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. 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.

2. 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.

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. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

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

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21. 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.

22. 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.

23. 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.

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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Gloria Estefan Shares Her ‘Shocking’ Reaction To Her Daughter Coming Out

Fierce

Gloria Estefan Shares Her ‘Shocking’ Reaction To Her Daughter Coming Out

David M. Benett / Getty

The Estefans’ Red Table Talk is officially here and queer!

So get used to it!

The beloved Cuban singer and her family hosted their second episode of the Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk: The Estefans. Things got real real as she, her daughter Emily Estefan and niece Lili Estefan sat down for a raw and honest conversation about their lives and relationships.

In the second episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans‘ titled, “Emily’s Coming Out Story,” the family revealed that Gloria was shocked to learn that her “miracle baby” was queer.

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Speaking frankly, Gloria explained that her initial reaction to her daughter’s coming out was to dissuade her from telling her grandmother the truth. According to Gloria, she feared that her own mother would die from the news about Emily.

“I came out to my parents like in 2017. But as you’ll see on the show, I think they knew way before that,” Emily, who is 25-years-old Entertainment Weekly in an interview. “What I’m most excited about in this episode is the complexity of it all. I wouldn’t be doing anybody justice if I went up there and lied and said that it was easy or that there weren’t complex emotions involved, even though my mom has been such a fierce supporter of the LGBTQ community. Everybody has a perspective. And as human beings, we’re always trying to be understood instead of understanding. As you’ll see in the clip, it was difficult for me to hear that. No matter under any perspective, those words were difficult to hear.”

Sadly, Emily never had the chance to share this part of her identity with her grandmother, Gloria Fajardo.

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Fajardo passed away in 2017 before Emily had the chance to come out to her. It is unknown whether she knew of her sexual orientation before she passed away.

“That is one of my biggest unanswered questions that I will live the rest of my life with,” Emily explained “Many of the people around me that love me have told me they knew. But in my heart, my grandmother and I were so close but I’m really not sure. But that’s part of life too — you don’t get every answer that you want. I’m also learning that regrets are a waste of time. But I’m still on that journey. A few years ago, I would’ve never imagined that we’d be talking about this as I’m about to release an episode where I say things I’ve not even told family members of mine. I’m still growing and learning.”

In the latest episode of the Red Table Talk, Gloria explains that Emily became known as her “miracle baby” after she was conceived following a devastating tour bus accident in 1990.

At the time, Estefan’s doctors told her she would not be able to concieve more children. At the time, Gloria and her husband, Emilio Estefan, already had their son, Nayib Estefan. Nayib is 15 years older than his sister Emily.

In the latest interview, Emily talks about the pressures of having to live up to the concept of a “perfect daughter” that had been projected onto her by media outlets. She also addresses how she became the target of tabloid fodder in Spanish-language media after her relationship with Gemeny Hernandez was revealed.

“My parents would tell me all the time that we all have to earn respect, which I totally understand and fully agree with,” Emily explained of her experiences growing up in the spotlight. “Life is difficult and you don’t know what people’s intentions are all the time. When my dad started dating my mom, my grandma would slam the door in his face! My parents never exhibited anything extreme like that when it came to my relationships, but they would remind me what their courtship was like. I would let them know that we’re going through similar things, but in different colors. Life is about repetition and trying to pick up new things along the way. My grandma came from a time where she didn’t go on a date with my grandpa until they had their marriage certificate, and even then her mom was chaperoning them. They didn’t kiss until they were married.”

Emily revealed that she and her girlfriend Gemeny have been together for almost four years now and that she has been welcomed as part of the Estefan family.

“Family dynamics are hard, no matter what,” Emily went onto share. “Gem is one of those people who is like a mirror: She came into my life and showed me my truth. Sometimes that’s not beautiful, but that’s what love is. It’s not beauty or dates or romance all the time, but all of the things that come with love. I’m really young, but I feel that having her by my side has made me truly understand what a loving, adult relationship is like. That’s why it’s been so easy for me to fight this fight and speak my truth, because it’s all worth it. She helped me be brave. Now she has a relationship with my family which is the incredible part and can maybe be explored in season 2? Having her come to sit at the table and talk about those dynamics. Everybody loves each other, but as I said, love isn’t easy. And you know what it’s like being a part of a Latino family. The baby starts dating somebody, even if it’s Mickey Mouse, they still wouldn’t think he’s good enough!”

