Culture

These 25 Latinos Are Out, Loud, And Proud

There has been a lot of progress made in LGBTQ rights over the last ten years from marriage equality to company health care plans covering gender confirmation surgeries. While the rest of the country slowly comes around to LGBTQ people and their rights, our own community still has some work to do. There is still a machismo mentality that weighs us down as we judge people who are both Latino and LGBTQ. Here are 25 Latinos in the media that are challenging that mentality and living as open and proud people in the LGBTQ community.

1. Ricky Martin

CREDIT: ricky_martin / Instagram

Ricky Martin was all over the place when “Livin’ La Vida Loca” shook the United States. Yet, he kept a secret to himself for years before finally declaring to the world that he is gay. Since coming out, the singer has started a family with his twins and his husband Jwan Yosef. Martin is not hiding himself anymore.

2. Carmen Carrera

CREDIT: carmen_carrera / Instagram


Carmen Carrera first showed up in the media as a contestant on season 2 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Shortly after the show finished shooting, Carrera came out as trans and has since become a leading voice in the fight for trans rights and inclusion. Not only has she started discussion in the U.S. about the use of gender pronouns and the do’s and don’ts of questions you can ask trans people, she has taken her fight for trans rights to Latin America. Carrera, who has broken ground as a major supermodel, is using her fame and platform to change the way people think about trans people.

3. Aubrey Plaza

CREDIT: plazadeaubrey / Instagram

Aubrey Plaza stole everyone’s hearts as the colorful and enthusiastic April Ludgate in “Parks & Rec.” Plaza came out as bisexual in 2016 and was unapologetic about it. In her coming out interview, Plaza said that her family was always very supportive especially since she had a gay uncle and a gay aunt. It was never something that she was taught was wrong.

4. Michelle Rodriguez

CREDIT: mrodofficial / Instagram

Michelle Rodriguez always triggered gaydars since early in her career and it wasn’t until recently that Rodriguez confessed that she loves men and women. After years of secrecy, Rodriguez opened up about her sexuality because she is not ashamed and does what she likes. Just so happens she likes men and women and that’s just fine.

5. Sara Ramirez

CREDIT: eqaulitymarch2017 / Instagram

Sara Ramirez had a very public coming out during a speech at the True Colors Fund and let it all out without looking back. The “Grey’s Anatomy” star is using her voice and her platform to talk about the importance of not erasing bisexuals from the conversation. She was also a speaker at the Equality March in Washington in 2017.

6. Stephanie Beatriz

CREDIT: iamstephbeatz / Instagram

The “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actress got to come out twice. First, she came out as herself via a one-word tweet. This seems to be a pretty common way to come out in the 21st century. Beatriz retweeted Aubrey Plaza’s coming out interview and just said, “Yup.” She then confirmed when fans tweeted asking the star if it was true. She then got to come out again as her character on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” giving Beatriz a chance to give bisexual Latinas representation on and off the show.

7. Lauren Jauregui

CREDIT: laurenjaurgeui / Instagram

She might be a powerhouse in Fifth Harmony but Lauren Jauregui is even more of a force in the public sphere. The singer came out publicly in an open letter to President Trump after his campaign full of demonizing and dehumanizing minority communities. Since then, Jauregui has been outspoken on social media defending LGBTQ followers when they are bullied. That’s using your fame for good on a small scale.

8. James “Valentina” Leyva

CREDIT: allaboutvalentina / Instagram

Valentina was a favorite to win season 9 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” but one ill-timed face mask ruined it all. The Los Angeles native has made quite the career for himself since leaving the show and performs around the world as Valentina and fans eat it up. As Valentina, Leyva wants to give the world a taste of Latina culture through dress, makeup, and song.

Read: The 24 Slayingest Latina Queens From ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

9. Manuel “Manny MUA” Gutierrez

CREDIT: mannymua733 / Instagram

Manuel “Manny MUA” Gutierrez is Maybelline’s first male makeup model. The social media makeup guru walked into the scene and kind of slayed all the way through. Some people tried to bully him because of the whole man wearing makeup thing but his father was quick to shut down the trolls to tell them that they need to chill.

