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Rural Colorado teen documents coming out as trans in personal photo essay

apollo rodriquez mirror/pendant
Apollo Rodriquez
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A necklace with a metal pendant in the shape of a male symbol hangs over a hand mirror. This image is included in 16-year-old Apollo Rodriquez's photo essay on coming out as trans in rural Paonia, Colorado.

Paonia, Colorado, a town of about 1,500, is situated along the North Fork Valley in Delta County, the west-central area of Colorado. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows each other, and personal news travels fast.

16-year-old Apollo Rodriquez knows this well. Last May, Rodriquez came out as transgender. During that time, he also had a summer internship with a photographer. Part of the internship included working on a month-long photo project. Rodriquez chose to document the earliest days of his transition in a photo essay, which was recently published in High Country News.

Rodriquez joined Colorado Edition to talk about his project, the reflective nature of self-portraiture and coming out as trans in rural Colorado.

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As a producer for Colorado Edition, I pitch segment ideas, pre-interview guests, craft scripts and cut audio. I also write tweets, build web posts and occasionally host.
As host of KUNC's Colorado Edition, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. And because life is best when it's a balance of work and play, I love finding stories that highlight culture, music, the outdoors, and anything that makes Colorado such a great place to live.