son who may have been the last to die under DADT

In 2016, I also published an elegy on Instagram — 300 photos/80,000 words — that was profiled by Nieman Storyboard; you can read more about the project here.

May 1, 2015, #blacklivesmatter rally in honor of Freddie Gray: “When I asked Cindy how she and the little girl were related I was told emphatically ‘she’s my Nana!’ Cindy smiled: ‘I’m her Nana. I heard about the protest and brought her out and explained to her what was going on. Honestly, I really think that the police have gone too far. [granddaughter — I think it’s unfair!] It’s unfair. I just think that they use their power more than they need to.’”

samples of work as a contributing editor for The Daily Beast:
The 10-year Fight for Marriage Equality in Oklahoma
Exclusive: Ahmed Mohamed’s “Best Day”
Exclusive: from inside the “Mohammad cartoon contest.”
On Texas’ newest Confederate monument.
Coverage of Kiev’s Pride Parade, before and after.

West Texas drag performer having a smoke before the show.

~~ on #BlackLivesMatter in Texas: in Dallas and in McKinney
~~ West Texas gay bar in Buzzfeed
~~ Protesting Islam in Oklahoma and in Texas
~~ Black President, Red State
~~ Meditation on gender in Texas

scenes from inside the “Mohamed cartoon contest” in Garland, Texas
after the pool party: McKinney, Texas
Open Carry activists in Texas
Queer in West Texas

in This Land Press:
Floyd Martin, the King (and Queen) of Oklahoma City Pride
Tulsa & Kyiv: Family Ties
I Grew Up Gay On A Pentecostal Compound

Small-bore journalism on Instagram documenting the every day:
- #HeartlandIslam
- #DallasChin
- #24HoursinWaller — Waller County, TX
- #BlackLivesMatterVistaRidgeMall
- #QueerWestTexas -(also seen in Buzzfeed.)
- #freeversejournalismsuburbantexas

Full list of publications: Al Jazeera, The Baffler, Box Turtle Bulletin (contributing editor, 2010–2015), Buzzfeed, D Magazine, The Daily Beast (contributing editor , 2014–2016), The Daily Dot, The Dallas Morning News, The Guardian, Into, Killing The Buddha, The Messenger, The Revealer, This Land Press, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Washington Post.

Behind the jail in Waller County, Texas
Sister of Sandra Bland, waiting for news from the Prairie View city council in Waller County, Texas

Work edited in Ukraine’s Hromadske:
Ukraine’s Troll Army
Guide to Ukraine’s Far Right
Ukraine’s Ministry of Truth
Guide to #ElectricYerevan

Protester in Garland, Texas talking to a Muslim woman in hijab.

I am also a public speaker — for booking, please contact:
rrpsquared ( g mail.) I am also on Twitter.


Finally: as an incurable introvert, I’ve found I am the worst counselor possible and can’t emotionally keep up with personal emails. If you need help, here are some resources that might be helpful:

for someone to talk to, this is a great resource — The Trevor Project — you can call also them, 24/7: 1–866–488–7386

also, there’s:

The Gay Christian Network


Matthew Vines’ powerful video:

I am not trying to push anyone toward religion, but the bulk of personal emails I receive are from LGBT people wanting to know if they can be Christian and gay — in short, yes.