10. Salice Rose

CREDIT: salicerose / Instagram

Salice Rose loves God, making fun videos, and women. The YouTube and Instagram personality came out publicly years ago and did so with a simple message: love yourself. Rose uses her large social media reach make people laugh and to talk about serious issues like coming out and the importance of accepting family.

11. Christian Chavez

CREDIT: christianchavez / Instagram

You might know Christians Chavez from a little group known as RBD, but did you know that in 2007 he came out as gay? A gossip site published photos of the singer marrying his partner in Canada. After the photos were published, Chavez addressed the issue and Mexico was deeply divided over the sudden news.

12. AB Soto

CREDIT: absoto / Instagram

AB Soto has never really been in the closet. He made his name in the gay music scene and then “Cha Cha Bitch” was released and the world lost it. Soto is in the video dancing around in a pink sequined charro outfit and he continues to be an out and vocal Mexican-American. The singer wants to use both parts of his identity to show that it is okay to be gay and Latino.

13. Laith Ashley De La Cruz

CREDIT: laith_ashley / Instagram

Laith Ashley de la Cruz had his first modeling photoshoot at the very beginning of his transition. De la Cruz didn’t realize that he was trans until later in life but was fully supported by his family. The model wants to use his own platform to continue to challenge the idea of trans in the eyes of the rest of the world.

14. Roy “Bianca Del Rio” Haylock

CREDIT: thebiancedelrio / Instagram

He won season 6 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and is one of the funniest and raunchiest queens out there. Roy Haylock started a costumer in New York, after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and eventually began to try drag. Good thing too because now he has a worldwide career as Bianca del Rio and it is not slowing down ay time soon.

15. Bella Thorne

CREDIT: bellathorne / Instagram

All it took was a one-word tweet for the actress to come out as bisexual. In 2016, a fans asked Bella Thorne on Twitter is she was bisexual. Her response: “Yes.” It set off a firestorm of fans celebrating the star’s decision to come out and she fanned the flames with posts to social media of her with a woman.

16. Patricia Velasquez

CREDIT: wayuuprincess / Instagram

The supermodel came out publicly in 2015 in her memoir title “Straight Walk.” The decision to come out, according to Velasquez, was because of her daughter and teaching her to be honest. As a model in 1990s, Velasquez struggled with hiding her sexuality in order to succeed in the industry at a time when being openly gay would end your career.

17. Johnny Sibilly

CREDIT: johnnysibilly / Instagram


Johnny Sibilly is giving queer Latino men on social media a place to gather and really be themselves. The Cuban-American actor and comedian is famous for his funny videos that poke fun of gay culture. But that’s okay, he can because he is gay so don’t get offended.

18. Perez Hilton

CREDIT: theperezhiton / Instagram


Perez Hilton made a name for himself as a celebrity gossip blogger. Since then, the blog site has grown into a full media company that always reports the latest in celebrity gossip and his pointed commentary has become a big part of U.S. celebrity culture. Though the writer might be single, he did not wait to start a family. The single father has three children and they are so adorable.

19. Shane Ortega

CREDIT: theonlyshaneortega / Instagram


Shane Ortega was the first openly trans member of the United States Armed Forces. After years of keeping it secret, Ortega realized that it was important to come out and live his authentic life. In recent months, Ortega has become a major figure once again in the discussion about trans people serving in the military as President Trump has tried banning trans people from serving.

20. Mondo Guerra

CREDIT: mondoguerra / Instagram


Mondo Guerra came in second place on season 8 of “Project Runway” and has offered more than just fashion. Guerra is HIV-positive and has been a vocal supporter of HIV-positive living advice. He has written op-eds discussing the realities of being HIV-positive and the possibility of living a full life with the disease. Being open about the disease is something that more people need to hear about as Latino youths are seeing an increase in HIV infections.

