Sergio Quechol (they/them) Pitzer College Inglewood, CA

Tell us about your experience in the CLS department. Why CLS?

CLS allowed me to be with and a part of a welcoming collective of Latina women who offer so much care, love, and affirmation. Being grounded of this both in institutional and informal spaces reminded me of where to seek community!

What has been your favorite class in the CLS department?

CHST 130: Re(Claiming) Voices & Stories in Chicanx Latinx Communities! Upon returning from quarantine, participating and facilitating a formal space that centered Black & Latinx embodied knowledges that spoke to our struggles and every-day acts of self-preservation was so comforting, emotional, and exciting as it reminded me of how crucial it is to always bring our voices wherever we find ourselves! <3

Tell us about your thesis research, or any research interests you have had within the major.

My research centers Trans Salvadoran women acts of self-preservation for intimate-collective joy, pleasure, and care. Noting the violent archives that are informed by authoritative institutions (academic, medical, legal) as modes of knowing and being that stereotype trans Salvadoran life as violent and deadly, I offer a transitive reading method/framework that I term as salva*guardar to consider how transness cuts through normative understandings of gender, race, and class. Working with Black trans scholarship, trans Latinx scholarship, and Salvadoran studies, I favor Salvadoran cultural objects and apply a salva*guardar reading practice that considers the embodied knowledge trans Salvadoran women engage with to flourish and remain alive. Doing so greatly attends and cares for trans Salvadoran aliveness by expanding the grammars of how, when, and where we know these experiences to be.

What are your post-grad plans?

In the summer, I will be moving to NYC to serve as a site leader at Sadie Nash where I will teach radical education to BIPOC young women and gender expansive youth. Following this, I will be moving to Brazil for a year as a Fulbright researcher to conduct research on art-making as a strategy of self-preservation racialized travesti and trans women engage with that inform their individual-collective pleasures, joys, cares, and kinship formation. Upon my return, I will be pursuing a PhD in Trans* Studies.

What advice can you offer to future CLS majors or students thinking of pursuing CLS?

Take advantage of as many courses as possible and get to know the professors!