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.

Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

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Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

Bryan Bedder / Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES

CNN and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) hosted a historic town hall last night focusing on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community. The moderators and presidential candidates tackled topics and hard-hitting issues that have severely impacted the lives of millions of LGBTQ+ Americans. The town hall happened as the Supreme Court is deciding if LGBTQ+ people are deserving of the same discrimination protections as all Americans. Here’s what happened last night.

Texas politician Julián Castro made it clear that religion will not be an excuse for LGBTQ+ discrimination in his administration.

There have numerous attempts by local and state governments to legalize religious discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. The bills, often labeled as Religious Freedom bills, have been proposed in North Carolina and Indiana and failed. North Carolina wanted to legislate what bathroom people had to use and Indiana wanted to give religious organizations and business owners the license to outright discriminate against people based on their faith.

“If I’m elected president, the first order of business on January 20, 2021, will be to have a catalog with all of the different executive actions that this president, this administration, has taken, including exemptions that they’ve created or rolled back that has allowed people to discriminate against the LGBTQ, using as the reason their religion, their excuse their religion,” Castro told an audience member who asked how he will stop religious organizations from using their faith to dictate discriminatory laws. “I will go back to what we did in the Obama administration and then take it to the next level to protect the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that anybody should be bale to discriminate against you because you are a member of the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that folks should be getting funding if they’re doing that. I don’t believe that in the healthcare context, the housing context, the employment context that people should be able to do that. I support the Equality Act and will work to pass that. When I was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we did the transgender rule, which as I mentioned, expanded the equal access rule so that transgender individuals can find shelter in a manner that they are comfortable with and in accordance to their preference and that’s what I would do as president.”

Castro’s performance during the LGBTQ+ town hall has received praise from LGBTQ+ people.

Credit: @cmclymer / Twitter

Castro was able to speak about the issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community with an understanding that proves he isn’t going off talking points.

His conversation about faith and the license to discriminate showed his understanding of religion and LGBTQ+ people of faith.

Credit: @TUSK81 / Twitter

Castro wants to keep religion from attacking the very LGBTQ+ people of faith who depend on it. For many religious LGBTQ+ people, seeing religious leaders claim that their faith doesn’t accept them is a harsh reality.

Trans women of color let their voices be heard in a town hall that largely ignored them.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg was interrupted when he started his time on the stage. Trans activist Bamby Salcedo and other trans women of color stormed the venue holding trans flag that read “We Are Dying.” The women chanted “We are dying” and “Do something.” Some audience members joined the women in their protest however others jumped up to take the flag away and end the protest.

Anderson Cooper, who was moderating for Buttigieg, spoke up for the women as they were escorted out telling the audience, “Let me just point out, there is a long and proud tradition in history in the gay, lesbian and transgender community of protest and we applaud them for their protest.”

Cooper continued saying, “And they are absolutely right to be angry and upset at the lack of attention, particularly in the media, of the lives of transgender [people].”

Another trans activist, Blossom C Brown, also took on the moderators about the lack of Black trans voices during the town hall.

A lot of the conversation during the town hall focused on issues impacting gay men, trans women, and bisexual people. Many are calling out the town hall for ignoring trans people of color, lesbians, and non-binary people when it comes to health, housing, identity expression, and other issues impacting these communities specifically.

Ashlee Marie Preston, the only trans Black woman in the program, was taken out of the program by CNN so she publicly boycotted the event.

Credit: @AshleeMPreston / Twitter

There was a pretty glaring lack of trans women and men of color during the hours of discussion about LGBTQ+ issues. It is a common complaint within the community as trans women of color have long been ignored and silenced within the LGBTQ+ Rights movement.

READ: After Almost Two Years, Trans Activist Alejandra Barrera Has Been Released From ICE Custody

The Supreme Court’s Term Is Starting Off With Major Cases That Will Impact The Lives Of Many Americans

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The Supreme Court’s Term Is Starting Off With Major Cases That Will Impact The Lives Of Many Americans

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The nine justices of the Supreme Court will return to the chambers to an explosive docket. The court is set to hear cases covering an array of social issues from abortion to DACA to LGBTQ+ discrimination to the Second Amendment. It is shaping up to be a major term for the highest court in the land.

