Entertainment

Proof That Carmen Carrera Is The Trans Latina Warrior We All Need In This Crazy World

We all know and love Carmen Carrera for her unapologetic assertion that trans lives matter, in the face of political warfare, and even just ignorant, disrespectful remarks. We haven’t always known her to be this warrior, though. When we first met Carmen Carrera, she was just meeting herself for in a real way on RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she identified as a gay man.

Today, Carmen Carrera has put RuPaul himself in his place on his transphobic remarks and has become a Puerto Rican-Peruvian supermodel. Hear her open up about her childhood and where she is today.

Carmen Carrera was born in Elmwood Park, New Jersey.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

Her parents were Puerto Rican and Peruvian and moved to the United States for a better life.

She’s been criticized by other Latinos for not being “Puerto Rican enough.”

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

In an interview with HuffPost, her response was bella: “I think that if you are in America, you should live as Americans do. I have Puerto Rican roots — I eat rice and beans everyday! (laughs). I was born here and this is my country. I do visit Puerto Rico often; however, what the other girls think is a bunch of bullshit in my opinion. It’s like if I said they aren’t American enough. Kiss my ass!”

She named herself, Carmen, after her mother.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

Her mother is Peruvian and Carrera has penned in W Magazine that she is a “big beauty inspiration.”

“We’d always be singing the latest hits, and she would enroll me in little plays, but I was shy. I was more into doing things by myself: I’d wrap a T-shirt around my head and put on makeup to try to look like her. I knew that I was different, but my mom never told me I should be any other way. Consequently, I didn’t grow up thinking that I was wrong being who I was—until I got to school. That’s when the actress in me had to come out.”

Her father passed from complications to AIDS.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

In 2013, Carrera opened up on Facebook about her relationship with her father and with herself:

“I grew up without a father because he was too selfish to understand he was needed at home. He spent his time running the streets, catching AIDS, and leaving me and my mother behind when I was 2. I hid who I was in high school because I was afraid to be me. I grew up partly ashamed of who I was because I wasn’t like the “normal kids”. I couldn’t enjoy being happy in school, I was so focused on playing a role just so I can be with the popular kids. I played the role so well that after high school I met someone that loved my act so much, he married me. It took me 25 years to realize I couldn’t take it anymore, no one was giving me an Oscar anytime soon. I was done acting… Time to move on… Now that I’m being true to who I am on the inside, you’d think I’d be happy right? I’ve never experienced the type of heartbreaks I’ve felt in the past 2 years. Rejection, judgment, hatred, prejudice. I swear these are the times I realize how strong I am. Will I let it get to me? Hell NO. It’s not my fault the world isn’t ready to begin to understand how real I am, how deep I am. I will never go back to pretending. God made me a strong person for a reason. If I can pick myself up from the type of pain that almost feels like its manifesting on my body as physical pain, you can deal with whatever you’re dealing with, my loves.

Don’t ever sell out. Always stay on your grind. Never lose the ability to love. Be at your best and understand that life is a lesson. The quicker you learn, the quicker you can reach your promise-land 

She was kicked out of Catholic school for being too feminine.

CREDIT: @GAYLETTER / Twitter

She had a crush on this boy named Anthony and “the nuns were not having it,” Carrera told Cosmopolitan. “I ended up going to public school in the first grade, and that’s when I knew I had to be very strategic about my survival in school. I tried my best to be friends with people who were going to protect me. I hid behind people. As a result, I didn’t go to my prom, I didn’t get to have any slumber parties, I didn’t get to develop myself as a young person — it really impaired my growth.”

On RuPaul’s Drag Race, she was called “the pretty one.”

CREDIT: @internet_gril / Twitter

I mean, because we’ve all seen her at this point right? Total smoke show. Today, she’s a supermodel.

Fans petitioned for Victoria’s Secret to include her in their fashion show.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

The petition received 45,000 signatures back in 2013 and received a ton of media coverage. To this day, Victoria’s Secret has yet to include a transgender model on their runway.

Carrera finds peace with her baby pictures.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

It makes perfect sense why many trans people are pained to see childhood photos that reflect a time of total vulnerability to society before they were free from living up to a standard that didn’t match their innermost desires. Carrera shared this photo on her Instagram with this caption:

“I’m so proud to say that I’m still in touch with my inner child 👶🏼 This baby is turning 33 today feeling empowered, standing up for what she believes in and also never forgetting how far she’s come. I look into my own eyes in this photo and remember having way too much knowledge of self at the time and being almost afraid of it because the outside world reflected the opposite. I was too smart. I remember how my inner dialog, even back to the day this photo was taken, had always been center focused on how or where I would fit into this world. I’m glad to say that even through all the adversity and tribulations, that I am still able to smile and still able to rise to the occasion of my destiny, keeping true to the loving and joyful nature I was born with. 🤪😌🤟🏼 ”

Carrera came out as trans immediately after her season of RuPaul’s Drag Race wrapped.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

She tells Attitude, “When I came through, I was a wide-eyed kid in New York City, not knowing who I was, I just wanted to learn. So I was like a sponge. I went to the gay clubs and made tons of friends that I still have, and I got to know the trans girls in the drag scene and the drag community, and performance art. Now I feel like after I’ve transitioned, there’s still that kind of disconnect between drag performers who live their life as male and go on stage as female, versus the trans performers. That’s where I feel like we need the most work.”

