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Who Am I To Tell These Stories?

With ancestors who were enslaved by the 60th Governor of South Carolina, my people stayed in the place where they loved, bled, labored, and survived. It is there along the Savannah River in South Carolina, where I spent years mesmerized by gospel music and Spanish moss, spent many summers eating barbecue, and enjoyed feeling grass rub against my bare feet.

I found myself in Charleston, SC, at the age of eighteen, standing under the umbrella of the privilege my parents had of being college educated and wanting their children to be the same. It was there that I majored in Women’s and Gender Studies and African American Studies, where I came out as queer and trans. Most importantly, I fell in love with myself through community organizing and wanted to research and capture the narratives of queer Southern activism.


As a "dirt road academic" and teacher, I work to create sources made to be read on the front porch over a cup of hot coffee in the morning and discussed over a glass of sweet tea in the evening. 

After obtaining a master's degree in History at the University of South Carolina and joining the History Department at Duke University as a doctoral candidate, my research interests explore and examine the ways queer and trans folks have historically created pathways of resistance and resiliency in the U.S. South.


I am also interested in Black masculinity and unpacking its relationship to white paternalism, supremacy, and patriarchy. My past work and accompanied zine, I Am a (Woe)man: A Collective Narrative of Black Transmasculine People in the United States provides a historical analysis of Black masculinity, and shares narratives of Black transmasculine people. This work introduces new ways of how my fellow trans and gender non-conforming people are practicing Black masculinity. 


Along with my scholarly work and pursuits, I hold many political homes and non-profits close to my heart. These organizations are Southerners on New Ground (SONG), Carolina Youth Action Project, Tiger’s Eye Collective, and the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN). Most importantly, I find strength and resilience in my ancestors, my family, friends, and my wife, Colleen.

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