The latest Jotxs y Recuerdos episode features Adrian “Ayden” Castellanos. Ayden is a Queer Chicano from Edcouch Elsa, co-host of Los Topx Chicxs, and producer of Taco Bout. Tune in to hear him talk about Edcouch Elsa, the Valley, his ideas about machismo, intersectional HIV Activism, botanas, and more. Listen to the episode or read the short excerpt below!

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Alex: What do you think the queer community is like in the Valley?

Ayden: In the Valley? I think the queer community in the Valley is huge because you pull, you know, people like little old me from Edcouch-Elsa and you pair me with someone like Nicky and we’re just like “We’re just bad bitches and like we make shit happen!”

I see a lot of-obviously I’m not saying that other people don’t-but I see a lot queer people doing a lot of the groundwork…We’re at every fucking event, we’re at every protest, we’re organizing that, we’re running that, we’re producing creative outlets like this. You know, we do a lot.

I love the queer community here in the Valley. I stand for it, I fight for it because there’s a lot of people-especially a lot of queer people-that leave the Valley. They go to like Austin for six months and then all of the sudden they’re somebody else. They’ve never heard of Donna, they’ve never heard of San Carlos…I’ve heard or like I’ve seen people online shit on the Valley or shit on our community and like criticize us, and I’m like “Ok…” Even if they’re making good points, I’m like “Yeah, we could improve on that or we could do this,” but it’s like “What did you do before you left?” You know, like you just left, you didn’t…And it’s fine, I’m not saying everyone has to contribute to the Valley before they leave, but at the same time like if you didn’t do anything to help us or to make a difference here I really don’t think you have the right to like constantly shit on us if it’s not constructive criticism.

Alex: No, that’s a good point. And…also, another good point is what you said about us being at the forefront. Queer people of color and trans people of color have always been at the forefront, at every fucking thing.

Ayden: We’ve been doing this…forever.

Alex: Yes!

Tune in to listen to the rest of the episode!