PJ Raval and Curran Nault first met through mutual friends at a number of queer community events in Austin. But their relationship really took off in Galveston while collaborating on PJ's queer documentary, “Before You Know It”. “We’ve now been together for over a decade, raising our cat kids, and staying creative, community-driven, and crazy queer too,” PJ said. They are also both @utexasrtf faculty.
When thinking about #PrideMonth, PJ and Curran harken back to the Stonewall Riots at its roots. But they said Pride month is also about good times. “My hope is that Pride month reminds us of our radical roots and our freaky fringes, and encourages us to keep on resisting injustice, wherever we see it."
As creatives, they encourage people to support a wide array of LGBTQIA+ stories, to fully reflect an ever-changing and diverse community. "It's equally important to make sure we are also telling our own stories, from within our communities," they said. They also founded @outsiderfest, a trans media arts festival.
Both PJ and Curran acknowledge how difficult it can sometimes feel to build community but encouraged students to explore all the amazing queer organizations, events, classes and space on campus, including visiting the Gender and Sexuality Center, which has all sorts of information and events for students. "If you haven't found your people yet, don't worry, you're not doing something wrong," they said.
While Pride month is an amazing time for celebration, it's just that — a month. "The implication that we can commemorate and contemplate for a certain period of time and then move on to the next thing. Of course, oppression doesn't take a rest," they said.
They encouraged the queer community to be active all year round. But above all, they said, enjoy it. "It's summertime after all, and queers have always been good at finding fun, even in the hardest of times. We all could use some lightness and laughs right now. So, pursue your pleasures, get to dancing and to living, and keep on queering it up!" ...