León is a Latine, trans, and non-binary queer nerd, born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico, who is laying down roots in unceded Tiwa land (now known as Albuquerque, New Mexico). León (pronounced le-ohn) works as the Bilingual Community Specialist for Trans Lifeline and serves on the board of the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, where he also co-founded the Black & Brown Trans Support group. In their spare time, León dreams about building campfires, community land projects, and transformative spaces for talking through oppression and healing trauma. León is passionate about Queer Campout because it merges the two most healing forces in his life, nature and queer community. León also freelances as an illustrator, graphic designer, translator, bodyworker, and personal assistant to a cute cat named Biscuits.
What excites you most about your work?
I’m excited about the way Queer Campout is growing, and how this community is being shaped by our values and intentions. I‘m excited for more people to get involved and invested in making Queer Campout a space where relationships with nature, ourselves, and each other can be cultivated.
What feels rich and abundant in your work right now?
Being able to create something with and for queer and trans people brings me much joy and satisfaction. There is never a lack of opportunity for learning and challenging myself. While it’s a lot of work to organize Queer Campout, it’s so very worth having something to look forward to with excitement. It’s the space where I feel most at home and connected to myself and to others.
Who do you dedicate your work to?
I dedicate my work to those who live in the liminal spaces of gender, sexuality, nationality, race, language…to those of us who are told we don’t belong or we don’t deserve to inhabit the land we live in or even our own bodies.
Where are you drawing inspiration from these days?
I’m inspired by my partner, my friends, and my coworkers. I’m inspired by my family, my mother and sisters in particular, who have taught me resilience, strength, and loyalty. I’m currently reading Grievers by adrienne maree brown and Cien años de soledad by Gabriel García Márquez.
What something you didn’t know, that now you understand differently with wellness?
Wellness is different for every person. There are countless practices, tools, and teachers, and it can take time, trial and error, to find our own path to wellness. Wellness can be cyclical and seasonal. Wellness is connected to our ancestry and lineage, and to the time and place we are occupying.
How can people reading this support the work you are doing?
We are working on developing manuals and procedures to make the planning and execution of each event run efficiently so that more attention and energy can be given to workshops, activities, and overall community-building. My hope is that Queer Campouts can happen elsewhere in the U.S. and internationally. Folks can support us in different ways, from helping automate our registration systems to donating funds. If you are in New Mexico or traveling here is accessible, a great way to support us is by coming to a campout event!
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