Meet The Team

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  Jonathan Menendez, Founder

Jonathan is a  web producer that focuses his work on empowering queer people of color communities through media. His projects include the production of a documentary on gay Latino culture in L.A., the founding and creative development of xQsi Magazine and the development of a mobile app for Qulture. He has worked as a consultant for AIDS Project Los Angeles/UCSF under the department of research with George Ayala to ensure a diverse sample of Latino recruits for a study. His vast background includes cinematography, delegating creative teams, photography, graphic design, and business management. His undergraduate work was enriched by many courses in the area of pan-African, Central American, Chicano and Asian American studies. He hopes to continue developing his knowledge of technological community building and digital art production to introduce rich and innovative queer content to the public through world wide streaming outlets. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in the area of new media and digital arts at the University of California Santa Cruz. (Email: jonathanmenendez@gmail.com)       (Jonathan’s Articles)     (Jonathan’s Facebook )    (Jonathan’s Twitter)

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Cyn Da Poet, Board Member and Contributor

Cyn is a multi-faceted human being always thinking outside of the box. As a financial advisor she focuses in educating the LGBTQ and Latino community about how to plan for the future. She is also an author, poet, performance artist and workshop facilitator. Her book “Suspendidos en el Tiempo” (Suspended in Time) focuses on the Salvadoran Civil War, love and the human struggle; It was published in Argentina and part of the 2011 Book International Festival in Buenos Aires. Cyn is best known in the community as a performance artist for over 7 years for her ‘high energy and direct style in tackling taboo subjects.” She also performed in Cal State LA’s “Vagina Monologues”, created her own greeting cards: “Cyn expressions”, and has collaborated with other artists and musicians in combining poetry with music. She currently teaches at-risk youth how to use poetry as a therapy tool. She’s also an Extended Member at Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride and on the Advisory Council for The Lesbian Center.

     (Cyn’s Articles)   (Cyn’s Facebook��)  �� (Cyn’s Website)

Antonio X. Garcia, Founder

Antonio is a former San Diegan now living in the city of Los Angeles (and loving every second of it). Being the son of a mother from Tijuana, and a father from Guadalajara, Mexico, this Chicano had the very essence of Hispanic/American culture ingrained in the very fabric of his being.  As a teenager he served as Vice President for a religious organization in the South Bay San Diego area and is currently devoting his time towards continuing his higher education, and being an activist for the LGBTQ community, most recently serving as a Board Member for the Latino Equality Alliance. During his off-time (play-time) he loves to spend time with family and friends, cheer on his favorite football team the San Diego Chargers, tend to his mysteriously spoiled cat Mystique, and write about any subject, whether it be about politics, sports, equality for the LGBTQ movement, or the coolest local play he’s checked out. (Antonio’s Articles)

Ronnie Veliz, Blogger/Contributor

Ronnie Veliz is a community unifier: Health educator, Youth & Family advocate, LGBTQ activist, and an outspoken Peruvian-American in the DREAM Act movement. Many minors, young adults, couples, adoptive fathers, single mothers, and families of differently-abled persons in Van Nuys, Northridge, Woodland Hills, Glendale, Hollywood, Echo Park, Inglewood, and Bakersfield have been impacted by his community work as a mental health professional and motivational speaker. Queer senior citizens in the San Fernando Valley know him as “a positive motivating force” and groups of priests and rabbis have experienced breakthrough conversations about comprehensive immigration reform, HIV stigma, marriage for same-sex couples, transgender issues, and hate crimes in a wide variety of communities of color with his help. Children and young adults have been inspired by Ronnie’s endless positive outlook on life as a survivor of pervasive bullying, domestic violence, and homelessness. He is currently working for BIENESTAR (www.bienestar.org), a Southern California-based sociomedical services organization primarily serving, educating, and unifying the Latin@ LGBTQ, HIV/AIDS, and other at-risk communities, as well as advancing efforts for comprehensive immigration justice through the San Fernando Valley Dream Team (SFVDT) and promoting family acceptance through Latino Equality Alliance (LEA). (Ronnie’s Articles)

Jacky Guerrero, Founder

My name is Jacky, and I am a queer/lesbian woman of color living in the City of Angels. I have devoted my life work to be around and about the queer community. Coming out sucked and if I accomplish one thing in life, I hope that it is to help at least a handful of people have a better coming out experience than I did. How will I accomplish that, well that’s playing itself out as we speak. In the meantime, I will continue to pursue my interests which include but are not limited to media, activism, education and relationship building! Besides all the serious stuff, I love to have a good time which usually include three important elements… good drinks, good music and amazing people! (Jacky’s Articles)

