My reporting centers on public policy, the justice system, and our nation's most vulnerable people.
I am a queer, first-generation Cuban American, and I devote my work to uncovering corruption and wrongdoing in our nation's health care and criminal justice systems.
My reporting has shined a light on struggles to access HIV treatment, highly criticized surgeries on infants, and police reform, as well as a history of anti-Black racism in an affluent Chicago neighborhood.
Right now, I'm a social justice reporter at the Chicago Reader and co-host of the paper's podcast, Queer & Now.
At the Reader, I write about social justice issues of all kinds, though I specialize in writing about queer communities, racial equity, criminal justice and government accountability.
Over the course of my career, I have investigated racism in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood, a racist, homophobic law that criminalizes HIV in Illinois, controversial surgeries on minors, and in my first for BuzzFeed, how access to HIV treatment in Puerto Rico has been impacted by colonialism, natural disasters, a multibillion-dollar debt crisis and now, the pandemic.
I also joined a Washington Post team to investigate the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on nursing homes, as part of a six-week fellowship. That work formed the basis for this investigation revealing that government regulators cleared most nursing homes of infection-control violations during the pandemic.
In summer 2020, I additionally produced a three-part audio documentary examining the history of torture at the hands of police in Chicago under former commander Jon Burge. You can find more details about the project here.
I earned my bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in crime, law and deviance from the University of Central Florida and recently completed a master's in journalism with a focus on social justice and investigative journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.
In my latest deep dive, I investigated the state's law that makes it a felony to expose others to HIV without their knowledge. Over the course of my investigation, I built a database of HIV charges, poured over legislative transcripts and tracked down attorneys, activists and people charged under the law. The result is my best work yet, a blistering piece that describes the racist, homophobic roots of the law alongside the discriminatory way the law has been applied to this day.
In my first for BuzzFeed, I reported on how access to HIV treatment in Puerto Rico has been impacted by a number of disasters, both natural and political. This piece was the product of an eight-month investigation; and as part of this reporting, I spoke with people experiencing homelessness and drug addiction and people who fled the island for better health care, as well as public health experts, activists and those who can't or won't leave the island.
During a conversation with a local police official, I learned that the police department was planning to hire a department-wide liaison to the LGBTQ+ community — a first for the city. After some research, I discovered that no one had reported on this, making me the first to publish this update on the department's reform efforts. The move is particularly important given the department's federally mandated reforms and recent instances of tensions between the local queer community and police.
In my last enterprise feature for Law360, I investigated efforts to enshrine laws to ban cosmetic, medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex minors. What I found, however, was a concerted effort by powerful medical groups to block laws that would ban doctors from performing certain types of procedures. Intersex rights advocates, former U.S. Surgeons General and the United Nations have separately called for these surgeries to stop, but doctors countered by calling the handful of bills introduced around the country an example of legislative overreach and an affront to parental rights.
In the wake of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, I was part of a team at Law360 that poured over his legal writings to analyze his potential impact on the high court. For my piece, I particularly looked over his record related to LGBT, reproductive and immigrant rights, and put his writings in the context of a number of potential landmark cases expected to reach the court.