Culture

20 LGBTQ+ On-Screen Heroes To Binge Year Round

Being a queer Latino can be challenging, depending on how Catholic your house was, or how traditional your parents are, but I wouldn’t change that about myself for a second. We have our own subculture that has been reaching the mainstream in dozens of characters on-screen and the visibility is only becoming clearer.Here’s our roundup of the 20 LGBTQ+ heroes we crushed on as kids, and are happy kids today get to see them thrive.

1. Santana Lopez, Glee

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. AfterEllen. 22 May 2018.

Raise your hand if you grew up crushing on Santana and then cried when she told Brittney she loved her? She’s my #shero and belongs at the top of this list.

2. Elena Alvarez, One Day at a Time

CREDIT: @AlessiaKnowsAll / Twitter

Get you a girl who can do both. It’s everything to have a young teen lesbian be so lovingly accepted into her Cuban-American family. #Examples

3. JR, Jane the Virgin

CREDIT: @Nicole82Nick / Twitter

Jane the Virgin has given us so much, but the last season’s love affair between Petra and JR was the missing piece. Rosario Dawson, bless you.

4. Jaime Castro, Broad City

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

The day Jaime got his citizenship on Broad City, we cried tears of gold. As an immigrant, he handles legitimate concerns in high fashion.

5. Callie Torres, Grey’s Anatomy

CREDIT: @SRamirezAlways / Twitter

Callie Torres came to realize her bisexuality as an adult, and faced homophobia from her parents that many of us can relate to if you’re also a recovering Catholic. At least we get to watch Callie get married and have a beautiful baby and live happily.

6. Angel, Rent

CREDIT: “Angel and Collins.” Digital Image. Fanpop. 12 May 2018.

C’mooon, you remember this classic. Angel is a proud trans Latina living with AIDs in the 1980’s and her romance with Collins was beautiful.

7. Enrique “Rickie” Vasquez, My So Called Life

CREDIT: @audiohelkuik / Twitter

Played by Wilson Cruz, Rickie was the first full on gay Latino teenager on television and gave the world one of the first glimpses into queer Latino life.

8. Maria Diega Reyes, Sex and the City

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

We must speak of Reyes’ static character and all the problematic issues she raises for being the Latina stereotype used to explore Samantha’s character development.

9. Oscar Martinez, The Office

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

We cringe alongside you, Oscar, for all the stuff his boss put him through, including theming a welcome back party “Mexican.” I’m still cringing.

10. Justin Suarez, Ugly Betty

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

Watching Justin and his first boo dance around their young feelings and finally getting that smooch was TV gold.

11. Adriana Mendez, The Bridge

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

Emily Rios just came out IRL, and her character is a badass journalist working in El Paso. Please ship her career and watch ASAP.

12. Wesley Alvarez, Dear White People

CREDIT: @RudyMartinezLA / Twitter

Spoiler: Season 2 features a new love interest that isn’t a savage alt-right undercover. Wesley is a cute, shy emotionally available partner to Lionel and we want your opinions.

13. Agustín Lanuez, Looking

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Kulture Media. 22 May 2018.

If you haven’t binge watched HBO’s Looking yet, prepare yourself for a glimpse into San Francisco’s gay Latino scene with not one, but two gay Latino characters.

14. Dr. Luisa Alver, Jane the Virgin

CREDIT: @earpsolano / Twitter

I want to love Luisa so much, but hate how JTV made her a dramatic, flighty caricature of an alcoholic and lesbian stereotype. Still, this show would literally be nothing without her accidentally inseminating the wrong woman.

15. Renee Montoya, Gotham

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

Oh snap, Gotham City Police Department’s lead detective is an LGBTQ+ badass. If you’re here for all things Marvel, then find yourself one with an LGBTQ character.

16. Jesús Velásquez, True Blood

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

Velásquez brought the realidad of Latino witchiness to the supernatural real of True Blood. He was a real life brujo and it wasn’t magic realism that happened–it was real magic.

17. Dani, Glee

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

My girl, Demi Lovato, was Santana’s love interest in Season 5 and I was screaming. Wish you could have stayed forever.

18. Michael Sanchez, Empire

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

Empire featured Michael Sanchez as the on and off again boyfriend of Jamal and his eyes can cook your breakfast in a glance.

19. Paul Torres, The Following

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Remezcla. 22 May 2018.

This guy unfortunately didn’t last long on the show after he developed feelings for the serial killer the entire show is premised on catching. Why do we go after the emotionally unavailable ones?

20. Julio Zapata and Tenoch Iturbid, Y Tu Mama Tambien

CREDIT: Pinterest

This 2001 Mexican drama film features two young coming of age teens who realize they have feelings for each other and the film was a breakthrough for the LGBTQ Latino community.

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Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

Entertainment

Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

A new teen series has dropped on Netflix that the internet can’t stop talking about. The newest cultural phenomenon that has hit the juggernaut streaming service is a musical series called Julie and the Phantoms, based on the 2011 Brazilian show of the same name.

