Q26 is a collaborative effort that began as a social project defining the terms in the LGBTQ+ Alphabet Soup. This effort has grown into a collaborative online publication geared towards the queer community. We focus particularly on the issues of queer people of color and how the media can help solve some of them, including issues of equity and autonomy.
QPOCs often have trouble getting our voices heard due to the multiplication of our marginalization. Not only do we lack privilege and attention because of our skin, but also because we are queer. Our voices are heard less, we are often at a higher risk of violence and economic abuse, and we are taken less seriously. Part of the reason for this is due to people not knowing where we come from, our history, or our stories. Consequently, they don’t understand the institutional biases against us.
We believe that the issues that face one of us faces all of us. We believe that we are stronger and more vibrant together. We believe bonding with different people of different labels and backgrounds strengthens our understanding of each other and allows room for us grow and collectively gain our freedom.
One way of bonding is by engaging in each other stories. Our writers, artists, musicians, actors/actresses, filmmakers, innovators and activists are immensely important in getting our stories out and helping people understand our issues- and also to understand the fact that we are also humans who love, laugh, hurt, and have both strengths and flaws.
All of our stories matter, and we all deserve to be heard. As an online magazine, we want to help build a more equitable world by lifting up our community and supporting our storytellers. Furthermore, we want to carve out a space where all of us in the LGBTQ+ community can coexist. That place is Q26.
As a young queer, Camille found solace in the Pride Center at Cal Poly Pomona and through a variety of blogs online. During their time there, they acted as Queer Allies Panelist. They also acted as a Multicultural Council Representative for Cal Poly Pomona’s QSAFE as well as Vice-President for the University’s QPOCC chapter. As they navigated these waters, they found that there seemed to be a lack of queer spaces online designed for the whole queer community, especially for queer people of color. They decided to create this blog in order to give queers of all ages and backgrounds a place to celebrate themselves and support queers artists with unique points of view. Camille is most recently a USC Graduate, queer, genderqueer, tomboi/stem, black, and proud. They believe that we can build autonomy withing minority communities, starting with sharing and celebrating our stories. She supports anyone who believes, overall, that the world can indeed be a more equitable place for us all. Her goal is to develop a brick-and-mortar space where queer people can find resources, celebrate themselves, and call a home. Their pronouns are they/them/theirs and she/her/hers. Camille enjoys creating pen and ink artworks, elements, writing and producing songs, travelling, designing, napping, and Hulu.
Jasmine Lowe is a queer woman of color and a Marketing and Communications specialist working and living in Southern California. She found out about Q26 when it was just an Instagram account and was later asked to write for Q26 when it evolved into a blog. Jasmine believes it’s vital for people in the community, especially young people, to see themselves represented in media online and off. She wants to help contribute to the conversation that promotes diversity in every aspect and, as a writer and artist, she’s glad to have another place where she can create new things and add positive content to that mix.
Narissa Petchumrus is a UCLA graduate and the Founder and Board Chair of the inaugural Conejo Valley PRIDE festival that took place on 09.22.18 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Their preferred gender pronouns are they/them/theirs, although she/her/hers works as well. Narissa is a genderqueer Asian Pacific Islander (Thai and European). Narissa hates saying they’re mixed as you don’t call green half blue, half yellow. Narissa is unapologetically anti-capitalist and intersectional. They believe that we must go beyond incorporating queer people and people of color into token roles. In their free time, Narissa is recently picking up reading manuals on survivalism and Marxism, listening to podcasts on Revolutionary Left Radio, surfing, trail running, exploring all of LA’s tasty food with their beautiful partner of almost 8 years, and obsessing over Corgis.
Sondra Rose Marie
Sondra is a freelance writer and former military brat nestled in Los Angeles, CA. Despite growing up across the globe, she has noticeable Southern mannerisms and is a communication studies alumna of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. Her pronouns are she/her/hers. Identifying as a queer black Creole woman, Sondra loves discussing how different facets of identity intersect to shape perspective and lived realities. She spends her free time co-hosting a book club for women of color, slaying solo dance parties, creating her own business, and checking out dog memes on Instagram.
Joëlle Bayaa-Uzuri (she/her/female pronouns) is a 10 plus year veteran in the fashion industry. Having worked for such brands as American Apparel and Baby Phat, she recently launched her own T-shirt company, Ten90Two, that aims to bring more diversity and inclusion into the urban fashion market. She believes that intersectionality and understanding that everything is connected and intertwined is the only way we can truly achieve equality, equity, and true liberation. Some of her favorite hobbies include hiking, reading, cooking, and dancing.
Unique Dowtin (she, her, hers) is a filmmaker based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. She has served as a writer, director, producer, editor and cameraperson at Skyrocket Productions for nearly a decade. In that time she has produced and directed several viral videos, commercials and a music video. She has also served as a script supervisor on more than 20 short films and features including 2015’s A Year and Change and 2017’s Coffin 2. Intersectionality is important because every voice is valid and deserves to be heard. Her hobbies include photography, reading and all the coffee she can consume.
Cobretti (he/him/his) is a scholar, writer, and graduate student living in Chicago. He is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Higher Education and researches the impact of educational policy and programs for women of color. Additionally, Cobretti is the Editor in Chief for the Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs and has been involved with the journal since 2016. Cobretti's passion for writing comes from his identity as a queer man of color that grew up in the South and desire to build critical consciousness of queer culture in communities of color. When Cobretti is not reading or writing, you can find him traveling to different countries across the world. Follow his travels, writings, and musing on Instagram and Twitter @thenomadscholar.