“Working with metal has this kind of draw for me. You take this rock out of earth, apply a great amount of heat to it and end up with this thing that’s…almost otherworldly.”
Bri Mango, a 2020 Pride Foundation Scholar, studies Welding Technology and Fine Art at Montana State University, and is working to blaze a trail for other femme, queer, and mixed race people interested in the trades and other artistic mediums often associated with white masculinity.
Bri’s passion for metalwork is deeply rooted in rural Montana, where they grew up among tradespeople, and also stems from the metalworking traditions of their Yoruba ancestors. Bri’s passion extends outside of the classroom to their work with MSU’s Black Student Union and Queer Straight Alliance.
They want other Queer People of Color, especially in rural areas, to know: “There are people out there who are willing to help you build that community that you really yearn for.”
Originally printed in Pride Foundation’s 2019-2020 Gratitude Report