Entertainment

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

Bad Bunny has been a champion for the LGBTQ community since he hit the music scene. He is always showing off his gender-bending fashion and take on life. He has become an icon for the Latino LGBTQ community and there is a good reason for it. He called out Don Omar when he made a very inappropriate joke at the expense of the LGBTQ community. He shows gender-bending people that they have the right to exist as they see fit because we are all in this together.

Arguably, Bad Bunny is the strongest ally to the queer community today.

Credit: @badbunnypr / Instagram

He’s beloved by all of Puerto Rico, reggaeton, and trap music lovers alike. He’s climbed to the top of one of the most machísmo industries to ever exist, and his unique style is on full display. Bad Bunny is influencing your bro-y primos with his fashion and his words and it is kind of brilliant.

Frida Kahlo, meanwhile, didn’t reach acclaim until well after her work was created in 1950s Mexico.

@GiuseppeTurrisi / Twitter

Kahlo is proof that there is no “time” or trend to be ahead of in queer culture. For millennia, we have existed. Kahlo was courageous enough to be freely bisexual and gender fluid. Today, Kahlo is a venerated icon of queerness and bravery. She will always be an icon in the LGBTQ community.

Sylvia Rivera is one of the lesser known pioneers of the 1969 Stonewall Riots that initiated the LGBTQ revolution in America.

@nypl / Twitter

Rivera, a Nuyorican through and through, lived in her trans experience and was marginalized from society for it. She’s best known for allegedly being the first person to throw a rock at the police officers seeking to arrest the crowd simply for being at a gay bar. Along with Marsha P. Johnson, Rivera is remembered today as someone who helped start the modern LGBTQ Rights movement and it all started in New York City.

The 1995 installment of Rickie Vasquez in “My So-Called Life” gave us the first gay Latino on screen.

@audiohelkuik / Twitter

Sure, Rickie was the GBF trope that Netflix is continuing to revel in, but he was the first of our kind, and he was real. His tío was his guardian and tried to beat the gay out of him. Eventually, one of his teachers, who is also gay, takes him in and raises him. This is what our community looks like.

All the while, we were smack in the middle of a 20-year long era of loving Ricky Martin while he was in the closet.

@Spain_RM / Twitter

In a 2000 interview, Barbara Walters pressured the Puerto Rican star to disclose his sexuality. His reply, “I don’t think I should have to tell anyone if I am gay or not, or who I’ve slept with or not,” got all our moms in an uproar. It wasn’t until ten years later that he publicly came out in a post on his website.

“I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am,” he wrote. “These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.”

During Martin’s closeted era, we got Oscar Martinez in “The Office.”

Netflix

Actor Oscar Núñez is a straight Cuban-American actor who didn’t know he was signing up to play a character who would, three seasons later, be outed as gay by his boss, Michael. While its problematic that a straight person played this role, for the 2006-7 season, he was the only LGBT person of color character on a regular series.

In the 2009 season of “Grey’s Anatomy,” character Callie Torres comes out as bisexual.

@68BEARS / Twitter

Played by Mexican-American dreamboat Sara Ramirez, Callie Torres arguably became the first bisexual character to star in a show. She wasn’t the queer BFF. Her story was whole, and included the same conversations many of us have had with our Roman Catholic, homophobic fathers.

Then there’s the murder of Kevin Fret, the first openly gay trapero.

@billboard / Twitter

The Puerto Rican trap artist is just one example of the obvious, rampant violence LGBTQ Latinos continue to face. Authorities are in their third month of investigating his death but have stated that Ozuna is not a suspect.

The next day, Bad Bunny and Residente marched all night long to Governor Ricardo Rosselo’s mansion to protest the rising violence on la isla.

@badbunnypr / Instagram

In an Instagram live at 2 a.m., the two broadcasted their message: “We’re here to talk to Ricky about crime in Puerto Rico.” They stood outside the mansion all night until the sun came up and the Governor sat down with them. Fret’s death was the 24th homicide on the island in a two-week span.

This wasn’t the last time Bad Bunny stood up for the LGBTQ community.

@fiercebymitu / Instagram

Whew, this was an incident. Don Omar made a homophobic slur in reference to a child pornography video circulating of Ozuna. The mayor of San Juan and Bad Bunny both chimed in on the issue to broaden minds and hearts–because its 2019 and homophobia is gross.

Here’s how Bad Bunny is pushing back against the homophobia so evident in Latin music.

@badbunnypr / Instagram

According to the Human Rights Campaign, queer Latinos are “1.7 times more likely to experience police violence than non-Hispanics … 1.8 times more likely to experience physical violence, 1.5 times more likely to experience discrimination, and 1.5 times more likely to experience hate violence in the workplace.”

