Culture

Afro-Puerto Rican Trans Voguing Legend Leiomy Maldonado To Judge Voguing Competition Show

There’s no doubt that FX’s hit show “Pose” put voguing on the mainstream map. Queer people of color are the central characters of the show and the authentic and unflinching representation has changed the television landscape. So, of course, HBO is now bringing Ballroom culture to millions.

Afro-Puerto Rican voguing superstar Leiomy Maldonado is bringing Ballroom to the masses.

Trans voguing royalty Leiomy Maldonado, also known as Amazon Leiomy, will be a judge on HBOmax’s new competition show called “Legendary.” Eight houses will be competing on the show bringing Ballroom culture from underground and fiction to mainstream. The trailer for the show is already promising some gag-worthy moments as the Ballroom houses deliver incredible dancing.

Maldonado is a Ballroom veteran and house mother so her judgment on the show will hold a lot of weight.

Maldonado has been voguing in the Ballroom scene since she was a teenager. The Ballroom world gave Maldonado a chance to truly explore who she was and gave her a space to understand her trans identity.

As an Afro-Puerto Rican trans woman, Maldonado’s family had work to do to fully understand her. While Maldonado previously told mitú that it wasn’t until she was on “America’s Best Dance Crew” that they understood what her transition and dancing career meant.

Dashaun Wesley, also known as Dashaun Lanvin, will also be part of “Legendary” as the MC while Jameela Jamil will be a judge.

At first, Jamil was cast as the host and judge of “Legendary” but fans of Ballroom culture were not having it. The announcement faces instant and severe backlash and Jamil was suddenly no longer the host. It was shortly after the controversy that Jamil came out as queer and people questioner her motive for coming out.

There is so much love going to the people bringing this show to life.

This is a time of increasing representation on television. People want to see their stories and stories of the people they know and love reflected on big and small screens. HBOmax is taking the desire and offering people a chance to see their own queer identities and identities of those they love broadcast to the world.

Honestly, the name is perfectly fitting for the caliber of talent they have on the show.

Maldonado and Lanvin are among the most talked about and respected dancers in the voguing community. Maldonado is the mother of The House of Amazon, hence her nickname Amazon Leiomy. Lanvin’s own expertise in Ballroom culture landed him a spot on FX’s “Pose.” Lanvin plays Shadow Wintour in the series and serves the looks and moves to keep the show as exciting as it has ever been.

“Legendary” will be streaming on HBOmax on May 27.

Make sure you tune in to watch the various houses slay all day on that runway. They are guaranteed to give it all because that is just how voguers do. Thank you to all of the queer people of color who are putting this and other POC LGBTQ+ stories on the map one platform at a time.

READ: This Trans Puerto Rican Voguing Master Is So Iconic That Even Beyonce Imitated Her Dance Moves

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The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Entertainment

The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Photo via Getty

On Thursday, the cast of “Glee” paid tribute to Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Media Awards. Rivera was a once-in-a-lifetime talent the touched so many lives personally and through the screen while she was alive. But perhaps none of Naya’s roles were as impactful as Santana Lopez was.

This year, GLAAD decided to take time to honor the impact Naya Rivera had on LGBTQ representation onscreen.

During a time when LGBTQ represenation onscreen was rare, Santana Lopez was groundbreaking for being both queer and Latina. Santana went from a shut-off closeted cheerleader to an out-and-proud lesbian woman. This was a story arc many queer kids had never seen before.

Demi Lovato introduced the cast of “Glee” with a touching speech. She described how honored she was (and still is) to have played Santana’s girlfriend, Dani, on the show.

“I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year,” Lovato said. “A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me: losing my friend Naya Rivera. I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on ‘Glee.’”

“The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls — like I was at the time,” she went on. “And her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Then, dozens of former “Glee” cast members gathered via Zoom to pay tribute to Naya Rivera.

The tribute featured former “Glee” actors like Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, and Kevin McHale. There were also many others.

“Naya would be honored to receive this recognition,” read the statement. “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said ‘I feel great about it!'”

“This year marks the tenth anniversary that Naya’s character, Santana Lopez, came out on ‘Glee’,” said Dot-Marie Jones, who played Coach Beast on the Fox series.

“Santana basically got disowned by her family. And as alot of us know, that’s a feeling too many LGBTQ kids know too well,” continued Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel.

The loving tribute then ended with a written statement from Naya Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire, who couldn’t make it to the call.

“Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community. Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice.

“She continued: “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

“Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice,” the message read, in part. “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

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Selena Gomez Tells Senate to Pass Equality Act, Credits Gay Community with Launching Her Music Career

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Tells Senate to Pass Equality Act, Credits Gay Community with Launching Her Music Career

CAMILA FALQUEZ

After the Equality Act was recently passed in the House, Selena Gomez is now telling the Senate to pass the bill that would give added federal protections to the LGBTQ+ community. The Mexican-American pop star also talked about her history with the gay community and how they helped support her music career.

The Equality Act would extend protections from the Civil Rights Act to the LGBTQ+ community.

The Equality Act was first introduced in 2015. The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity when it came to employment, housing, education, and other public and federal accommodations. In 2019, the Senate under President Donald Trump refused to vote on the bill.

The Equality Act recently passed through the House and now Gomez wants the Senate to pass it as well.

In February, the Equality Act was reintroduced to the House of Representatives. The bill passed through the House for a second time on Feb. 25. In a recent interview with the Recording Academy, the institution that hosts the Grammy Awards, Gomez is telling the Senate to vote on the bill this time and pass it through.

“We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years, but we have so much further to go,” Gomez said about the progress of LGBTQ+ rights in the country. “The Senate must pass the Equality Act. It’s absurd that this is even being debated in 2021.”

Gomez says the gay community helped support her 2009 breakthrough hit “Naturally.”

While Gomez was promoting her Latin music EP Revelación, she also revisited a few of her past hits. In 2009, she launched her music career with her band The Scene. Later that year, Gomez got her first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her breakthrough smash “Naturally.” While talking about her relationship with the gay community, she says they were the first ones to show that song love.

“Earlier you mentioned my song ‘Naturally’ and I remember when it was released, it truly started getting played in the gay bars before anywhere else,” she said. “I would hear from older friends that they heard when they went out. I was so jealous that I was too young to be out and dancing to it with everyone. The LGBTQ+ community has been there for me and I don’t take them for granted.”

The Equality Act is waiting to be debated by the Senate. This is Gomez’s first time speaking in support of the bill. Last year, she launched the Black Equality Fund to support groups like the Movement for Black Lives.  In March, she also asked for the Senate to pass the People Act.

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Read: Selena Gomez and Myke Towers’ “Dámelo To’” is Everything: Listen to the ‘Revelación’ Standout

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