Culture

As A Queer Latina, I Can’t Praise Showtime Enough For Their Representation In ‘The L Word: Generation Q’

The highly anticipated sequel to Showtime’s iconic lesbian drama series, “The L Word,” is moving far and beyond the Latina tropes and giving us two very different Latinas of different classes, wealth, and family support systems. And they’re in love. The original series was set in West Hollywood, California, a place as sexuality-diverse as it is accessible only to the wealthy, thereby excluding racial diversity. The sequel, however, is set in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in East LA that has become the de facto capital of queer for a new generation of LGBTQ+ people. Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals) is running for mayor of Los Angeles, but is facing setbacks because of the queerness of her love life. Shane McCutcheon (Kat Moennig) has become a successful androgynous model, which hasn’t prevented relationship problems with her wife. Alice Pieszecki (Leisha Hailey) has become the new Ellen Degeneres, with a foundation set before her by the talk show host, Alice is able to offer a provocative talk show defined by feminism and queerness instead of just making people laugh. That very show becomes the grounds where we meet Generation Q. We meet two women who work together and are roommates and follow them back into their home to meet their roommates, girlfriends, and very hot property manager.

Instead of a Persian woman playing a Latina, “The L Word: Generation Q” has two main cast members who are Latina and are surrounded by their Latino family members who become the source of support or conflict in their relationship. Relatable already, no?

Dani Nuñez and Sophie Suarez are the central couple to
“Generation Q.”

CREDIT: @ARIENNE_MANDI / INSTAGRAM

Sure, Alice is starting up throuple’s with her girlfriend and her girlfriend’s ex-wife, but that drama feels far too out there to hit home. Dani and Sophie, however, offer a story we’re all familiar with, especially if you, too, are a queer Latina. Dani Nuñez (left) comes from a wealthy background. She is essentially the heiress to her father’s company, Nuñez, Inc, which deals in promoting opioids. In this alternate reality, the Nuñez’s are reflective of the Sackler family, which has faced harsh criticism as the face of the opioid crisis. America has turned to question crisis by questioning the insular morals of a singular family which has built an empire. “Generation Q’ re-envisions that moral conundrum by giving us Dani Nuñez, the Director of Communications of Nuñez, Inc., who begins to question her morals after Bette Porter asks her point-blank: “How do you sleep at night?”

Meanwhile, Sophie’s morals are perfectly aligned in her career as a producer for Alice’s feminist, queer talk show of the same name.

CREDIT: @80SBIANS / TWITTER

Sophie comes from a different class of Latinidad, which includes the perks of a tight-knit family unit. She exudes confidence while wearing a Wildfang coverall suit instead of an expensive business suit. Sophie enjoys the support of her family and knowing exactly who she is and what she wants out of life.

Meanwhile, Dani’s father’s homophobia becomes intolerable for Dani as the two take their relationship to the next level.

CREDIT: @LOGOTV / TWITTER

As a queer Latina literally named Dani with a homophobic father herself, I couldn’t feel more seen by how “Generation Q” portrays the psychological hardships that family homophobia can place on a relationship. Dani grew up with an implicit understanding that if her feelings didn’t fit into her family values, that the only way she could feel and process them was in isolation. That learned behavior trickles into her relationship with Sophie, and Sophie has a problem with it. Sophie’s family is constantly around, supporting them, and openly processing their feelings. There are no secrets.

“Generation Q” illustrates the nuances in how the child of a homophobic parent learns to navigate life and how it has much larger effects on their personal relationships. 

CREDIT: @SHO_THELWORD / TWITTER

So far, the show hasn’t just given us an Afro-Latina and a brown Latina. It’s given us a range of family dynamics that feel so familiar to so many of us. Whether you have Sophie’s family, who’s constantly bringing over tin-foil wrapped homemade food, even on a tour of a ritzy wedding venue, or Dani’s family, who, in order to please them, you have to compromise too much of your self. 

You can stream Showtime’s “The L Word: Generation Q” on Sundays.