In his music video for “Caro,” we see El Conejo Malo getting a smooch from both men and women.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Ultimately, he ends up making out with a gender queer look a like version of himself–as a testament to self-love, perhaps. Bad Bunny has not come out with any label, nor does he have to. He just is, and, in his own words, “solamente soy feliz.”

His letras for “Otra Noche en Miami” explicitly call out hypermasculine sexual fantasies.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

He sings about how his rise to fame garnered all the things traperos promise–orgies, threesomes and wealth. Bad Bunny counters that fantasy with his reality, “Ya me cansan los threesome’ y las orgías / Ya me cansa que mi vida siga vacía.” He sings about craving intimacy the more time he spends with the groupies and industry executives he once yearned to have access to.

Bad Bunny has also used his platform to speak out against domestic violence.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

It’s widely known that 1 in 3 Latinas have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. When Bad Bunny initially shared his official video for “Solo de Mi,” he included this caption:

When are we going to prioritize what really matters ??! We always want to blame everyone but the one at fault. IT’S TIME TO TAKE ACTION NOW! I know there will be many opinions, but I just tell them that something starts, and everyone does their part as they think they can. WE DO NOT WANT ONE MORE DEATH! Respect the woman, respect the man, respect the neighbor, respect life! LESS VIOLENCE, MORE PERISH! (AND IF SHE WANTS IT, IF IT DOES NOT LET HER SAVE ONLY AND DO NOT KILL IT) 🖤

Bad Bunny couldn’t give fewer cacas about toxic masculinity.

@kierawallaces / Twitter

He backs up what he says. Back in 2018, Bad Bunny took to Twitter to blast a nail salon in Spain that wouldn’t serve him because he was a man. while most people supported him, a few homophobes started questioning his sexuality.

He’s redefined the meaning of caro with his music video.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Meaning “expensive” in English, Bad Bunny has turned the meaning of the word to something more like ‘rich in self-worth.’ And no matter how much money he has in the bank, he knows that if he stays himself, he’ll forever be caro.

Let us please acknowledge the ’90s vibes of this manicure.

@badbunnypr / Instagram

In a way, he’s giving all his millenial queer fans the letras we longed to hear when we were growing up. Instead of hearing about gasolina as a metaphor for semen (I said it), we get to hear about knowing you’re different and loving yourself anyway.

Yes, he gave us “Te Boté” but he also gave us a vulnerable honest take on his love life with “Si Estuviésemos Juntos.”

@badbunnypr / Instagram

We are in the era of “Thank You, Next” and “Te Boté” style dismissiveness towards ex loves, no doubt. “Si Estuviésemos Juntos” is Latin trap like we haven’t heard before–his regrets about how he treated someone he learned to love right too late, and how empty his life is without them.

Bad Bunny has given us open, radical honesty–including about his own mental health ups and downs.

@badbunnypr / Instagram

While “Estamos Bien” was dedicated to Puerto Ricans’ resiliency. It’s also a subtle ode to a past when things weren’t as hopeful. Pero “Hoy me levanté contento, hoy me levanté feliz.”

In the fight for LGBTQ rights, we have a long way to go, but we thank all the pioneers who have gotten us where we are today.

@lgbtpr / Instagram

Today, eyes are on Bad Bunny. We hope the young eyes that are on El Conejo Malo feel inspired to keep pushing back against hate. Love is love, mi gente, and love always wins.

READ: Bad Bunny Pushes Back Against Homophobia And Celebrates Gender Fluidity In New Video For ‘Caro’

Pepe Aguilar Is Spreading Norteña Culture Across The US In Sold Out Venues And We Stan Hard

Entertainment

Pepe Aguilar Is Spreading Norteña Culture Across The US In Sold Out Venues And We Stan Hard

Pop music is far more complex and deeper than Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift (no offence, ladies). In a multicultural society like the United States, we have to rethink what we consider as mainstream. This term is generally used for artists whose work is consumed by Anglo audiences. Think about it, an African-American rapper “breaks into the mainstream” when white folk start paying attention, right? Otherwise, the artist is just “niche”. That is why we gotta reconsider what “mainstream” means when it comes to Latino artists and shows. 

Which brings us to Pepe Aguilar, perhaps one of the most popular singers in the planet and who is taking Mexico and the United States by storm with his Mexican rodeo extravaganza “Jaripeo Sin Fronteras”. The show brings together charreria, songs and a good doses of good old Mexican pride. 

So who is Pepe Aguilar? (as if you didn’t know, right?) 

