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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
13. Stephanie Beatriz
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
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
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
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.
17. Manuel “Manny MUA” Gutierrez
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.