This 19-year-old queer activist started a creative agency to give a platform to other young LGBTQIA+ artists

Emerald Pellot
·3 mins read

Sage Grace Dolan-Sandrino plans on changing the world through storytelling.

The 19-year-old Afro-Latina is an LGBTQIA+ activist and founder of the creative studio and digital zine Team Mag. She has been featured in Vogue and BET and is a rising voice of Gen Z.

Dolan-Sandrino spoke with In The Know about her big future plans.

“Ever since I was little, I always wanted storytelling to be my career,” she said. “I feel like this is what I was placed on this Earth to do is to tell stories that affect change.”

But Dolan-Sandrino’s story is just as important as any other that needs to be told. When she was in primary school she began to notice a disconnect between her gender expression and the one assigned to her at birth.

“I didn’t know how to identify,” she told In The Know. “Didn’t know how to describe myself. It wasn’t, again, until I was around 12 years old that the word ‘trans’ was kind of coming into the mainstream media discussion.”

When Dolan-Sandrino discovered Jazz Jennings she began to understand her own experience.

“For the first time, I had a word to describe how I felt. And that was transgender. I’d never heard it before that,” she said.

Dolan-Sandrino told her best friend and mom, who were both supportive. However, she experienced bullying in middle school and was the victim of trans-related violence. But aided by her drive and grit she knew she had to help other trans kids. At age 13, Dolan-Sandrino became an activist.

“I couldn’t let this be the reality for other trans kids,” she said. “It was my hope that I would be able to create and contribute to those educational and communal resources that would change the family dynamics and the reality for other trans kids in their homes and in their schools.”

During a summit for LGBTQIA+ Black and Latinx youth, Dolan-Sandrino told a room full of dozens of strangers and a few kids from school that she was trans.

“There was this wave of relief and that I’ve just stepped into my power,” she told In The Know. “That was a feeling that I was never going to give up again.”

The activist founded Team Mag as a way to curate the voices of local people of color.

“I decided to create a community that is accessible to other young artists to build their work and build their creative community,” Dolan-Sandrino said. “Authentic representation is one of the most important things to focus on when telling a story. We are going to change the world as we know it.”

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