el cuidado es el hogar/ care is home
Trans and queer communities, particularly Black and brown communities, have a long history of creating family and caregiving structures outside of traditional systems because of the lack of family, cultural, and societal acceptance and support. When other caregiving systems at best fail and at worse cause further harm, these alternatives provide a means for many trans and queer youth and young adults to try to survive. These community caregiving narratives highlight resilience, strength, and love in the face of adversity.
This week, GSA Network alumnus Dexter Komakaru (He/Him) debuts his zine about the various ways that caregiving has shown up in his own personal life from birth until now. Illustrated with his inspiring drawings, Dexter’s zine narrates the complicated, but beautiful ways that trans youth create their own home and family. Learn more about Dexter and his art here!
View Dexter’s zine, “El Cuidado es el Hogar”, below by clicking on page #1 (top left) and pressing the arrow on the right! Also, check out the video on the right to see how Dexter assembles a physical copy of his zine!
CReATED BY: DEXTER KOMAKARU (he/him)
Dexter Komakaru, known under his artist name DXTROSE, is a Freelance Illustrator and Artist working out of his home studio on ancestral and contemporary territory of the Shawnee, Potawatomi, Delaware, Miami, Peoria, Seneca, Wyandotte, Ojibwe and Cherokee peoples, known as CBUS, OH. As a 614 Native born-and-raised, he grew up in what’s known as the “bottoms” of the Hilltop Neighborhood near what is now known as the Franklinton Arts District. Viewing his story as his superpower, he uses the hardships he’s experienced as fuel for his creative fire.
Over the years he has built a career out of visual arts, content creation, and creativity around a mission of ART, ACTIVISM, ACCESS: sharing his insights, experiences, and education on art and activism with others by making the information, resources, and his work accessible.
With a multidisciplinary background and over half a decade of dedicated experience freelancing, he creates art inspired by the work he does in intersectional activism and community organizing around his experiences and identities as a second-generation immigrant, a Queer, Trans, Northern Native American and Mexican person.
It’s his hope that his work will be able to resonate with people who relate to the stories and hardships he’s experienced as well as provide inspiration to other aspiring artists for disrupting systemic cycles of harm and navigating a creative practice under capitalism from an abolitionist lens.
Since starting to share his work as DXTROSE in 2015, he’s been able to work with various clients, organizations, and companies on a wide variety of different projects and endeavors. He’s currently offering private sales, art licensing, and business-to-business/business-to-customer client work as well as working on upcoming personal projects. He also offers prints and originals of his artwork available for sale on his online store to those interested in helping to support his work. You can find his most recent work posted to his Instagram.