The series follows a 16-year-old insecure girl named Julie who has lost her love of music after the tragic death of her mother. But with the help of a (stay with us here) band of musical ghosts she stumbles across in her garage, she soon re-discovers her love of singing and performing. Backed by her band of “phantoms”, Julie confidently takes the stage again, blowing everyone away in the process. ,

But the wacky, heartfelt story-line isn’t the only reason people are excited about the show. The buzz around the show is building because its star, 16-year-old newcomer Madison Reyes, is an Afro-Latina singer-actress of Puerto Rican descent.

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Before landing the role of Julie, Reyes was just a regular shmegular Nuyorican girl going to high school in Brooklyn. Needless to say, the process of auditioning for Julie and the Phantoms was both a whirlwind and a game-changer.

“I found out about Julie and the Phantoms through my school. At first I was nervous to send my video in, but after talking to some friends, I sent it in and got a call back,” Reyes told Refinery 29. “From there it was just figuring out when I could fly to L.A. When I finally made it out there, the audition process lasted two days.”

Reyes, for one, understands the burden of her load. “[Julie] is Latin American, she’s got textured hair, she’s a strong and independent female character,” Reyes recently told the LA Times. “As a person of color who wants more diversity [on-screen], I’m kind of scared about the hate comments that I’ve seen other people have to go through, especially women.”

As if having an Afro-Latina actress at the center of a popular Netflix show wasn’t exciting enough, the series is also being helmed by Mexican-American director and all-around legend Kenny Ortega. For those of you unfamiliar with Ortega, he is the creative genius who directed bonafide classics like High School Musical and Hocus Pocus.

Ortega has been publicly effusive in his praise of Reyes. “She has this raw talent that can take on any genre of music, and this promise of greatness that excited everybody,” he told the LA Times. “And yet she’s so relatable and grounded.”

Fans are already calling for a second season after watching the cliffhanger season finale. Reyes, herself, can’t wait to get back in the shoes of Julie. When asked in an interview about where we’ll see her next, she responded: “Hopefully in the next season of Julie and the Phantoms!”. We second that wish.

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FBI Arrests Jerry Harris From ‘Cheer’ On Production Of Child Pornography Charge

Entertainment

FBI Arrests Jerry Harris From ‘Cheer’ On Production Of Child Pornography Charge

Update: September 17, 2020

Jerry Harris, the “Cheer” fan favorite, has been arrested by the FBI.

According to reports, Harris has been charged in federal court with the production of child pornography. The charge stems from a criminal complaint filed against Harris alleging that he sought sexual acts and photos from minors.

Harris was scheduled to appear before a court magistrate on Thursday to face the charge. The charge of the production of child pornography comes with a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison if he is convicted.

The charges are connected to Harris’ alleged advances on a 13-year-old cheerleader. Harris, who was 19 at the time, was soliciting photos and videos from the minor on Snapchat in 2018. The charge also states that Harris confronted the young cheerleader in the bathroom at a cheerleading event and asked for solicited oral sex.

The news continues to shock and surprise people on social media.

The news broke earlier this week that the FBI had opened an investigation into Harris because of a complaint filed claiming the sexual misconduct. The charge includes several photos, videos, and messages sent between Harris and minors demanding sexually explicit images from the minors.

Original: Cheerleading star Jerry Harris, 21, gained national attention earlier this year when he was introduced to Netflix viewers in a six-part docuseries called “Cheer.” The series followed the nationally ranked Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team as they prepared for a Daytona Beach competition. Fans of the show became captivated by Harris a cheerleader whose positivity and energy seemed utterly contagious. Soon after his appearance on the show, Harris rocketed to stardom and made appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” nabbed interviews with Variety magazine, and even made a guest appearance on the cheerleading themed song “Mas(k)ot” by Todrick Hall.

A recent revelation however is revealing that Harris’ standing as a lovable household name is no longer.

Recently, fans of Harris learned of an FBI investigation into him is underway and regards allegations that the celebrity cheerleader solicited sexually explicit photos as well as sex from minors.

In a statement to USA Today, Siobhan Johnson, a FBI special agent and public affairs officer said that “The FBI is conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity in the area.”

Harris has not been criminally charged.

The criminal investigation stems from allegations brought forward by 14-year-old twin brothers. The two minors claim that Harris made them endure a pattern of harassment, both online and at cheer competitions. The two claim the harassment started when they were 13 and Harris was 19 and continued for over a year.

At the start of August, Varsity Brands, a private company that governs the cheerleading industry, reported to police in Florida and Texas that its Chief Legal Officer Burton Brillhart had learned of “inappropriate sexual conduct” allegations against Harris. Brillhart reported the information to police officials as required by law.

“Harris is accused of asking one of the brothers to have sex with him in 2019 at two Varsity cheerleading competitions,” reports USA Today.

“As a result of the recent allegation, we have barred this person from having any affiliation with Varsity Brands or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, now and in the future,” Brillhart wrote.

Brillhart described Harris as a former employee and emphasized that he was no longer actively working for Varsity at the time of when the alleged incidents took place.

The current lawsuit against Harris claims that the Netflix star solicited explicit photos from the twin brothers and also asked one of the twins for oral sex.

So far, Harris has denied the accusations.

“We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” a spokesperson for Harris said in a statement to Variety. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”

The twin brothers are seeking $1 million in damages.

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