Let me introduce myself


Ariel Estrella is a queer Latinx/e scholar hailing from Queens, NYC who focuses their advocacy on fostering beloved communities.

Ariel is pursing a doctoral English degree with a focus on queer of color lyricism. They are the editor for an upcoming anthology on trans, two-spirit, and nonbinary recovery. Their writings have been included in anthologies published by Arsenal Pulp, Jessica Kingsley Publisher, and Tia Chucha Press.


Ariel Estrella

At a glance

Ariel Estrella

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Location: Ithaca, NY
Current Position: PhD Student @ Cornell University
Prior Education: Macalester College, B.A.
Specialities: Personal Essay | Literary Criticism | Graphic Design | Poetry | Collage


My published writings

  • Upcoming

    Editor @ gender recovery: rewriting tales of transition, mental health, and addiction

    Anthology to be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Gender Recovery seeks essays and poetry by trans, two-spirit, and nonbinary people on the triumphs and trials of recovery. call info →

  • Aug 2019

    tones of the caparazón, or: the lizard brain's response to misgendering by folks who should know better @ trans love: an anthology of transgender and non-binary voices

    Anthology published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Here, I look at how being a survivor of violence affects my ability to understand anger, both my own and the anger I anticipate from others when I correct their misgendering. link →

  • 2017 - Present

    Facing Forward: A Macalester Alumni of Color Zine @ Macalester College

    Zine series offering words of encouragement, love, and reflection from alumni of color to graduating seniors of color. I organized, recruited, and edited submissions, and I designed the layout. vol i → & vol ii →

  • Apr 2017

    Two poems (“Dead Baby Drop” and “Crumble Red Into Marrow”) @ The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States

    Anthology published by Tia Chucha Press. “The Wandering Song” is the first-ever comprehensive literary survey of the Central American diaspora by a U.S. publisher. | “Push in far enough to grab at it. Palm curled / Brick. Pull as hard as I pushed. I rip it out—every / Fucking brick.” link →

  • Mar 2017

    The Not Not-Out Transqueer Transitive Property of Clothing Storage Units @ #Trans

    Anthology published in e-book form. In this humorous essay, I argue that the closet metaphor is both too singular a metaphor for how I segment my queerness online, and also inaccurate given my family's use of trash bags for storing our clothes. link → This work is also included in Hoax Zine (Issue #13). link →

  • Nov 2016

    healing exchanges: the necessity of beloved community for queer survivors of color @ The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Healthcare

    Lambda Literary Award winning anthology published by Arsenal Pulp. I demonstrate that for truly sustainable living, queer survivors of color's health must be understood alongside beloved community. My essay recognizes the kinds of health and healing that occur beyond just that which is held within a single body. link →

  • June 2016

    endearments and indictments for the trans fan imaginary @ TQ Review (vol 1)

    Lit mag published by Damaged Good Books. This essay explores the exploding creative avenue at the intersection of trans and fan online communities. I include a reflection on my own excited writings as a teen that developed into a more critical engagement as a slightly more mature fan of color. link →

  • 2012 - 2015

    Bringing Sexy Mac @ The Mac Weekly

    Weekly column for college paper. During my three-year tenure as a columnist, I wrote 55 articles on beloved community, intimate health, surviving violence, and the politics of love. Word count averaged at 1000 words per article.

  • May 2015

    Red Room, Big House: E L James’ Fifty Shades and The Praxis of a Neoliberal Domestic @ Macalester College

    Capstone essay and presentation as required to complete Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies undergraduate major. Written after 2.5 years of research funded by the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, I illustrate how the Fifty Shades series understands BDSM difference only as a means to support a wealth-based, heteronormative view for modern relationship constructions.

  • May 2015

    Of Scarcity and Half-Cents: Materiality and Allowances in Frederick Douglass' Narrative @ Macalester College

    Essay which received the Harry Scherman Writing Award in the category of Literary Essay, presented to best essay written by a graduating English major. In this essay I explore how The Narrative examines many sites of materiality, particularly through the theme of allowances, which I include to mean all material goods allowed to a slave by a slave owner.

  • Mar 2014

    Known (Not): Kindred and the Crisis of Intimacy across Epistemologies @ Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Journal

    Academic journal published by MMUF. In Kindred, Octavia Butler explores the subtlety of slavery’s sexual violence that cannot be accounted for within the historical record. As a traveler to the past, the narrator Dana may understand her narrative double’s conflicts with intimacy to a point. However, as I argue in this essay, Dana will never truly know the sexual violence felt within the bodies of Black slave women. link →

  • Mar 2013

    Poem (“considerations for the ergosphere”) @ Chanter

    Lit mag published by Macalester College. | “we edge a line of then—there, out—and now—a scene, a time, an impossible plane where a single word if uttered implodes the universe.”


Summary of my work

2019 - Present
GRADUATE STUDENT @ Cornell University

Pursuing an English doctoral degree, with an emphasis on queer of color lyricism.

2018 - 2019
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE @ National Domestic Workers Alliance

Provided capacity for the research, cultivation, and stewardship of supporters.

2015 - 2017

Oversaw community relations and marketing at NYC’s premier mural-making nonprofit.

2013 - 2015
MMUF FELLOW @ Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

Chosen as part of a cohort of five to engage in intensive graduate school preparatory course.


A few of my skills and passions


Committed to fighting the (riffing off bell hooks) ableist colonial cisheterocentric white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.


Skilled with Photoshop, InDesign, Constant Contact, basic html, Word, Google Docs, CMS management, and social media platforms.


Experienced with copy writing and designing website content, invitations, zines, flyers, brochures, annual reports, press releases, and more.


Focus on collage and portraiture. Greatly inspired by Kehinde Wiley, Caravaggio, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, and Vincent van Gogh.

Public Speaking

Delivered numerous speeches in both intimate settings and large audiences. Stage managed events with up to 300 attendees.


Run my pulse against these streets and their brick and concrete and the veins stripping across telephone poles and the goliath artery that is the MTA.


Get in touch


Ithaca, NY

Current Position

PhD Student @ Cornell University