Carrera has called RuPaul himself out on his transphobia on the show.

CREDIT: @JWilliamJames / Twitter

The show used to have a “SheMail” as a way of notifying contestants of their upcoming challenged, which obviously plays off the transphobic slur “she-male.” The show changed the phrase after she continued to speak out and there was backlash against Carrera for ‘biting the hand that fed her.’

Carrera has had to break down Katie Couric’s own ignorance during an interview.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

Carrera literally shushed Katie Couric when she straight up asked about her “private parts.”

“I don’t want to talk about it because it’s really personal and I’d rather talk about my modeling stuff, being in Italian Vogue, and showing people that after the transition, there’s still life to live.”

After that snafu, Couric was inspired to create an entire documentary on “Gender Evolution.”

She publicly came out as trans on an episode of Primetime: What Would You Do?

CREDIT: @anorderlymess / Twitter

You remember those social experiment shows? Carrera played a transgender server that was being hurled (staged) abuse by a customer to see how many people would come to her defense. From the beginning of her transition, Carrera has been speaking out for others in her position.

Carerra’s transition has been entirely public, and for that, she’s become a trans icon.

CREDIT: PopSugar / YouTube

We first met her on RuPaul as an out gay man, and last saw her on the show at the beginning of her transition. Since then, she’s gone on to model in Miami Swim Week, for David LaChapelle and on countless magazine covers. Her modeling career and public name is making waves for trans awareness.

Carrera urged all of her followers to vote in the midterms.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

It’s no secret that the Trump administration has actively been trying to hide trans people behind closed doors. Carrera refuses to allow that to happen and you can find her posting lingerie photos followed by VOTE promotional images in the same Instagram post.

Carrera held out hope at first that Trump wouldn’t attack her and her community.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Twitter

She told People Magazine, “I wanted to try my best to believe that [Trump would] be here for us and to understand what we were going through. I would just urge him to look at the facts and to understand the people that he’s affecting and how they are being affected. Just take a couple of moments to empathize with what we’re going through.”

She’s one of 1.4 million Americans to update their birth certificates to match their gender identity.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

Carrera is doing all of this for herself and for young trans kids who don’t see themselves reflected accurately in the media. “Just know that we’re here to fight for this. I’m trying to break ground in the industries I work in and I’m doing it for the trans youth across the globe,” Carrera told People.

Carrera became the first transgender person to get married on public television.

CREDIT: People / Pinterest

She married her longtime partner Adrian Torres on Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn. The two started dating a decade ago and were in a domestic partnership until their split in 2013, around when Carrera began her transition.

The two have two daughters together.

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

They are not these pomeranians. Torres’ daughters, Ahsia and Leeah, are from a previous relationship and Carrera considers them as her own children.

“When we originally got together, we sometimes felt like it was us against the world. But now, incredibly, it’s us with the world,” she told People. “Our children are so smart and such a big part of our lives. Having them there with us while we made this commitment really solidifies our existence as a family.”

She made a cameo appearance on Jane the Virgin‘s pilot episode.

CREDIT: @MisterManu / Twitter

In an interview with Attitude, she said, “ideally I’d like to do non-trans roles. I’d like to just play a female character, just a teacher, a mom, or whatever, you know. Something relatable to women so that it normalises the idea that trans people can play regular roles and have regular jobs and be embraced for how they present themselves to be.” BOOM. She’s crushing it.

Carrera’s idol is J.Lo–just like us!

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

The first song she ever performed on stage was actually Jennifer Lopez’ “Step Into My World” at Escuelita’s Diva Search in New York City. She told we are mitú that she remembers every exchange she’s ever had with the icon.

“Throughout the years, she’d watch me. I saw her at the GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Awards and she congratulated me. Then I saw her again in Vegas at her concert and she asked me how things were going,” Carrera says. “It was just so good to know that someone else that comes from a similar background like me and who I have similar struggles with, other than being Latinx, [supports me]. It was just good to know that she was supportive and that she still watches so that really inspires me to be better.”

We can’t wait to see what’s next for you, Carmen!

CREDIT: @carmen_carrera / Instagram

Victoria’s Secret doesn’t deserve you, Archangel, and we’re so happy that you’ve taken on the very personal task of raising awareness for trans people, their stories and breaking stereotypes. 👏👏👏


READ: Here Are 11 LGBTQ Latinos Who Will Make You Proud To Say You Are Part Of The Same Community

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Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

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Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

Bryan Bedder / Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES

CNN and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) hosted a historic town hall last night focusing on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community. The moderators and presidential candidates tackled topics and hard-hitting issues that have severely impacted the lives of millions of LGBTQ+ Americans. The town hall happened as the Supreme Court is deciding if LGBTQ+ people are deserving of the same discrimination protections as all Americans. Here’s what happened last night.

Texas politician Julián Castro made it clear that religion will not be an excuse for LGBTQ+ discrimination in his administration.

