I grew up in New Jersey. That’s where I heard the best stories about Cuba and Colombia and this lady who knows how to eat an avocado so you won’t get pregnant. It’s also where I first learned about feminism, queer identity, and race in the Americas.
With my comadre, the poet and author Bushra Rehman, I’ve co-edited the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. Of the book, author Rebecca Walker said:
“These young women pick up where foremothers Audre Lorde and Gloria Anzaldúa left off.”
Colonize This! is taught in women studies classes alongside the classic works of feminist theories, but I’m still mostly proud that young women tell me they buy the book because it’s a good read.
At ColorLines, a newsmagazine on race and politics, I spent six amazing years working with a virtual, multi-racial newsroom of reporters, activists, and bloggers. ColorLines was awarded UTNE’s General Excellence Award in 2007, and my article “Becoming a Black Man” about how transgender people of color experience race when they transition from one gender to another was nominated for a 2009 GLAAD Media Award.
My essays have appeared in several anthologies including 50 Ways to Support Lesbian and Gay Equality (New World Library, 2005), Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class (Seal Press, 2004), and Border-Line Personalities: A New Generation of Latinas Dish on Sex, Sass, and Cultural Shifting (Harper Paperbacks, 2004). At twenty-five, I was a columnist for Ms. magazine, writing personal stories about feminism and my so-called Latina life. Two years later, I spent a year on The New York Times’s metro desk, where I covered fires, MTA fare hikes, and how undocumented immigrants decide whether to file tax returns.
My writing and I have been blessed with residencies at Hedgebrook (2000), MacDowell Colony (2001), Blue Mountain Center (2008), and the Djerassi Resident Arts Program (2009). I’ve also had the most amazing opportunity to be a part of the Macondo writing workshop started by Sandra Cisneros in San Antonio, Texas.
I received my B.A. in English at William Paterson University and my M.A. in journalism and Caribbean and Latin American studies at New York University.