The Whistle - 70s & 80s lesbian youth in Albuquerque, New Mexico

San Francisco, California | Film Feature

Documentary, History

StormMiguel Florez

2 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $10,090 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

174 supporters | followers

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Albuquerque, New Mexico has a vibrant and rich LGBTQ history that very few people know anything about. We feel this film is just the beginning of uncovering and preserving the deep wells of our community stories. Help us preserve and center this little known piece of Southwest lesbian history!

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

This film gives voice to a group of mostly Latinx lesbians ranging from ages in their 40s through 70s . The director is a trans Latinx man who was out as a lesbian during the period the film covers. The film crew and post production crew is almost entirely made up of queer and trans people.

The Story

The Whistle official trailer is OUT!



A 45 year old Latinx trans man returns to his birthplace - Albuquerque, New Mexico - in search of the origin of a secret lesbian code he learned when he identified as a teenage dyke in the 80s.​

The Whistle is a feature documentary film about a special time and place in Southwest U.S. LGBT history, and the secret codes shared among young lesbians in 1970s and 80s Albuquerque, New Mexico as a means of self-identification and finding community.




The 13 participants in this film share their stories of how in the 70s and 80s a group of mostly Latina, lesbian youth in Albuquerque had a unique way of finding each other. They shared a whistle that was hard to learn, yet easily unnoticed by the unsuspecting. It was known by many of those who used it as “the dyke whistle.” The dyke whistle was a rite of passage and a lifeline to community for many young lesbians coming up and out during that time, a way to identify oneself to fellow lesbians in public without compromising safety.




The story is narrated by the director, StormMiguel Florez, a queer Chicanx trans man who came out and identified as a dyke in 1987 during his freshman year at Del Norte High School in Albuquerque.  During that time, a group of his lesbian peers took him under their wing and taught him how to navigate the stresses and the joys of being a young dyke in Albuquerque in the mid 1980s. They took him to house parties, introduced him to lesbians from other high schools, cruised the parking lots of gay bars that they were too young to get into, and taught him slang like “wrecked” (the process of coming out as a dyke) and “1-4-3” (code for “I love you”), and they taught him the dyke whistle. Most importantly, they taught him that he was not alone.



Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Motion Graphics

Costs $2,000

Help us bring illustrations and graphics to life!

Color Grading

Costs $1,800

The colors of the Southwest landscape are rich & vibrant. Help make sure this translates on screen!

Sound Recording

Costs $2,500

These stories are rich and we want you to hear them.

Spanish Translation & Captioning

Costs $1,500

Help us make this film accessible to mono-lingual Speakers and deaf/hard of hearing audiences.

World Premiere in Albuquerque

Costs $2,000

For our community to come together & celebrate. Most tickets will be free to community.

About This Team

StormMiguel Florez (Producer/Director/Editor) is a trans, queer Latinx multi-media producer and editor whose previous work includes MAJOR! (Editor/Co-Producer

2015), I’ve Been to Manhattan (Producer/Director/Editor 2012). He is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 23 years. StormMiguel and Producer, Annalise Ophelian are a husbynd and wyfe production team who regularly collaborate on each other's projects while raising three and a half chihuahuas and one gato.


Annalise Ophelian (Producer/Cinematographer) is an award-winning San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker, psychologist, and consultant whose work focuses on decolonizing the documentary filmmaking process by centering participants as key collaborators in the storytelling process. Her films include MAJOR! (2015), Diagnosing Difference (2009), and the upcoming Looking For Leia. She’s a white, queer, cis woman.


Gwen Park (Camera) is a freelance cinematographer and photographer based in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in print and online in publications such as Where Magazine and the Bay Times. Gwen is a past Executive of the San Francisco Trans March’s Board of Directors, and is frequently found documenting arts events and public demonstrations for the San Francisco trans and queer community.

Jordan Bodhaine (Location Sound) is an Albuquerque - based location sound mixer whose work includes Dreamland, The Goldfinch, and Roswell, New Mexico.


Jai James (Production Assistant) is an Albuquerque-based filmmaker who has worked on films including No Country For Old Men, Sicario, Preacher.


Alyssa Bradley (Art Department) is an illustrator, designer, videographer, podcaster, and photographer with a penchant for the whimsical and nerdy. During the day she’s a media production specialist at Michigan State University, but at night she’s frantically drawing fan art and weeping over fictional characters. Learn more about her work and fangirl with her over at


Ade Cruz (Art Department) is a queer, non-binary community oriented visual artist who works primarily with painting, drawing and illustration. Ade strongly believes that art can be utilized as a tool for social/cultural change, education, personal and community healing. Ades work exlpores themes of gender, sexuality, race, culture, spirituality, the natural world. They have worked with various schools, community and national organizations as a guest/teaching artist, specifically focusing on queer trans people of color and mentoring youth through art.

León Mitchell Powell (they/he) (Art Department) is a designer, translator, interpreter, and multi-passionate nerd. He is currently serving as an intern at the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, and is also studying massage therapy. He looks forward to bringing compassionate touch to his community. León identifies as queer, non-binary, & transmasculine.

Kia Simon (Art Department) Creative Director and Founder of Sneaky Little Sister Films. Kim is an award-winning filmmaker, started Sneaky Little Sister Films in 2004 in Oakland, California, with a focus on motion graphics and narrative storytelling. Kia says “The design we create should always be telling the story, not distracting from it. It’s always about the ideas that are being communicated.” In addition to mastering new design tools and methods, Kia enjoys learning about new topics and fields through her work. Kia recruits and cultivates artists with diverse design styles and sensibilities, helping them to improve and grow their skills.

Becky Sapp (Colorist) studied film and photography at Emerson College. After graduating she worked as a wedding photographer, which led her to working as an entertainment photojournalist for WireImage and then Getty Images (under the byline Rebecca Sapp) for over a decade. 

She has taught photography classes to jr. high and high school students in downtown Los Angeles through the GRAMMY Museum, and has been a director and cinematographer at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles.

Becky currently works as a director of photography, camera operator and colorist on various independent projects.

Gloria Vigil (Research Department) grew up in southwest Albuquerque and went to Kit Carson Elementary, Ernie Pyle Middle School, & Rio Grande High. She got her undergraduate degrees in Business, Family Studies, Psychology at UNM, Master in social work at NMHU. Gloria currently work at Amy Biehl High School and the NM Office of the Medical Investigator. She is the 5th of 10 children and came out when I was 14 years old and was a freshman at RGHS. Gloria is married to Sandy Baca, her partner of 24 years. 

Current Team