West Hollywood resident and comic writer Josh Trujillo has always had fond memories of Long Beach that are intimately attached to his love of the comic world. Despite multiple rounds as a panelist at massive conventions like the San Diego Comic Con or WonderCon, this year marks the artist/writer’s first venture to the Long Beach Comic Con (LBCC), acting as a panelist on the “It’s a Queer, Queer World!” panel.
While the trans* community is getting a plethora of much-needed exposure, this isn’t to say that advocates haven’t been long at work in developing exposure. This includes the country’s only coast-to-coast festival dedicated to trans* film and performance, Gender Reel Film Festival, which has a home right here in Long Beach—thanks to the auspices of husband and husband team Leeroy Joyce and Darby Darling.
For Jeff Slayton, dancing was an escape. As he moved about the stage, he could forget how his father had touched him the night before. He could forget the feeling of his mother's cold hand slapping him across the face. He could forget about his homosexuality not being accepted and the girlfriend he used as a cover-up. He could forget about everything. Slayton, a Long Beach resident and retired Cal State Long Beach dance professor, documents his life struggles in his powerful autobiography, Dancing Toward Sanity, which was released earlier this year.