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about the creator

Kaleikūkamakani "Kalei" Ruiz serves as an Assistant Professor and Counselor at Leeward Community College, where he works with advising, financial aid, program planning, and student support technology.

In 2020, co-chair of the UH Commission on LGBTQ+ Equality Lexer Chou contacted Kalei to inquire about indigenous perspectives on LGBTQIA+ identity, as the commission was beginning to discuss the indigenization of advocacy work.  His independent research into Hawaiian and global indigenous perspectives on gender and sexuality would lead him to discover his place in his culture, community, and family as māhū, as well as to recognize the importance of decolonizing gender, sexuality, queerness, and advocacy work.  Most importantly, he would come to recognize the importance of connecting people to these ideas and queer stories.

In the fall of 2022, Kalei would create and implement the first Queerify series.  The response from the UH community was strongly positive, leading to a series in the Spring called Queerphoria.  These two series make up the QSeries, for which Kalei manages all programming and marketing, including serving as the webmaster for the Queerify website.  Independent of the series, Kalei has presented at several UH conferences on research regarding decolonial gender and sexuality coupled with his personal stories.


Kalei hopes to grow these efforts in the coming years to continue to help people expand their thinking around gender and sexuality, grow understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community, and connect people to queer stories and experiences.


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