The Supreme Court is getting ready to hear a series of cases that could impact some of the biggest social issues in American culture.

Credit: @hshaban / Twitter

All eyes are on the Supreme Court as major cases are being presented. Some of the cases included in the docket for this term of the Supreme Court are the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the definition of “sex” as it pertains to Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act and the LGBTQ community’s right to work without discrimination, an abortion case from Louisiana seeking to limit abortion rights, and a gun regulation from New York City.

On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court heard arguments about discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.

In almost half of the country, there are no laws protecting people in the LGBTQ+ community from being discriminated against in the workplace. The Supreme Court heard arguments from two gay men and one trans woman claiming that they were fired from their places of work because of their identity.

During oral arguments, when the employers being sued in the case argued that sex is different than same-sex attraction, Justice Elena Kagan suggested that the law does favor the employees.

“If he were a woman, he wouldn’t have been fired,” Justice Kagan told General Solicitor Noel Francisco, who is representing the employers. “This is the usual kind of way in which we interpret statutes now. We look to laws. We don’t look to predictions. We don’t look to desires. We don’t look to wishes. We look to laws.”

The Trump administration is aiming to get rid of DACA protections from almost 700,000 young people.

Credit: @SenWarren / Twitter

DACA is a program that was first created by President Obama. It gave almost 700,000 young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children the chance to go to college, get work permits, and protected them from deportation. The Trump administration ended the program in 2017 and immediately threw the lives of all DACA recipients in limbo.

United We Dream, a DACA-led media company filed its own brief with the Supreme Court. The brief is a first-of-its-kind video brief with DACA recipients arguing their case for preserving DACA. The organization also included an official written brief.

“DACA has accomplished far more than affording deferred prosecutorial action. It has created lifechanging opportunities for hundreds of thousands of promising young people. DACA has allowed them to lead fuller and more vibrant lives, including by seizing opportunities to advance their education, furthering their careers, providing critical help to their families, and giving back to their communities,” reads the United We Dream brief. “Able to make use of the basic building blocks of a productive life—a Social Security number, work authorization, or driver’s license, for example—DACA recipients have thrived. They are students, teachers, health care workers, first responders, community leaders, and small business owners. They are also spouses, neighbors, classmates, friends, and coworkers. Collectively, they are parents of over a quarter-million U.S. citizens, and 70% of DACA recipients have an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen. They pay taxes, contribute to their local economies in myriad ways, and spur a virtuous cycle of further opportunity for many Americans.”

Another case people are watching is an abortion case coming out of Louisiana.

Credit: @IlhanMN / Twitter

The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, isn’t aiming to overturn Roe v. Wade but it is hoping to limit the abortion rights of women starting in Louisiana. The law being challenged requires all abortion providers to get privileges are a hospital 30 miles from where the abortions take place.

The case is very similar to a Texas case that the Supreme Court rejected three terms ago. As such, the Louisiana case is asking the Supreme Court to distinguish between the two cases and to determine that the restriction is legitimate if a legislator vouches that the restriction is valid rather than it being valid in practice. As it stands, the law would leave just one doctor in the state of Louisiana allowed to perform abortions.

Another case getting some attention as it sits on the Supreme Court docket deals with the Second Amendment.

Credit: @DaigleLawGroup / Twitter

New York City’s original rule made it so handguns could only be transported to seven gun ranges throughout the city. While the case was originally contested because of the rule. New York City changed the rule and asked the court to dismiss the case as moot, but the court rejected the motion. This will be the first time the Supreme Court has heard a case about the Second Amendment’s reach in over a decade and is being hailed as a victory for gun rights advocates.

READ: DACA Advocates Shut Down Joe Biden At Last Night’s Democratic Debate, Here’s The Message They Delivered Loud And Clear