2018 QOC Scholarship Recipients

Below are some of the recipients of the 2018 QOC Scholarship.


Gabe Pineda

Gabe Pineda graduated from El Capitan High School in Lakeside, California, and will be attending the University of California, Riverside as a Theater, Film, and Digital Production Major with a Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor. Gabe plans to further educate and give a voice to others in the LGBTQ+ community and other minorities by becoming a filmmaker or director, in hopes of producing movies that bring representation and empowerment to the voiceless communities and groups around the world. 

After coming out as a gay male at the age of 16, Gabe became an advocate and a voice for the LGBTQ+ Community by educating and sharing his coming out story while being a leader in his school’s leadership program, Gay-Straight Alliance(GSA), and Camp LEAD Program. During his senior year of high school, Gabe took on the responsibility of organizing a seventeen minute school walkout on March 14 to memorialize the seventeen lives lost in the Parkland Shooting, but also able to open the eyes and ears of hundreds of students, teachers, and administrators on the need of respect, kindness, and love within the school. Gabe constantly tells his friends and peers to never let anyone dull their own beautiful and unique sparkle! 


Rexy Amaral

Rexy is a trans Latina chingona  warrior, drag activist, born and raised in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Rexy is known for her intersectional activism, political drag artistry, and nurturing attitude. Rexy continues to fight for the rights of Trans youth by serving on the Transgender Advisory Council to the Mayoral Office of San Francisco.Rexy is the founder of The Rexy Project, which uses the art from of Drag to inspire, empower and educate, trans and queer youth . Through The Rexy Project, she working on "Drag-Tivism" a youth conference, for youth to explore drag artistry and activism, while being able to receive mentorship on being a drag artist by drag professionals. Rexy will be able to use this scholarship to continue the work of The Rexy Project by being able to travel further out of the Bay Area and continue on spreading the magic of Drag!


Andrew reyna

Andrew is so honored and humbled to be able to receive this scholarship and hopes to use these funds to pay for higher education. As someone who spent most of his life being afraid of his true self, it feels amazing not only to be open with my experiences in my community, but to also be rewarded for it. Andrew also plans on continuing his work in the sexual health field to help educate their peers and help end the stigma against the LGBTQ+ community. We can and will rise against the stereotypes and work towards a safer future!


Erik Flores

Erik is currently an undergraduate student at the University of California, Merced Majoring in Political Science and Minoring in Management & Business Economics. As a Social Justice Initiatives Intern for the Office of Student Life, Erik works towards creating programs revolving around equity, diversity, and intersectionality, which, as a proud queer person of color, is something he is passionate about. After college, Erik hopes to take what he's learned and apply it to a career in Business Administration ideally for an organization that fosters diversity in every aspect.

As someone who knows the financial burden of college all too well, Erik is  extremely grateful to have been named a recipient of the Queens of the Castro Scholarship. With this, he will be able to cover tuition and housing expenses, thus allowing him to devote more time to extracurriculars and serving my community. 


Kai Huang

Kai is a Chinese-American bi/pan/queer nonbinary trans undergraduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles and is pursuing a Psychobiology major. He is an Outreach Intern for the UCLA LGBT Campus Resource Center, and volunteers as a Clinical Navigator in the lab at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. They are also on the executive board of Transgender UCLA Pride (TransUP), serve as the Photo Editor for OutWrite Newsmagazine, UCLA’s queer newsmagazine, and are the Membership Coordinator for Lavender Health Alliance at UCLA in addition to working as a Resident Assistant for UCLA Residential Life.

Kai is so grateful for this QOC scholarship, which will help them afford costs such as school supplies, co-pays, and summer fees as a financially independent student. They hope to be able to continue serving their community and their ultimate goal is to become an endocrinologist to help other trans people like myself get access to inclusive healthcare.

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Darren Sharapov

Darren recently graduated from Tesoro High School and will be attending Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Although he is undecided, he will probably end up studying political science or engineering. Darren plans on using the scholarship to buy textbooks for his freshman year. Athletics have always been an indispensable aspect of his life; in high school he played men’s water polo and bouldered at his local climbing gym. Darren identifies as a transexual and bisexual man.


2018 Grace towers Scholarship for the arts Recipients

Below are some of the recipients of the 2018 GTSA.


Juan Chavez

Juan Chavez is a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz. He studied dance and psychology during his time at the institution and is eager to begin my life as an artist and mover. The funding will help him develop and receive the training he need as a mover. In addition, it will allow him to launch projects that he have been brainstorming in these past months to help pay for costs like rehearsal space, costumes, collaborators, travel, etc. As a Queer Latinx person,  it is important for Juan to represent his community through his moving body and choreography, especially in our current socio-political climate. He hopes his work reaches out to individuals that identify similarly and will serve as a source of inspiration for them to take up as much space that they rightfully deserve. In a world that is not in our favor, it is vital that we must consider and fight to persist until we no longer have to justify our existence.