Culture

Here Are 11 LGBTQ Latinos Who Will Make You Proud To Say You Are Part Of The Same Community

Coming out of the closet is a struggle for anybody but being Latino and gay is a whole other story. Our culture is still pretty homophobic and machista making coming out a terrifying experience. However, there are several Latino celebrities that have made their sexual orientations and gender identities public. These few brave people have paved the way for other queer Latinos to come out and feel empowered.

1. Carmen Carrera

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@savagexfenty

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Carmen Carrera was first on the public radar when she was a contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 3. She didn’t win but after the show was done she came out at trans and changed the game for trans people in the Latino community. She has since gone on to become a major name and face in the modeling industry and that’s pretty awesome.

2. Lauren Jauregui

Arigato Gosaimas Tokyo!!✨?✨ #night2

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Lauren Jauregui is part of the band Fifth Harmony and she has some definite star power. She publicly came out as bisexual in an open letter to Donald Trump in November 2016. The letter called out Trump supporters for using their power to vote to take away the rights of millions of Americans that finally found inclusion and acceptance in society thanks to progress. She has since used her social media platform and reach to stand up for lGBTQ fans who have been bullied.

3. AB Soto

AB Soto is as unapologetic as it gets. The Los Angeles-native has been injecting the LGBTQ community with Latino flavor and music you rarely see. He refuses to back down from showing the Latino community what it means to be gay and the LGBTQ community what it means to be Latino.

4. Manuel “Manny MUA” Gutierrez

Manuel Gutierrez reaches millions of people with his social media channels. The beauty blogger is fierce af and one of the most visible representations of being and LGBTQ Latino in the makeup world. He was the first-ever male ambassador for Maybelline makeup and they definitely benefited from his voice and presence.

5. Salice Rose

Happy mothaaaa fucken Friday!?? #salicerose #friday

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Salice Rose keeps everyone laughing with her funny videos. Whether she is dancing to a weird song or imitating people that are truly annoying, she is the comedy queen. She is also a public representation of the religious LGBTQ community. She proves that you can be out of the closet and a devout Christian because God loves everyone. Her message is one that so many queer Latinos in churches can benefit from.

6. Shane Ortega

Shane Ortega was the first openly trans person to serve int he military. He fought against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that barred many members of the LGBTQ community from serving the military and protecting their country. Ortega has become a very important voice and face as the Trump administration tried to bar trans patriots from risking their lives for our freedoms.

7. Ricky Martin

Jet lag is killing us. Or me at least.

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Ricky Martin kept all of us dancing for more than a decade while still in the closet. It wasn’t until he had his twins that he realized that he needed to start living his truth. So, he did just that and came out in a lengthy letter on his fan page. Martin has credited his children and the importance of teaching them honesty for finally making him come out.

8. Sara Ramirez

Can’t wait for you to meet Kat on Nov. 19! #KatSandoval @madamsecretarycbs #CBS

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Sara Ramirez is most remembered for her role on “Grey’s Anatomy” but in October 2016, Ramirez came out as bisexual. She has used that momentum to get politically activated and is trying to bring more visibility to the bisexual community.

9. Christian Chavez

Christian Chavez was part of RBD and his coming out in 2007 was truly revolutionary. Chavez was still living in Mexico and was photographed marrying his partner in Canada. Mexican newspapers were filled with the story the following day and the conservative country was divided.

10. Stephanie Beatriz

Another bisexual Latina who is truly killing the game, Stephanie Beatriz is not only bisexual irl. Her character in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” recently came out of the closet as bisexual. She was so excited for the role to take that turn because she finally gets to tell the story of her own life and the lives of so many bisexual women of color.

11. Laith Ashley De La Cruz

Laith Ashley De La Cruz is a trans model that is making jaws drop all over the industry. He had his first fashion photoshoot shortly after beginning his transition. Since then , he has kept his name and his story of transition at the forefront to breakdown the stigma of being trans in the LGBTQ community. Yes, there are gay people that have a problem with trans people.