Freddy Lee, Founder

Freddy is a queer proud Angelino passionate about social justice. If you’re wondering how he got the last name Lee, it came about when his great great grandpa immigrated from Korea to the Yucatan peninsula. A double immigrant, his immediate family then moved to Los Angeles to make their home. Son of a preacher, Freddy enjoys talking about why we’re here and where we all came from, and is always looking to learn something new about the world. He has a mild obsession with food, and enjoys writing about his journey. He’s got a bachelors from the school of life and currently enrolled in la escuela de los mas chingones and hopes to graduate with flying colors soon. (Freddy’s Articles)

 


Alessandro Negrete, Blogger/ Editor

I am Alessandro, a queer immigrant of color. I was raised all over Southern California but found love in Boyle Heights. I like to think of myself as a Latino with a Chicano soul and enjoy writing about the beauty and sadness in love. I am a product of my environment which is a mixture of social/gender/sexual non-conformist identities and I love living in Los Angeles. I was born in Manzanillo, Colima, MX but have lived in the US of A all my life. They say life is what we make of it and I am trying to make something in the time that I have. (Alessandro’s Articles)

 

Elizabeth Garcia, Blogger/Editor

Elizabeth is a mother/child advocate/activist/writer/free spirit, who hails from the East San Fernando Valley.  Her interests include hanging out with her incredibly amazing daughter, photography, live music, hiking, and kayaking to name a few.  Some of the things that make her heart sing are unwarranted acts of kindness, sunsets, waterfalls, road trips and the occasional late night with friends.  She is no stranger to the coming out process and the emotional turmoil that often entails, for that reason she volunteers her time to the LGBTQ community.  Elizabeth is currently pursuing a Masters in Speech Pathology. (Elizabeth’s Articles)

 

Franco Ford, Blogger/ Contributor

Franco was born and raised in the Midwest and moved to San Diego in 2003. It was his exposure to border news and politics, as well as his involvement in the gay community, which inspired his first novel, Caution. He holds a Masters in Creative Writing from National University. (Franco’s Articles)

 

Vania Son, Blogger/ Contributor

Vania is an investor in the Media industry, focusing on music, film, and TV. She sits on the Management Board of BMG Chrysalis, the world’s largest independent music publisher. She and her partner live in London, but also split their time between Los Angeles and Berlin. Twitter: NirVan1a (Vania’s Articles)

 

Audrey Fok, Blogger/Contributor

Growing up as an Asian American in the Los Angeles area, Audrey has a special understanding and connection to the Asian American LGBTQ community. In addition, Audrey has always had a passion for the filmic arts. Named after the famed actress Audrey Hepburn, Audrey has always known that she wanted to make films for the rest of her life. She received her BA in anthropology and film and media studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition, she will also be receiving her MA in visual anthropology at the University of Southern California.  (Audrey’s Articles)

 

Victor Yates, Blogger/Contributor

Writer and blogger Victor Yates’ work has appeared in the anthology, ‘For Colored Boys’ and in Windy City Times, GBM News, SGL Weekly, The Voice, The Catalyst, and Prism. His first novel is set to be released by Addison Craft Publishing. (Victor’s Articles)

 

 

Mariko Passion, Blogger/Contribuor

Mariko is a sex worker rights activist, artist and educator that has a passion for justice. Her hobbies include, but are not limited to, writing, creative arts, performing, and singing. Check out her blog at www.marikopassion.wordpress.com, or facebook at www.facebook.com/asianprincessartifacts, & www.facebook.com/marikopassionsongs. (Mariko’s Articles)

 
 
Mobile App Development Team
 
MeJonathan Dekanwida Thunderbird-Olivares, Blogger/Contributor
Jonathan is a volunteer community organizer in Boyle Heights with Corazón Del Pueblo, a not-for-profit volunteer run community center and Community Education for Social Action (CESA); a collective in the Greater East Los Angeles area collaborating with working-class communities to educate each other about social-economic issues to gain political consciousness for social action.  Currently, he is facilitating a class on Chicana/Latina Feminism and Queer theory with feminist scholar-activist,  Vileana De La Rosa . He is the photo editor and photography mentor at the Boyle Height Beat; a bilingual community newspaper produced by high school students from Boyle Heights in collaboration with the Spanish-language daily, Hoy, and USC Annenberg for Communication.  In the future he  wants get a J.D, Master’s, and PhD in law and philosophy, and help build critical race theory scholarship and analysis in litigation. 
(Email: Jonthanolivares@live.com)