21. Guillermo Diaz

CREDIT: guillermodiazreal / Instagram


Guillermo Diaz has been adamant in different interviews that people get too caught up on the whole gay thing. There is no real coming out moment for Diaz as an actor and he maintains that he has always been open about who he is since she started acting. That’s probably why there haven’t been headlines saying that he finally came out because he has just always been out.

Read: 25 Of Lauren Jauregui’s Most Stunning Looks From Streetwear To Costumes

22. Gisele Alicea

CREDIT: giselealicea / Instagram


Gisele Alicea started her transition when she was 17. Thankfully, she had her mother’s full support to make the transition and was with her at every doctor’s appointment. As her body changed to be more feminine, she was approached by a photographer on the streets and they asked to photograph her. Since then, Alicea has become a major face in fashion modeling and the rest is history.

23. Emily Rios

CREDIT: emily1loverios / Instagram


Emily Rios is currently in the show “Snowfall” but before that she was a star on “The Bridge.” The actress and model played a lesbian Latina on “The Bridge” and the similarity to her life was not lost on her. Rios had to come out to her Mexican mother and experienced the same emotional turmoil about that fact as her “The Bridge” character. She even had a hand in making sure the character was written on the show to make sure that the character portrayed a real experience.

24. Wilson Cruz

CREDIT: wcruz73 / Instagram


If you have ever consumed gay media, you have seen Wilson Cruz. The actor has long played gay characters and recently starred in “Star Trek.” While he makes money by entertaining us, he uses his free time to talk politics and get politicians to pay attention to the things that matter. During the 2016 campaign, Cruz was walking down Santa Monica Boulevard with then-candidate Bernie Sanders to discuss the issues facing the LGBTQ community.

25. Orlando Cruz

CREDIT: @ElFenomenoCruz / Twitter

Orlando Cruz is a boxer who was prompted to come out after the Pulse Nightclub shooting. The Puerto Rican, Orlando-based boxer realized that life is short and he can live his life to the fullest unlike the 49 people who died in the nightclub that night in 2016.

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Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Mike Windler / Getty Images

Ricky Martin has long been an international superstar – even long before ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ took over virtually every airway in the world. But it’s hard to deny that with that song, the Puerto Rican singer entered the global mainstream and ever since he’s been a pop icon.

From being one of the first major pop stars to publicly come out as gay, to acting in popular TV series, and getting married and becoming a father of four, Ricky Martin has always been a very busy man.

And despite a global pandemic that has forced all of us to stay at home and find a ‘new normal,’ Martin has forged a path forward. He recently sat down for an interview with Billboard to discuss everything from new music, the global Coronavirus pandemic, and his identity as an out and proud gay Latino.

Considering we’re all still living amid a global pandemic, the Billboard interview started on this very relevant topic.

Billboard points out that Martin and his family live in a very big and beautiful house in Beverly Hills, which likely makes staying at home a bit easier compared to the rest of us. However, Martin points out that he has a very loud home – with four kids and his mom all living under one roof. But he admits, “…I am very lucky. I am in a comfortable home where my kids can play.”

Ricky Martin is also working on new music. He released Pausa in May, and now as he works on new music the world is a very different place. He told Billboard: “I started working on my music maybe nine months ago. In my mind, the album was going to be called Movimiento, which means movement. But with all this [pandemic], it just told me… “The way it was, was not working. Let’s do it differently.” I have music with rhythm, but I was not going to tell people to move! So I named it Pausa.”

He also speaks about his close relationship with fellow Puerto Rican, El Conejo Malo.

Shortly after Billboard released its history-making cover with Bad Bunny on the the cover, Martin described San Benito as a “Latin queer icon.” Many people – of all backgrounds – took issue with that. But Ricky Martin tells Billboard that “allies are so important. Without them, our fight for equality is impossible. It really tickles me to see Bad Bunny as a gay icon — just like Cher could be. Why not?”

The Puerto Rican singer shared what his coming out experience was like and reveals he never tires of sharing it.

