We had the good fortune of connecting with D.L. Cordero and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi D.L., what do you want your legacy to be?
My legacy will by one of recovery, love, and support. I will heal the generational wounds I inherited by treasuring every part of who I am, by creating spaces for others so they too can be held in their entirety, and by writing stories and poetry that makes me and the most marginalized feel seen and sacred. I will do everything in my power to end the cycles of invisibility, invalidation, and oppression so that, one day, our children dance in the fulfillment of our dreams.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My goal as a sci-fi/fantasy author is to write intriguing narratives that center characters from marginalized communities, without making identity the crux of the story. Very often, characters who hold marginalized identities get pigeonholed into story arcs that exclusively focus on the character’s struggle toward acceptance, to such an extent that the story becomes an oversimplified self-rescue or flattened cultural narrative. We are more nuanced than that. I write stories about characters who execute their agency, for better or for worse, characters who are gritty, flawed, relatable, loving, and survive by any means necessary without leaving their kindred behind. My goal with my nonfiction work is to create poetry and spoken word that celebrates the indomitable spirit of people living in the margins. I have several intersecting, marginalized identities and my poetry reflects the struggle, joy, beauty and freedom that comes along with that experience. With my non-fiction, I seek to capture the honest truth of how dire it is to be oppressed, while also providing hope for those of us who need it. I communicate that, yes, this experience is fraught with pain, challenge, and strife, but we can still work toward what’s important to us. We can continue to dream, and love, and hope, and get to the other side.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Whittier Cafe is one of my favorite places in Denver, so I would have to take visitors there, hoping that we might be privileged enough to be there while Ethiopian coffee is being brewed and served. I love Denver’s jazz scene, heading into Five Points for a show is a must. Drag shows are a given, we’d definitely hit up Gladys: The Nosy Neighbor. Lastly, if money is no issue, we’d reserve a table at Bamboo Sushi. I love the shop’s ambiance and the specialty items they have that I haven’t been able to find in other Japanese restaurants.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate this shoutout to my ancestors, as I have no victories without those who fought before me. I pay homage to my Taíno ancestors, my African ancestors, my Queer ancestors, my Trans ancestors, who stored their magic in my cells and sinews in the hopes that I would carry their mission forward. People like Agüeybaná, Rafael Cordero Molina, Silvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and James Baldwin. They made the ground fertile with their vision so that I, their seed, may grow, flower, and bear fruit of destiny.