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

His full name is José Antonio Aguilar Jiménez and he is Mexican-American as it comes. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, while his parents were on tour. He was raised in Zacatecas, where he first became a rock musician and had a band called Equs, which was influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd and The Who! Can you imagine that? Well, one thing led to another and he ended up going back to his Mexican roots and becoming one of the best-selling ranchera acts of all time. 

He is, of course, the son of the late great Tony Aguilar.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Pepe Aguilar has ranchera en la sangre. He is the son of Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre, two legendary musicians in their own right. Tony Aguilar was also a strong presence in the Mexican film industry. Aguilar senior recorded over 150 albums, which sold over 25 million copies. Can you get more mainstream than that? Well, Pepe is making sure that the family legacy lives on. 

Introducing Jaripeo Sin Fronteras!

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

This amazing show has Pepe Aguilar as the lead, but includes acts by his kids Angela (what a voice on this lady!), Leonardo and Antonio Aguilar Jr. Marichis and rodeo acts are also included of course! The show is touring non-stop in 2019 in both sides of the border, bringing a message of unity. Just look at what they did in Mexico City.

Let’s not forget that for the Aguilar family showbiz is like second nature.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

The show just flows like the musical blood that runs through those Aguilar veins. This is Pepe with his brother, perhaps the only Aguilar not deep into showbiz! In an interview for CE Noticias Financieras, Guadalupe Pineda, the famous Mexican singer and Pepe’s cousin, says of him: “Pepe is a great dad, he’s doing the best for every one of his kids. As an aunt, you simply know and feel that we can all be wrong and that the boy is very young and has every right in the world to get ahead”. 

So, of course, the show includes the next generation of Aguilar talent!

Credit: Instagram. @angelicaguilar_mxfan

Angela Aguilar followed the family tradition of being born while on tour. She came into the world in Los Angeles while her mother was accompanying Pepe Aguilar on tour. And you can tell that musical talent is there. Her version of “Shallow” is enough to make anyone cry! And she had Lady Gaga’s blessing, as Angela said in the Mexican TV show Ventaneando: “Suddenly I’m playing the piano trying to practice and concentrate. Lady Gaga said yes, practice, you’re going to sing it. Oh, my God, I’m going to die! I mean, Lady Gaga knows who I am is like. wow!”.

The show includes all sorts of equine acts, and the horses are quite unique.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Some of the amazing horses in the show are shaved by the amazing Rob Ferrell, a barber who is so dexterous with the blade he is able to imprint a Mexican aguila y serpiente on the equine’s skin. You can look at his work (on human and horse surfaces!) here: https://www.instagram.com/robtheoriginal/  

The show has been a sold-out in localities North and South of the Border.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Look at the Honda Center in Anaheim: un lleno total, carajo! Pepe Aguilar is a consummate businessman and he knows that every city is slightly different. He explained the concept to Billboard: “It’s basically a modular concept, where you can change the pieces. The fundamental parts are the horse shows and the Mexican traditions. In some cities we’ll have special guests, in others, only the family is going to perform”. There are still some dates available this year: 

September 20 — Atlanta, Georgia @ Infinite Energy Center

September 22 — Chicago, Illinois @ Allstate Arena

September 27 — Tacoma, Washington @Tacoma Dome

Even if you are not a fan of ranchera culture, you have to admit the show is quite spectacular: the whole Aguilar family makes an appearance, look at Leonardo riding that horse.

Credit: YouTube. @STO

Leonardo is the latest success story in “La Dinastía Aguilar”. He has been nominated for two Latin Grammys despite his tender age: only 20 and he is already a great act. He released his first record when he was only 12-years-old, Nueva Tradición, a collaboration with his sister Angela.

And of course Pepe Aguilar has been super amazing with fans, because that is just who he is.

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

You don’t get to be on top and stay on top without being an approachable and kind celebrity. Pepe Aguilar knows well who pays his wages: the millions of fans that love him and his multi talented family. 

And of course Mexican cities are embracing the show with sold out venues.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Jaripeo sin Fronteras has had a huge appeal in Mexico, which tells us that being “Mexican” goes beyond national borders. No one cares Pepe Aguilar was born in the United States: we share one identity and one heart. 

So can haters admit Mexican culture is mainstream now?

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

Jaripeo sin Fronteras has performed in the main arenas of almost every major city in the United States. See what we meant with rethinking what mainstream means?

And yeah, those are some of the most beautiful caballitos we have ever seen.

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

Just look at those ojitos pispiretos, beautiful beasts. And as Billboard reports, no animals are harmed, so worry not: “Pepe, who rides several of his Andalusian horses in his own equestrian performance, also specifies that no animals are hurt during this tour”. 

