Earlier this summer, I had the distinct honor of speaking on the “Queer Fear” panel at San Diego Comic-Con. As I spoke alongside actors, filmmakers, and critics to discuss queer representation in horror films, a panelist made a comment that sort of infuriated me. I’m paraphrasing, but she expressed believing part of the difficulty getting queer stories greenlit is because “you have to think about the states in the middle of the country who don’t always identify with these stories.”

August marks the beginning of a new school year. New pencils. New lessons. New teachers. But, for countless of us educators, the start of the school year represents another deeply personal journey: deciding whether to come out of the closet.

On Thursday, August 22, the Akron Pride Festival will be hosting an evening with Mara Keisling, the founder and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization aiding monumental policies for the trans community. In advance of her visit, Prizm spoke with Keisling to get her take on how to best approach advocacy work that can be reactive, geographic, and draining.

Eileen Galvin is more like a Jessica Jones-type superhero. By day at the Columbus College of Art & Design, she is the IT Help Desk Manager known as Eileen Galvin. At night, she is a burlesque superstar known as…Eileen Galvin.