The second episode of the Estefan’s Red Table Talk, “Emily’s Coming Out Story,” debuted this past Wednesday, Oct. 14, at noon ET on Facebook Watch.

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Gay Men Took Over #ProudBoys On Twitter And The Results Are Exactly What We Needed Right Now

Things That Matter

Gay Men Took Over #ProudBoys On Twitter And The Results Are Exactly What We Needed Right Now

@CarlosGSmith / Twitter

Although social media is so often ridiculed for being filled with self-obsessed, attention-seeking content, for the past few days its been filled with messages of love and compassion.

Over the weekend, the words Proud Boys took on a whole new meaning as gay men flooded Twitter with messages of love and acceptance using the hashtag #ProudBoys.

This has caused two very different groups of men to face off on the same hashtag: the far-right cadre known as the Proud Boys—and the thousands of gay Twitter users who flooded that platform with pro-LGBT images, marking those posts with #proudboys. 

Tens of thousands of gay men have taken over the #ProudBoys on Twitter and the actual Proud Boys are pissed.

#ProudBoys, which members of the hateful, far-right group have been using, was trending over the weekend after tens of thousands of gay men on Twitter hijacked it and flooded the feed with photos of their loved ones and families and with memes.

The celebration of LGBTQ pride was a clear attempt to drown out voices of the far-right group with the same name, which made headlines after getting mentioned by President Trump during last week’s first presidential debate.  

“Let’s replace the hashtag with images of love, positivity and true PRIDE,” tweeted Carlos G. Smith, an openly gay member of Florida’s House of Representatives. 

Many tweets attached to the trending hashtag showed photos of couples who had been together years or decades — at their weddings, posing with their children, marching in pride parades or just looking happily in love.

At least one of the many tweets from gay men using the #ProudBoys hashtag referenced Trump’s debate words. “We will never stand back and stand by! Together for 25 years with two amazing children,” Dan Ort-Patrick wrote

It seems that we can thank actor George Takei for the brilliant takeover idea!

The hashtag takeover appears to have originated with Star Trek star George Takei, who wondered aloud Thursday what would happen if gay men tagged themselves as #ProudBoys on social media. 

“What if gay guys took pictures of themselves making out with each other or doing very gay things, then tagged themselves with #ProudBoys? I bet it would mess them up real bad,” Takei tweeted.

The Proud Boys – a racist, hate group – began trending last week after Trump refused to denounce their actions and beliefs.

The Proud Boys group entered the mainstream conversation last week after Donald Trump seemed to call them to action at the first presidential debate. During an exchange between Trump and moderator Chris Wallace about white supremacists, Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

Following the debate, members of the group celebrated Trump’s reaction, using “stand back” and “stand by” in their logo and posting videos from the debate with the caption “God. Family. Brotherhood.”

The Proud Boys referenced in the debate are “self-described ‘western chauvinists’ who adamantly deny any connection to the racist ‘alt-right,’ insisting they are simply a fraternal group spreading an ‘anti-political correctness’ and ‘anti-white guilt’ agenda,” according to civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center. The SLPC maintains, however, that the group, founded in 2016, affiliates with extremists and is known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.  

All sorts of people showed their support – even the Canadian Armed Forces.

The official Twitter account of the Canadian Armed Forces in the United States took part, too, tweeting a picture of two men kissing—one a corporal named Brent Kenny—with #proudboys.

“Love is love,” the group wrote in a reply tweet. (It was perhaps not a surprising piece of activism from an institution that describes itself in its Twitter bio as: “Nice people. Maple syrup.”)

The Canadian Navy’s Twitter account later retweeted the image, as did the account for the ship that Kenny sailed on, the Winnipeg.

Couples from around the world got in on the viral hashtag to help spread love, not hate.

So many couples shared their wedding photos, images of their families, pictures from their first date, and so much more – to help deliver a takeover of a hashtag so often used to spread hate.

Gay men shared their pride in themselves, their community, and in their love.

But back on Twitter, it was all love and rainbows, with Takei expressing gratitude for the enthusiastic response to his idea.  

“Brad and I are #ProudBoys, legally married for 12 years now,” he tweeted Sunday along with a photo of him and his partner. “And we’re proud of all of the gay folks who have stepped up to reclaim our pride in this campaign. Our community and allies answered hate with love, and what could be better than that.”

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