FOUNDER/EDITOR IN CHIEF
RAINE GRAYSON (he/him)
Raine is a 27 year-old playwright, director, and WGSS/Theatrical scholar whose work focuses on theatre as a form of social activism. He has recently won the Thayer Fellowship & Patricia Kerr Arts Award winner and participated in the Emerging Scholars Panel at the Mid-America Theatre Conference. Grayson chose to create this platform as a way to lift up the voices of his LGBTQIA+ siblings. Grayson is an out transgender man, feminist, and LGBTQIA+ rights activist. He continues to use his “out and proud” attitude to educate people on LGBTIA+ rights and visibility
COLLEEN E. SMITH (she/her)
Colleen is a 22 year old recent graduate of SUNY New Paltz with a degree in Theatre Arts concentrating in Theatre Studies and a minor in English. She enjoys playwrighting, exploring stream of consciousness as a narrative mode, and writing adaptations of classic texts to fit and promote a more progressive lens. She is happy to serve as Assistant Editor to this blog’s awesome creator and friend Raine Grayson. Apart from writing and being in the LGBTQIA+ community, Colleen enjoys healthy baking, persuading her skeptical friends and peers to try her healthy baking, and environmental activism.
ALEX PETKANAS (they/them)
Alex is a student at Brooklyn Law School. They are a nonbinary white person who grew up in a small town in Connecticut, and went to high school and college in upstate New York. Alex intends to pursue a legal career in public interest work, and spent the past semester in an LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, focusing on name changes for transgender people in New York State.
SHARON HAR PAZ (she/her)
Sharon Har Paz is a lesbian Israeli author, poet, editor, translator, publisher, photographer, and lead creative writing workshops. She has written and published in Hebrew a book of poems and three novels. Her first novel is the first lesbian novel written in Hebrew. She has written many articles on many subjects both in Hebrew and English, which she posts on various websites including on her personal blog. She has presented and written radio spots on diverse issues since 1999, in a few radio stations both Israeli and abroad.
GODDESS KITTY (she/her)
Goddess Kitty is a woman of color theatre artist and professional event planner. She is a spiritual being who loves to dance & give off positive vibes. Currently, Goddess Kitty is twerking her way through life as a small business owner of THREE different companies & processing rich peoples clothing for dry cleaning. If you ever need a Queer Mexican American to plan your event or organize your life, then you came to the right Goddess. Signing off with a purr, Goddess Kitty
HANNAH NOËL (she/her)
Hannah is an actor, writer, fan girl, and sexual assault activist from the Bay Area, California. She currently resides in New Paltz, NY where she is completing her degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She recently presented her creative non-fiction at the SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference. Her work invokes the feminist, the queer, and looks unflinchingly at the complexities of human identities and relationships. When she isn’t creating, Hannah spends her time worshiping at the altar of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. She believes in the power of stories to change the world.
ISABELLA LOPEZ (she/her)
LESTER MAYERS (he/him)
Lester is a Brooklyn native who is currently completing his undergraduate degree in Theatre Performance at SUNY New Paltz School of Fine and Performing Arts. Lester is a published writer, poet and actor. In 2017 Lester won the SUNY Chancellors awards for artistic excellence. His work can be found in the Sojourner Truth Library, I am from Driftwood LGBTQ archive, and the Huffington Post. Lester’s performance credits includes: Limerick University in Ireland, Delta University, SUNY Oswego, SUNY FLCC, Pace University, SUNY UB, and countless others. Gay, black, and a feminist, Lester tackles issues that have historically been ignored by the public. He recently released his first poetry book 100 Poems for 100 Voices that debuted at number 10 on amazon in its first week! And was induced into the Sojourner Truth Library, Lester has survived and thrived through homelessness, and illiteracy. In spring of 2020 he will be teaching a poetry course on the importance of language at Delta University. Visit his website at lestermayers.com for upcoming shows and details.
Lilah is a queer femme of color who is doing So Many Things at once and loving it. She is an undergraduate biology researcher and lab technician in a herpetology lab, and an entomologist in training. She is an artist who favors pencil and watercolor at the moment, and also writes poetry. She is also an intersectional activist and intern at her school’s Diversity and Inclusion office where she is doing groundwork to develop an LGBTQ+ resource center. She can usually be found in the woods. Lila loves to find ways to bridge her worlds, bringing her science into her activism, her activism into her art, etc. In all of the areas that Lila works, she brings passion and energy. She is doing All The Things and giving it her all.
MADS LEIGH-FAIRE (he/him)
Mads is a freelance theatrical dramaturg and literary assistant, based in the California Bay Area. He also performs as a drag-lesquer, with acts that focus on non-binary representation and encouraging people to be their silliest selves. With a deep appreciation for inclusion, interaction, and accessibility, Mads is hoping to use Queeries as a platform to educate and engage not only himself but the LGBTQIA+ community with a productive and empathetic dialogue surrounding our hopes, needs, dreams, fears, and accomplishments. He also has a lot of feelings about the sentience of droids in the Star Wars canon.
NATALYA MALARCZUK (they/them)
Natalya is majoring in Theatre & Creative Writing at SUNY New Paltz. As a writer, theatre artist, and activist, Natalya enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and non-fiction about queer identity. They are interested in exploring the myriad of experiences of queer folks through this blog. When they’re not writing, they enjoy hiking, playing the ukulele, and spoiling their dog.
RAY LONG (she/her)
Ray is just your average, every day lesbian with a ton of ideas floating around in her head. She has done many interesting things in her life including, but not limited to, performed off-Broadway in #LifeLines: Queer Stories of Survival with The TMI Project and Trevor Project, spoken at Trevor Live in LA, designed and ran lights for (Wo)men Rule Broadway, has her own YouTube channel and was the lesbian presence on Gayme On, a podcast about gaming and geek culture from a queer perspective. She is married and has 4 fur babies
RENN ELKINS (he/him)
Renn is an undergraduate English student at Mount Holyoke College and a passionate creative writer. As a bisexual and non-binary trans man, he hopes to use his social experiences and his creative dedication to expand the world’s stock of LGBT+ literature, both fiction and nonfiction. Renn believes that we can and should grow closer by sharing our unique experiences with the dynamic and subjective construct of language. He is — and always will be — reading and learning more each day.
ZELDA (a.k.a. JUDITH MILLER) (she/her)
Zelda is a multifaceted artist who lives in an erotic, musical, spiritual universe. As a feminist Jew who studies shamanism, she is inspired by the beauty of nature and the guiding force of her intuition as she explores the themes of connection to the Earth, spirituality, sexuality and gender. Zelda has recently developed, under an Individual Artist Commission awarded by Arts Mid-Hudson, Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) as is currently producing ZELDA’S Happenings, a series of black-light, body-painting, percussion dance parties that will produce original wearable art for a new UpState Artists Clothing Collection representing artists of the region. Zelda co-founded The Fine Line Actors Theatre in Washington DC and performed at such venues as Source, GALA Hispanic Theatre and the Kennedy Center in DC, in NYC at WOW Café Theatre and Dixon Place, at the Lace Mill and with the TMI Project in Kingston. She published in Inside Arts magazine, The Washington Post, and American Theatre magazine. Keep up to date on Zelda’s Happenings, the development process of Que Será, Será, or visit her healing website: Zelda’s Body Breathing.