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What's At Stake In 2020? Community Activist Wants To Make Sure Vulnerable Populations Are Heard

Keelan Moses addresses the crowd during an LGBTQ rally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, in Austin on June 5.
Michael Minasi
Keelan Moses addresses the crowd during an LGBTQ rally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, in Austin on June 5.

Keelan Moses, a burlesque performer and community activist, said they're focused on making sure everyone is heard in this election.

“Growing up, you're kind of told to be quiet and to keep your opinions to yourself about certain things when it comes to color or race in general,” they said. "But that's really not how anyone should live when it comes down to it.”

Moses grew up in Huntington, an East Texas town of just over 2,000 people. As a nonbinary person of color, Moses did not truly begin to express themself until leaving to study theater in college.

“When you're the minority – like being gay, like being trans, like being Black – people will target you. People will try and make you assimilate.”

Last year, Moses joined a nonprofit called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The Sisters primarily carry out small fundraising efforts for local organizations that help the LGBTQ community and other at-risk populations.

“The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are very important to me because they have given me an avenue to actually be in the community and be able to help people,” Moses said.

Moses became more engaged after joining the group, leading them to speak at three Black Lives Matter rallies over the summer after George Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests against police violence and racism.

In October, Moses and the rest of the local Austin chapter set up outside of Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds on South Congress to help register voters.

“Honestly the events over this past summer just taught me that there's always going to be a need, especially in America, especially in Texas, for outreach,” they said. “You really can't depend on anyone to do anything for you other than yourself, and for your community other than you.”

Leading up to Election Day, KUT is showcasing different perspectives from Central Texans on what’s driving them to vote. Keep coming back to for more stories about issues affecting local voters.

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Michael Minasi is a photo and video storyteller at KUT and KUTX. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @MichaelMinasi.
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