READ: ‘The L Word: Generation Q’ Trailer Is Here And There Are Latinas Playing Latinas

Bad Bunny’s ‘Yo Perreo Sola’ Music Video Has Drag, Female Empowerment, And Artistic Styling That Is World-Class

Entertainment

Bad Bunny’s ‘Yo Perreo Sola’ Music Video Has Drag, Female Empowerment, And Artistic Styling That Is World-Class

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Bad Bunny is known to push gender norms and supports the LGBTQ+ community. His music videos are artistic expressions of the world he wants to live in. His latest music video for the song “Yo Perreo Sola” is catching everyone’s attention for several reasons including the trapero singing and dancing in full drag.

Bad Bunny starts his “Yo Perreo Sola” music video in a hot red leather drag outfit.

Like, dayum. The Puerto Rican trap star did not hold back. His look was everything as he gave us some “Oops…I Did It Again” dominatrix vibes. The fans were not prepared for this but it seems that most of them are all for Bad Bunny pushing boundaries even further in Latin trap.

The imagery is literally being celebrated for its strong statement for the LGBTQ+ community.

Bad Bunny was very outspoken about Alexa Negrón Luciano, a trans woman who was murdered in Puerto Rico and misgendered in media reports. The singer was on “The Late Show starring Jimmy Fallon” and used the moment to protest the treatment of Luciano’s legacy. Bad Bunny wore a shirt that read in Spanish, “They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt.”

Bad Bunny fans were ready to defend their fave and his new music video.

To many, Latin trap is still a place where homophobia and misogyny fester in lyrics by some of the top performers. Bad Bunny is one artist that has been fighting against that culture from within. He has bent gender norms in music videos and it has set his career apart from other Latin trap musicians.

And they are all celebrating the anguish of straight men who listen to Bad Bunny and have social hang-ups.

The same homophobia in Latin trap is reflected within the community. Bad Bunny’s unapologetic willingness to take gender and flip it on its head is just one thing fans love about the trapero.

You can watch the full video below.

Bad Bunny never disappoints, does he?

READ: Bad Bunny Is The Modern Icon The Queer Latino Community Needs And Deserves Right Now. Here’s Why

Jason Genao Of ‘On My Block’ Talks Growing Up On His Block And His Secret To Making Bomb Empanadas

Entertainment

Jason Genao Of ‘On My Block’ Talks Growing Up On His Block And His Secret To Making Bomb Empanadas

Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s coming-of-age comedy “On My Block” has been steadily gaining an audience by the passionate word-of-mouth of fans, and a string of 🔥 GIFS on social media. 

Jason Genao, one of the show’s stars, won over audiences with his character Ruby Martinez’s witty one-liners, his depth of self-awareness, and his hilarious dance moves with co-star Jessica Marie Garcia over the first two seasons of the show. 

Now, if you haven’t seen “On My Block,” we will have a few spoilers ahead for seasons 1 and 2, now that season 3 is officially out.

Before season 3 started streaming, mitú spoke with Genao in an exclusive phone interview to see how he got the inspiration for some of the show’s most pivotal scenes amd how the fictional Los Angeles neighborhood of Freeridge compares to his hometown. Oh, and he shared his secret to making some delicious empanadas.

Genao’s character Ruby left us shook after the ending of season 1. 

A tweet Genao posted on his personal Twitter account before the airing of season 2 said, “Remember that time I had you guys thinking I was dead for a whole year. Ahh commitment.” That hit some fans in the feels—but Genao said he knew he had to keep the script’s enthusiasm going.

Oh, we see you Genao, he’s got a little of a 😈 mischievous side—sounds like someone we know on OMB?

“I think in the back of my head, I knew if I ruined it, season 2 wouldn’t be good. All the suspense was held in the majority of my character whether he was alive or not, [it was a] pivotal story arch. If that would have been ruined, there would not have been as much enthusiasm,” Genao said over the phone with mitú.

“I wanted to keep this suspense in the show as great as everyone else did. I lived off of reading everyone’s tweets—seeing them all suffer for the year,” Genao added.

