A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


As the holidays roll around, queer teens find new family in the nightlife

XORB host, Alexis Guerra, Tommy Rico and Zoey Taylor.
Photo by Tommy Rico
XORB host, Alexis Guerra, Tommy Rico and Zoey Taylor.

When queer kids sit down at the table for the holidays, tension often stirs as the food is served. Family members often question the piercings and the “totally outdated” new look. Feelings of alienation rise in a space that is supposed to feel safe.

When blood relatives aren’t accepting of one’s identity, it encourages individuals to find a new home.

After feeling like an outcast in their own families, queer folks find a new home in the nightlife as they dance with strangers, feel the sweat of others and the neon lights flashing around. This is what the typical weekend looks like for many queer individuals who dance away the negativity from home.

It’s part of why Tommy Rico, who goes by “Void Boy,” created XORB with his friends Zoey Taylor and Alexis Guevara. XORB held its first warehouse rave that allowed queer individuals and allies from all over the greater Los Angeles area to connect in early November.



Rico started raving over a year ago. It was inspiring for him to witness so many different bodies of life gather and dance to the sounds of electronic music. He appreciated all the little details put into the raves. It’s what inspired him to start XORB in the first place. “I’ve met so many people that I hold extremely close to me during that time and I wouldn’t trade that for the world,” Rico said.

Tired of throwing house parties, Rico and his friends wanted more. “We figured out how each of our talents complimented each other and how they could benefit the end goal,” Rico said. “In planning this night, I gained insight on the time, effort and dedication involved in throwing a rave.”

XORB celebrates the youth of the rave community and their creative abilities. Along with making the staff of the event custom outfits, Rico made shirts for the event. The event also supported queer vendors for the night who sold accessories, like hair clips and pins.

Void Boy opened the night with a back-to-back DJ set with friend Kamicazie. Multiple sets were performed that night from disc jockeys, C.R.T.R., Murder, Princessbunbunz, Webmistress, Spiderwrap and Flapjack.


Flapjack performing his set (Tommy Rico)


Queer raver Joey Gonzalez attended XORB and felt comfortable among the sea of strangers. Being in the scene for almost a year, she is used to the large crowds, the heavy bass and the drum kicks. Gonzalez felt a sense of community through the noise.

“My trans identity and enamoration towards the rave community truly go hand in hand. Being part of this minority [as a transgender woman] I’ve always found it undeniably difficult to find community let alone representation,” Gonzalez said. “Whether it be at home, school or even pop cultural media, the ability to see a person that I deeply relate to and share the same experience as is scarce.”

The struggle and support of the family unit is often lacking for transgendered folk. With no support system at home, it leaves them feeling undesired and at points, helpless.

XORB served Gonzalez a reminder that she’s not alone in this world and that there are people just like herself, dancing, laughing and supporting one another as a community.

“There are people just like me who can support me along the way and celebrate the perseverance of our shared struggles,” Gonzalez said. “The raves for me represent [a] tangible community. Friends, [that are] closer to heart than family, that I can go to for safety and understanding. I am beyond thankful for the people I have met within the Los Angeles rave scene who have helped me along my queer journey and encouraged me to keep being myself outside of these safe spaces.”

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