Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With StormMiguel Florez

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.


TGG: I’ve been following “The Whistle” on facebook for a while, and I’m so happy I can share my interview with its Director. So, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

SF: Sure! My name is StormMiguel Florez. I’m a Xicanx, queer and trans filmmaker. I live in San Francisco and am originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’m a Scorpio with a lot of Sagittarius in my chart and I love chihuahuas.

TGG: Could you tell us about your latest film, “The Whistle”?

SF: The Whistle is a one hour documentary about lesbian youth culture in the 70s and 80s in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which I was a part of.
I’m a trans masculine person, and identified as a dyke in high school and for several years after. In Albuquerque, young lesbians had a secret way of whistling to get each other’s attention and to find out if someone else was a lesbian. The film doesn’t actually focus on the dyke whistle too extensively, but rather a very unique time and place in non-urban LGBTQ history, and the people who were there. The stories range from how teens from all the different high schools would find each other (there were around 10 high schools at the time), the codes used to keep each other safe (including the whistle), being Catholic and coming out to our parents, somehow dodging conversion therapy, and sneaking into queer bars.

TGG: What’s something that you learned while making “The Whistle”?

SF: I learned that something I thought was very unique to me was actually something that other teens my age also experienced in the 80s. I don’t want to spoil it, but I will say that it had something to do with mental health care that was being provided in Albuquerque at the time. I also got to meet and interview people who came out more than a decade before I did. I learned that what I originally thought was an 80s phenomenon in our region: the whistle, the language we used, the places we hung out, were happening as far back as the early 70s.

TGG: Can you tell us about your music?

SF: My first form of artistic expression was music. I’ve been singing, writing, playing music since I was a kid. I’ve mostly performed solo, but was in an all-dyke band in Albuquerque in the 90s called Too F.I.N.E. Minds. My music is a cross between folk-rock and alt country
or americana? I’ve never known how to describe it. You can hear it on Spotify “StormMiguel Florez.” My two solo CDs are “Standing Between The Day And Night,” which was recorded before I started testosterone – so my voice was much higher than it is now – and “Long Lost Sun,” which was recorded after I started testosterone. I got to tell the story of my musical journey while transitioning on NPR’s Snap Judgement. https://soundcloud.com/snapjudgment/storm-the-bard

I haven’t been focusing on playing music in recent years, but I’ve still been interacting with my songs, which to me are like dreams that
show me things about myself and continue to reveal new things over time. I recently decided to draw images of each of the songs on both CDs and came up with some pretty interesting symbolism. On my website, you can look at each drawing while listening to the corresponding song.


TGG: What’s next for you?

SF: I am currently outlining and writing for what will be my first feature narrative. It takes place in Roswell, New Mexico, it’s very queer, it’s a little sci-fi, and hopefully very funny.

TGG: How can we best support you (where can we buy your film, buy your music, follow you on social media)?

THE WHISTLE – http://www.dykewhistle.com
Purchase or rent: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thewhistle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDykeWhistle
Instagram/Twitter: @TheWhistleFilm

STORMMIGUEL FLOREZ – http://www.stormflorez.com
Music is available for free, but if folks want to support, they can
purchase it at Bandcamp (name your price):
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StormMiguelFlorez
Instagram/Twitter: @StormMiguel

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