When it comes to diving into his character of Ruby, he goes all in, especially when it came to handling Ruby’s PTSD following the events of the first season.

“I did my research online with what happens with people who have PTSD. My cousin was shot twice. For me that kind of hit—PTSD comes in the form of however you are as a person,” Genao said of how he was able to understand the effects of PTSD.

“I had to take Ruby as a 14-year-old innocent person, who lives where he lives but never thought it would affect him,” Genao said about the performance. 

Tapping into his own personal experiences was also a vital part of capturing the trauma Ruby went through after being shot at his crush’s Quinceañera party.

Credit: Netflix

“[I] take traumatic experiences and bring them to the forefront—bring real life emotions to the performance. As an actor that is a gift—you hold on to them because of the power they can bring to the scene. I take those things and hold on to them because I need them for my job,” Genao said. 

As layered as Ruby is when it comes to dealing with life’s trauma, he’s also a 14-year-old kid navigating the same exciting ‘firsts’ of teen life—first crush, first kiss, and the first time being a teen entrepreneur. 

Ruby is a character that has it together—he can do his taxes, he has binders for plans, he has choreographed Quince dances. 

Genao assures he was *not* that put-together as a teen growing up in his Dominican family.  

“I was a mess as a teen. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, I relied on her. I definitely was not super put-together as a teenager,” Genao said with a laugh.  

Since Genao seems to embody the characteristics of Ruby down to a button-down T (with polo shorts and a backpack), it might come as a surprise to fans that he actually first read for the role of Cesar Diaz.

Credit: Netflix

“I was sent Cesar and then an hour later [they] sent me the slides for Ruby. I was more intrigued in Ruby because he had so much to say. They said you have to perfect it, so I went into this study mode and I got it down,” he said about landing the role.

Hmmm…maybe Genao and Ruby share some characteristics after all. INSERT NERD FACE EMOJI 

When it comes to Genao’s hometown of Jersey City, there are some similarities to his character’s fictional home of Freeridge. 

“Me and my brothers, we all went to the same high school, there were a lot of gangs. I remember my brother bringing people with cuts and scars and blood and I was like ‘Jesus.’ As time progressed, it got better, I guess they gentrified my neighborhood,” Genao reminisced. 

Much like Freeridge, he said Jersey City also had its teens having fun despite the violence around them. 

“It always had a festival in the summer, and had a carnival. It was really freeing, my mom was never like we HAD to be careful. I was 11-years-old walking to friends’ houses,” he continued.

Growing up in Jersey City also helped Genao appreciate a sense of diversity not seen in every bedroom community across the country.

Credit: Netflix

“Jersey City was super free and so diverse. [When I see] issues like racism or hatred of a certain community [in other places], I was baffled, that wasn’t an issue in my community. It wasn’t until I left that I realized how harsh the rest of America was,” Genao had to say about seeing a lack of diversity in some communities.  

OMB’s success with both audiences and critics can help to change the narrative of diversity in places that might not experience it as much in daily life. 

The show is proof that now diversity is having a movement—not just a moment. 

“It garners more hope—not false hope—a secure hope. We are not just a diverse show, but a successful diverse show,” Genao proudly says. 

Off-camera, Genao likes to cook in his spare time and he does not come to play when it comes to making some B-O-M-B empanadas.

“Sazón Goya and mojo—don’t play with me. Me with my Sazón,” Genao chuckled as he recounted a story where he was browsing the aisles of a market in LA, trying desperately to find the secret ingredient to his empanadas.

Of course, los mercados came through when he needed it and he found his Goya packet at a Latino market. So what’s ahead when it comes to his projects on camera?

“There are lots of things I have my eyes on, you never know. There are things coming,” he cryptically said.

Looks like Genao’s fans will be patiently anticipating what’s to come on OMB season 4 and beyond. 

READ: Netflix Is Paying The ’13 Reasons Why Cast’ More Than The ‘On My Block’ Cast Of Color, Here’s Why That’s Caca