Bamby is a nationally recognized transgender Latina woman, currently serving as the the Project Coordinator for the transgender youth program with Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
Bamby is the founder of Angels of Change, the first trans youth calendar aimed at providing trans youth with a positive image. Bamby has participated in numerous state and national conferences as a presenter and motivation speaker including Equality and Parity 2005 and 2009, United States Conference on AIDS in 2005 and 2007, Staying Alive in 2006, and HIV Prevention Leadership Summit 2006. An outspoken advocate for the LGBT community, she has been invited to speak at protests and rallies on immigration issues, marriage equality, and HIV funding cuts in the state of California. Her experience and scope of work include organizing around HIV prevention, correctional policy, and economic and professional development for transgender people across the US. Among her accomplishments include a nationwide petition to Congress and our President for trans communities to be counted in the 2010 census.
Griselda — Arts & Creative Writing Editor
Griselda received her MFA in Writing and Consciousness in 2004 from New College of
California. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in Aunt Lute Press, Seal Press, NCOC Press, Acentos Literary Review, and Sinister Wisdom Journal. Finishing Line Press published her first poetry collection as part of their 10th Anniversary Chapbook Series. Her collection has been nominated for the California Book Prize and she was recently nominated for the Distinguished Alumni Award at Pitzer College.
She is a Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow and has participated in the Emerging Voices program. She co-produced “Testimonies, Chisme and Spilling the Tea: An Evening of Poetry” for the National Queer Arts Festival in June 2009. This event brought together Lambda Fellows with established writers such as Dorothy Allison, Rigoberto Gonzalez, D.A. Powell, and Eloise Klein Healy. She is founder of Karari: A Literary Arts Organization for Indígena, Latina and Xicana Writers.
Christian — Copy Editor
Christian is a health and fitness enthusiastic forever dedicated to promoting wellness among Latino and queer communities throughout Southern California and beyond. He currently resides in Hollywood, but will soon be shifting gears to study naturopathic medicine in Tempe, Arizona. When not doing stuff for xQsi, Christian is at the gym, practicing yoga, walking his dog Brüno, or plotting out his next big backpacking adventure.
Isis — Columnist – “Los ojos de Isis”
Isis nació como varón y al paso de muchos años hizo lo necesario para “reparar” este error. Durante los últimos 10 anos Isis ha transicionado y ha vivido tiempo completo en su género de congruencia desde 2006. Isis creció en la ciudad de México y vivió en centro y Sudamérica antes de venir a vivir a los EUA. Fue una dedicada escolar logrando grados en Ciencias de la Comunicación (política), antropología y sicología. La mayor parte de su vida profesional ha sido en el campo periodístico trabajando para la televisión, radio, periódicos y revistas. En los últimos años convirtió su hobby de la infancia en su profesión. Se convirtió en foto-periodista ganándose varios créditos mundiales en revistas y varias de sus imágenes están depositadas en The National Archives. Dedicada a su familia y profesión, Isis pospuso invertir en su congruencia de género y a partir del principio de el nuevo milenio, empezó su transición. Ha vivido su género tiempo completo desde 2006. A dedicada abogada de los Derechos Humanos y blogger, Isis puede ser encontrada en varios websites. Isis se considera gitana de corazón y su hobby favorito es viajar y vivir en cuantos lugares diferentes como sea posible. En los EUA, ha vivido en Washington DC, Charlottesville Va, San Francisco, la Cd de New York y Los Angeles Ca. En su tiempo libre Isis le gusta leer y escribir, tocar y componer música, acampar, esquiar en agua y nieve y gozar la compañía de sus su familia y amigos
Laura — Columnist – “Viviendo en la Claridad”
Laura was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the US at age 21 to redesign her life from the bottom-up. Her first jobs in this country included housekeeping and babysitting until she learned the language. Eventually she went back to school and earned a BA in Psychology at California State University and an MBA at Walden University. Laura has worked in the HIV field in different capacities and with people from diverse backgrounds since 1996. First with LA Shanti as Programs Manager and then with John Snow Incorporated in Colorado where she provided capacity building for several ASOs in the Midwest and conducted HIV national trainings. She also did independent consulting work, and prior to joining Gilead she worked at BI for 2 ½ years, first as Community Liaison and later as HIV National Accounts Manager. Laura is a columnist for xQsi Magazine and a contributing writer to the book Gathering Round the Fire.
Van is a queer Chilean trans man who lives on the side of fabulous. He has been actively involved in trans* advocacy for two years, with his most recent endeavor being the founder and facilitator of Soy Quien Soy: Trans Empowerment Collective. SQS is a source of strength and support for trans* people of all colors, and holds its meetings in Pilsen as a way of extending trans* resources outside of the Boystown area. He runs every aspect of SQS: promotion, outreach, networking, and facilitating meetings—and could not do it without the amazing help of Ivonne Canellada. In addition, Van is a volunteer (and soon to be board member) of PrideCall Inc., an LGBTQ hotline based in Woodstock, IL. He actively educates board members and volunteers at PrideCall about the trans* community and experience, and does other speaking engagements across Illinois.
Van has been drawing and doodling since the age of three. However, he is first and foremost an English geek. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English—with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies—from Roosevelt University in 2010. One of his senior projects—entitled “The Van that Came Out of Somewhere”—incorporated web comic media and trans*/queer theory to promote a new trans* narrative. This narrative supports trans* pride and confident self-image. Since beginning that project, he has continued to work on web comics centering on his experience as a Latino trans man, and he is incredibly excited to work with xQsi. Van hopes that trans* comics serve as another outlet of advocacy and education, as well as a venue to document the incredible experiences and lives of trans* people of color. Van will begin graduate school in the Fall of 2012 for Clinical Psychology, and hopes to continue using drawing as a medium of expression, vitality, and hope for the trans* community and its allies.
Ignacio Ortiz has been working with the community for 15 years: first with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on HIV/AIDS prevention and education in the Latino Community in Los Angeles, California; and then as part of the founding team that launched *Tentaciones* Magazine, a publication that revolutionized the image of LGBT Latinos in the United States.
As Music Editor of *Tentaciones* (now out of circulation,) in addition to his regular CD reviews, Ignacio had the opportunity to interview such popular and critically acclaimed artists as Jaguares, Miguel Bosé, Kinky, Carlos Ponce, Jaramar , Kevin Johansen and Juanes. Ignacio’s reviews and essays have also been published in other music publications outside of the community.
Alfredo Hernandez works in the HIV Prevention and Education field. His main purpose working in the HIV field is to find best ways to point out the desire to help, educate, listen, understand, interact, socialize and work with people living with HIV/AIDS and bring awareness about HIV to those who need to be educated about the issues related to HIV. Alfredo brings his expertise to share with our readers from XQsi Magazine.
Audrey — Entertainment Correspondent
Audrey Silvestre is a queer chicana feminist with chingon@ politics from long beach, california. She is a fierce campus and community organizer who through the collectivo Conciencia Femenil she is disrupting heteropatriarchy, sexismThe system of attitudes, beliefs, and biases where femaleness and femininity are inferior to maleness and masculinity., and homophobia by calling out institutionalized ways that violence is produced and reproduced. She has also presented at several conferences by conducting workshops on gender, sexuality, homphobia, DIY media, zines, etc. Audrey is a mentor for ImMEDIAte Justice and one of the co-founders of HollaBackSoCal. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.