Tejano Music Icon Selena’s Murderer Is Asking For A New Trial After Accusing Prosecutor Of Hiding Evidence

Things That Matter

Tejano Music Icon Selena’s Murderer Is Asking For A New Trial After Accusing Prosecutor Of Hiding Evidence

Yolanda Saldívar, the woman convicted of killing the iconic singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, is demanding a new trial. In an exclusive interview with Radar Online, the late “reina de Tejano music’s” former fan club president alleges there is evidence that could free her from her lifetime sentence for the 1995 murder.

Saldívar claims that the prosecutor in her case, Carlos Valdez, has been holding exculpatory material evidence.

According to Saldívar, it is proof that is favorable to the defendant and shows that Valdez did not disclose to the defense or the jury in the trial for Selena’s 1995 murder more than two decades ago. She says that Valdez discussed the alleged evidence, a pair of high top white Reebok sneakers and a black baseball cap, during an interview with Spanish-language media.

“The Petitioner paraphrases Mr. Valdez’s media interview where he stated that he and the defense counsel, the late Mr. Douglas Tinker, discussed what [evidence] would or would not be introduced to the jury,” reads court paperwork of a Second Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Saldívar on March 28, 2019.

“How could this be? It is the jury, no less, that would decide the fate of the Petitioner, between [life] in prison and [freedom]. The jury, NOT the defense or the prosecutor is the trier of fact of all relevant material evidence and they alone should and DID determine between conviction and acquittal,” she writes.

In layman terms, Saldívar contends that allegedly relevant evidence in her case wasn’t presented to the jury.

This information is obligatory, and suggests that leaving out the information was “a nefarious attempt to obscure a verdict against the Petitioner.” According to her, including the hat and shoes in the evidence could impact the case against her.

In the interview, Valdez passively says that Saldívar was wearing the bloody hat and sneakers. He attests that Saldívar stepped in Selena’s trail of blood as she followed the late singer running for her life. However, Saldívar, who claimed the shooting was accidental, asked that if the shoes and bloodstains on them could prove she committed the crime, then why did the prosecution exclude them as evidence.

“The prosecutor, Mr. Valdez, presented evidence of the trail of blood he states the victim left behind as she ran 130 yards (390 feet) from the room to the front lobby of the motel,” the court papers read. “The ‘withholding’ of the victim’s shoes (i.e. White Reebok Tennis Shoes) are of a great consequence because if it is as Mr. Valdez claimed in his March 16, 2018 interview that the Petitioner ‘stepped’ on victim’s blood as she followed the victim, then ‘intent’ would have been proven or disproven. For 23 years, the jury nor the defense knew that such shoes existed.” 

She continued, saying she had “no doubt” the prosecutor “impaired the verity of the evidence by not only withholding the evidence but claiming that those tennis shoes belonged to the defendant, inciting and infecting the public’s sediment even more against the Petitioner before, during and now with his recent media interview.”

Saldívar went as far as accusing Valdez of knowing “those tennis shoes belonged to the victim” and said “withholding them helped get the conviction of the Petitioner practicing a travesty of justice to the rule of law and violating the constitutional rights of the Petitioner.”

Despite her demands, however, Saldívar’s case was dismissed without prejudice because the Petitioner filed the petition in district court and must seek permission from the Fifth Circuit.

Saldívar, a former nurse, founded Selena’s fan club in San Antonio. She became the club’s president and was later also promoted to manager of the late artist’s clothing boutiques, Selena, Etc. 

In 1995, six years after Saldívar had started the club, Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, was receiving complaints from fans that they weren’t receiving their paid items and heard rumors from fellow employees that Saldívar had been embezzling money from both the fan club and the boutiques. As a result, Saldívar was fired. 

On March 31 of the same year, Selena met with Saldívar at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi to retrieve financial records Saldívar had been refusing to give to the Quintanilla family. While the “Como La Flor” singer was leaving the motel room, Saldívar shot her in the back, severing an artery. Selena, in critical condition, ran toward the motel lobby. Before collapsing, an employee claims the songstress named Saldívar as her shooter.

Selena was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. 

At the time, she was 23 years old. Soon after, at the Days Inn, Saldívar was in a nine-hour-long standoff with the police, calling the shooting an accident and threatening to kill herself before she was arrested.

On October 23, 1995, jurors found Saldívar guilty of first-degree murder. Three days later, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole in 30 years — the maximum prison term in Texas at the time. She is currently serving her time at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas. She will become eligible for parole on March 30, 2025.

Read: Netflix Officially Cast The Role Of Selena Quintanilla And ‘Twilight’ Fans Will Be Thrilled