READ: LGBTQ+ Latinos Showed Up And Represented At One Of The Largest Equality Marches Of Our Lifetime

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This Digital Posada Is All About Helping The LGBTQ Migrant Community, Who Face A Uniquely Challenging Reality

Things That Matter

This Digital Posada Is All About Helping The LGBTQ Migrant Community, Who Face A Uniquely Challenging Reality

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With homosexuality still illegal in more than 60 countries around the world and attitudes towards transgendered people often even less welcoming, it’s obvious why so many people risk their lives to migrate to the United States.

However, that journey to a better life is often one of many dangerous hurdles and often times, once swept up in immigration proceedings, things don’t get much better.

LGBTQ detainees across the country have shared harrowing experiences of being mocked or tortured for their gender identity or sexual orientation. Many others have been sexually assaulted while in ICE custody or while waiting for their asylum claims at the U.S.-Mexico border. And transgendered and HIV-positive detainees have both been denied medically necessary healthcare that has posed a risk to their lives.

LGBTQ migrants have the same issues and problems to worry about that all other migrants face, however, the LGBTQ experience comes with several extra hurdles.

LGBTQ migrants coming to the U.S. face unique challenges that often put them at increased risk of violence.

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Like so many others, LGBTQ migrants are often fleeing violence and persecution in their native countries. But despite often fleeing sexual violence and trans- and homophobia, so many migrants are sexually assaulted while in U.S. custody.

While just 0.14 percent of ICE detainees self-identified as LGBTQ in 2017, they reportedly accounted for 12 percent of sexual abuse and assault victims.

Based on a new report from the Center for American Progress, a public policy research and advocacy organization, LGBTQ migrants in federal detention centers are 97 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than other detainees.

Studies show LGBTQ migrants are among the most vulnerable, more likely to be assaulted and killed, especially trans migrants. Of Central American LGBTQ migrants interviewed by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in 2017, 88 percent were victims of sexual and gender-based violence in their countries of origin; two-thirds suffered similar attacks in Mexico.

Human rights group allege that ICE fails to provide proper medical care to LGBTQ migrants – particularly trans and HIV-positive detainees.

Migrant advocacy groups and several lawmakers have demanded that ICE release all LGBTQ detainees and anyone with HIV in the agency’s custody, because the government has repeatedly failed to provide adequate medical and mental health care to them.

“We know that lack of medical and mental-health care, including lack of HIV care, is the norm,” Roger Coggan, director of legal services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “By the Department of Homeland Security’s own count, 300 individuals identifying as transgender have been in custody and at the mercy of ICE since October of 2018.

For detainees with HIV, antiretroviral treatment is necessary to help kill and suppress the virus which ensures a healthy life but also reduces the risk of transmission to basically zero. Yet ICE is failing to provide this life-saving care.

Johana Medina Leon, a transgender woman who was detained at Otero and had tested positive for HIV, fell seriously ill and died at a hospital in nearby El Paso. Leon, 25, was the second trans woman to die in ICE custody in New Mexico in the past year. Roxsana Hernandez, 33, died in November 2018 after falling ill at the Cibola County Correctional Facility.

Meanwhile, Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy is presenting additional challenges to the LGBTQ community.

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While the Trump administration has severely limited asylum qualifications for Central Americans fleeing gang violence and domestic abuse, migrants can still request asylum based on persecution because of their gender identity and/or their sexual orientation. But their path is far from easy.

The administration continues to return LGBTQ migrants to Mexican border cities where they face assaults, kidnappings and death while they await U.S. court hearings.

“Here, the same as at home, the police discriminate against us,” Alejandro Perez told NBC News in early October. “We’re very vulnerable. I don’t feel safe here in Mexico.”

Border Patrol officials initially said “vulnerable” asylum seekers would be exempted from the Remain in Mexico program, including those who are LGBTQ, pregnant or disabled. But that hasn’t been the case.

Thankfully, the LGBTQ Center Orange County is working hard to protect and help the most vulnerable.

Southern California is home to the nation’s largest undocumented community, which means organizations like the LGBTQ Center Orange County have their work cut out for them. However, the center has proudly stood up to help in powerful and life-changing ways.

The LGBTQ Center OC is one of the leading migrant outreach centers in the region, attending numerous events throughout the year and providing outreach at the Mexican consulate in Santa Ana – each year reaching more than 5,000 people. The center also played a pivotal role in ending the partnership of Santa Ana Police and the Orange County Sheriff with ICE, bringing an end to ICE detention within the county.

