Ravanna Michelle Menendez - The Lilac Experience, Part 1

In an all new episode of Here & Queer, we hear from Ravanna Michelle Menendez who bravely opens up about her life’s journey, from being raised in the south all the way to transitioning before the public eye. Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast and more!


Excerpt beginning 2:03

I grew up knowing that I was trans, but I grew up in a very conservative, very religious household, you know? You got the whole Cuban Italian thing. It's really in in the Bible Belt. So a lot of my growing up, was really stifled and repressed, based off of who I was, and who I know that I had to be in that scenario. One of the things that, you know, really stifled a lot of that was I grew up in a very abusive household with my stepfather. And that was very much a constant threat to my sense of safety and my general ability to just live freely. So there's a lot of tiptoeing, lots of eggshells, lots of you know, having to live and be myself behind closed doors. And even within those own little confinements that I had, it wasn't something where I could still absolutely with, you know, no certain terms be able to live freely without someone possibly walking in through the door, you know, I mean, lots of exploring with makeup and everything else like that. But there was always times where they would come in, and they would find my stuff, take it away from me, makeup, things of that nature. But it was always one of those things where, you know, on the religious side of it, I had to really look in and reflect going, Okay, I know that this is supposedly not correct. But I know with every fiber in my being, this is who I am. And I know with every fiber in my being that this isn't going to change. I spent so many nights trying to pray it away, you know. And I'm so one of those very vividly, one of the prayers that I was constantly asking

was, God, please just let me wake up as a girl, please just let me wake up as a girl like I'm supposed to be and let everything stop. So that doesn't have to be wrong.

National Margarita Day

A lot of us have really picked up an interest in tequila and it's no wonder. Its popularity is soaring in the U.S. and doesn't look like it'll be slowing down any time soon. The only contender would probably be whiskey. Meh, but they have their own day. Now, it's National Margarita Day and we put together some of the best margarita recipes around so you can pick one or maybe even all of them to try.

We have a few surprises in there too. Maybe it's not all about tequila but it certainly has a theme going on. Take a look at some of these great tequila brands and start making some amazing margaritas today!

Keep reading Show less
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Gender-Inclusive Universities and Student Privacy

For many students, attending university is a profound, often life-changing, transition. It is often the student’s first time living on their own without parental supervision. This lifestyle is also accompanied by a period of self-discovery, of defining and redefining a sense of personal identity largely independent of the influence of family and friends from home.

For students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, this rite of passage can also be a deeply empowering one. Indeed, attending university may be the student’s first real opportunity to explore their gender identity in a safe, comfortable, and accepting college.

Keep reading Show less

José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia agave fields

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I had the opportunity to visit Mexico for an event José Cuervo was putting on, the unveiling of their premium tequila brand, Reserva de la Familia. The trip was all about tequila, how to drink it properly, how to pair it with food, and of course, visiting various points of interest in Guadalajara while tasting tequila along the way.

Keep reading Show less