In the interview, Martin is very open about his coming out as gay. The singer came out as gay in 2010, married husband Jwan Yosef in 2017, and together the couple is raising four children.

Rolling Stone asked Martin, 48, what it was like to remain closeted during “the most public, exposed period” of his life.

“I had moments of extreme positivity, and not so positive [moments],” Martin answered. “Life was a bit on steroids in those days. Everything was really intense, but I could take it! I come from a school of military discipline when it comes to training for music, dance, and acting. I started when I was 12. So for me, it was about not being ready to open [up]. When you open an egg from the outside, what comes out is death. But when the egg opens from the inside, what comes out is life. It’s something that needs to come from within. Every time someone forces someone to come out, what you’re doing is you’re destroying the natural flow of the self-discovery.”

When asked what motivated him to come out publicly, Martin said that a kid somewhere in America needs to see positive headlines about coming out.

“Today I woke up to this beautiful headline that I know someone out there is in need of. The headline was something like, ‘I came out. And ever since I’ve been the happiest.’ Something like that, something… My heart is beating faster because I know today a kid somewhere in America woke up needing to hear those words. A lot of people say they get tired of talking about the same thing. Why would I? Are you kidding me? For so many years I had to keep it inside. And then the effect of someone… What people are getting from it in their healing process?”

Billboard also asked Martin his feelings on how the media is profiting and accepting Puerto Rican and Latinx culture.

When asked if he feels that the American media has gotten better or more open to understanding Puerto Rican culture, Martin responded: “We certainly have a long way to go, but the important thing is that we see that there’s an audience that is interested. And it’s up to us to bring [the] education.”

And he’s absolutely right. This year has seen several Latino artists rise to the top of all sorts of charts. Bad Bunny and J Balvin are among the most streamed artists globally and Bad Bunny is one of the most streamed artists on YouTube as well.

Meanwhile, Maluma and Jennifer Lopez are working on a film that will be out early next year. The Emmy’s, VMAs, and other award shows finally had decent representation of artists of color – particularly among the Latinx community.

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The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Things That Matter

The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for his progressive views on contemporary issues. Since his election to papal office in 2013, Pope Francis has largely been considered open-minded due to his comparatively laid-back stances on controversial topics like divorce, climate change, and LGBT issues.

On Thursday, the Jesuit publication American Magazine reported that Pope Francis recently told the parents of LGBT children that “God loves your children as they are.”

via Getty Images

According to the publication, the Pope was having a dialogue with the parent of a lapsed-Catholic gay child who had left the church because “he did not feel accepted in his diversity”. The woman, whose name is Mara Grassi, is the Vice President of an association called “Jonathan’s Tent,” which “welcomes and provides information and formation to L.G.B.T. Christians, their families and pastoral workers.”

Before describing her interaction with the Pope, Grassi explained her journey as a Catholic parent of a gay child to American Magazine. “For many years I was like a blind person,” she said.

“After I came to know that my son was homosexual, I suffered a lot because the rules of the church made me think that he was excluded from the love of God. Nobody helped me,” Grassi added.

via Getty Images

It was only when Grassi attended a Catholic vigil against homophobia and connected with other parents of gay children that she realized that “faith and homosexuality are not in opposition” and that “God loves my son as he is.” And according to this most recent report, the Pope’s opinion seems to be in accordance with Grassi’s beliefs.

Grassi told American Magazine that she told the Pope she wanted to “create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.” It was in response to this statement that the Pope told her: “The church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”

According to the same report, before he left, Jonathan’s Tent gifted the Pope a rainbow-colored T-shirt with the words “In love there is no fear” written across the front.

Considering the Catholic Church’s traditionally conservative stances on gay issues, the Pope’s statement was surprising to many. In the past, the Catholic Church’s stance has been that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law.”

The Pope himself also has a complicated track record on gay rights, implying that gay marriage “threatens” the “very institution of marriage”. However, he has also previously expressed sympathy and modest support for people in the queer community as well as their loved ones, saying “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?”.

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