As those migrants were detained at facilities outside the county – sometimes more than two hours away – the center mobilized volunteers to help stay in touch with detainees. This team helps provide much needed companionship through letters and notes, as well as providing legal representation and even cash payments that help detainees get everything from a filling meal to in-person visits.

And the work the center does is so important because it shouldn’t just be on detainees to speak out. All of us as part of the LGBTQ and migrant communities should support those in detention and speak out about the injustices they’re suffering in detention.

The Center is hosting a digital posada and you’re invited!

We all know the tradition of a posada. So many of us grew up with a holiday season full of them and although this year will look very different (thanks to Covid-19), the LGBTQ Center OC wants to keep the tradition and celebration alive.

Posadas commemorate the journey of Mary and Joseph in search of a safe refuge, a sentiment that so many migrants and refugees in our communities can relate to. It’s with this spirit that the center is hosting it’s annual posada – but virtually.

The important event is free for all to attend but is a critical fundraising event that enables the center to do all that it does for the LGBTQ migrant community across Southern California. You can learn more and RSVP here but just know that it’s an event you do not want to miss.

Not only will you be able to virtually hang out with members of the community and leaders from the LGBTQ Center OC but there will also be a screening of the short documentary, Before & After Detention, a spirited round of lotería, raffle, and a live performance by the LGBTQ Mariachi Arcoíris de Los Angeles.

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Selena Gomez Will Play Trailblazing Gay Mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Will Play Trailblazing Gay Mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

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Selena Gomez is ready to make mountains into movies

The Texas-born singer, actress, and producer has set her sights on a big-screen biopic about Peruvian mountaineer Silvia Vásquez-Lavado who became the first Peruvian woman to summit Mount Everest. Vásquez-Lavado is also the first openly gay woman to scale the Seven Summits in their entirety.

In the Shadow of the Mountain is an upcoming biopic based on Vásquez-Lavado’s memoir of the same name.

The Seven Summits challenge encourages climbers to climb the highest mountain on each continent.

Vásquez-Lavado’s story of pursuit and inspiration will be produced by Scott Budnick’s impact-focused co-finance company One Community. The company is a film, television, and digital content co-financing company that “harnesses the power of storytelling to inspire and encourage positive change in the world.” The film aligns with One Community’s efforts given the fact that Vásquez-Lavado’s story follows her childhood experience of assault and neglect. According to Vásquez-Lavado mountaineering proved to be a source of healing.

Vásquez-Lavado’s memoir In the Shadow of the Mountain is scheduled to be published in winter 2022.

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I am so humbled and grateful to share this thrilling news, which has been in the works for the last 10months, that an all-star team has optioned my upcoming memoir In The Shadow of the Mountain (to be published 02-2022 by @madelinecjones Holt/Macmillan) for a movie adaptation. I am so honored and touched for the bold, talented, and brilliant @selenagomez in taking the starring role and as producer; To her incredible team @zackmorgenroth and @aleenkeshishian; Grateful to have the groundbreaking visionary #DonnaGigliotti and her Tempesta films involved; For the talented @elginnjames on the helm for screenplay and direction; And the support of @onecommunity films led by the trailblazer @scottbudnick1 and @lauren_denormandie None of this would have happened without the faith of my amazing family at @ideaarchitects, my incredible agent and dearest friend @laralovehardin, #dougabrams and my sweet family at WME led by #sylvierabineau and #carolinabeltran And to all of my family and friends, thank you for all your words of encouragement and support along this road. I can’t wait to share more! Link on my bio!

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Vásquez-Lavado’s work in survivor circles has been heralded, particularly her efforts to organize treks to Mt. Everest’s base camp for other women who have endured abuse.”

Oscar-winner Donna Gigliotti who is set to produce the film, called Vásquez-Lavado “a force of nature.” Scott and I are so excited to work with Elgin and Selena to tell this story of resilience, courage, adventure, and humanity.”

Gigliotti has worked on acclaimed films such as best picture Oscar-winner Shakespeare in Love, she also produced films such as The Reader, Silver Linings Playbook, and Hidden Figures.

“We are thrilled to get to work bringing Silvia’s incredible and inspiring story to life onscreen,” Budnick said of the film.

Gomez will produce the film through her July Moon Productions. Vásquez-Lavado will executive produce.

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