There have numerous attempts by local and state governments to legalize religious discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. The bills, often labeled as Religious Freedom bills, have been proposed in North Carolina and Indiana and failed. North Carolina wanted to legislate what bathroom people had to use and Indiana wanted to give religious organizations and business owners the license to outright discriminate against people based on their faith.

“If I’m elected president, the first order of business on January 20, 2021, will be to have a catalog with all of the different executive actions that this president, this administration, has taken, including exemptions that they’ve created or rolled back that has allowed people to discriminate against the LGBTQ, using as the reason their religion, their excuse their religion,” Castro told an audience member who asked how he will stop religious organizations from using their faith to dictate discriminatory laws. “I will go back to what we did in the Obama administration and then take it to the next level to protect the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that anybody should be bale to discriminate against you because you are a member of the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that folks should be getting funding if they’re doing that. I don’t believe that in the healthcare context, the housing context, the employment context that people should be able to do that. I support the Equality Act and will work to pass that. When I was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we did the transgender rule, which as I mentioned, expanded the equal access rule so that transgender individuals can find shelter in a manner that they are comfortable with and in accordance to their preference and that’s what I would do as president.”

Castro’s performance during the LGBTQ+ town hall has received praise from LGBTQ+ people.

Credit: @cmclymer / Twitter

Castro was able to speak about the issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community with an understanding that proves he isn’t going off talking points.

His conversation about faith and the license to discriminate showed his understanding of religion and LGBTQ+ people of faith.

Credit: @TUSK81 / Twitter

Castro wants to keep religion from attacking the very LGBTQ+ people of faith who depend on it. For many religious LGBTQ+ people, seeing religious leaders claim that their faith doesn’t accept them is a harsh reality.

Trans women of color let their voices be heard in a town hall that largely ignored them.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg was interrupted when he started his time on the stage. Trans activist Bamby Salcedo and other trans women of color stormed the venue holding trans flag that read “We Are Dying.” The women chanted “We are dying” and “Do something.” Some audience members joined the women in their protest however others jumped up to take the flag away and end the protest.

Anderson Cooper, who was moderating for Buttigieg, spoke up for the women as they were escorted out telling the audience, “Let me just point out, there is a long and proud tradition in history in the gay, lesbian and transgender community of protest and we applaud them for their protest.”

Cooper continued saying, “And they are absolutely right to be angry and upset at the lack of attention, particularly in the media, of the lives of transgender [people].”

Another trans activist, Blossom C Brown, also took on the moderators about the lack of Black trans voices during the town hall.

A lot of the conversation during the town hall focused on issues impacting gay men, trans women, and bisexual people. Many are calling out the town hall for ignoring trans people of color, lesbians, and non-binary people when it comes to health, housing, identity expression, and other issues impacting these communities specifically.

Ashlee Marie Preston, the only trans Black woman in the program, was taken out of the program by CNN so she publicly boycotted the event.

Credit: @AshleeMPreston / Twitter

There was a pretty glaring lack of trans women and men of color during the hours of discussion about LGBTQ+ issues. It is a common complaint within the community as trans women of color have long been ignored and silenced within the LGBTQ+ Rights movement.

READ: After Almost Two Years, Trans Activist Alejandra Barrera Has Been Released From ICE Custody

The Supreme Court’s Term Is Starting Off With Major Cases That Will Impact The Lives Of Many Americans

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The Supreme Court’s Term Is Starting Off With Major Cases That Will Impact The Lives Of Many Americans

Molly Adams / Flickr

The nine justices of the Supreme Court will return to the chambers to an explosive docket. The court is set to hear cases covering an array of social issues from abortion to DACA to LGBTQ+ discrimination to the Second Amendment. It is shaping up to be a major term for the highest court in the land.

The Supreme Court is getting ready to hear a series of cases that could impact some of the biggest social issues in American culture.

Credit: @hshaban / Twitter

All eyes are on the Supreme Court as major cases are being presented. Some of the cases included in the docket for this term of the Supreme Court are the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the definition of “sex” as it pertains to Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act and the LGBTQ community’s right to work without discrimination, an abortion case from Louisiana seeking to limit abortion rights, and a gun regulation from New York City.

On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court heard arguments about discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.

In almost half of the country, there are no laws protecting people in the LGBTQ+ community from being discriminated against in the workplace. The Supreme Court heard arguments from two gay men and one trans woman claiming that they were fired from their places of work because of their identity.

During oral arguments, when the employers being sued in the case argued that sex is different than same-sex attraction, Justice Elena Kagan suggested that the law does favor the employees.

“If he were a woman, he wouldn’t have been fired,” Justice Kagan told General Solicitor Noel Francisco, who is representing the employers. “This is the usual kind of way in which we interpret statutes now. We look to laws. We don’t look to predictions. We don’t look to desires. We don’t look to wishes. We look to laws.”

The Trump administration is aiming to get rid of DACA protections from almost 700,000 young people.

Credit: @SenWarren / Twitter

DACA is a program that was first created by President Obama. It gave almost 700,000 young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children the chance to go to college, get work permits, and protected them from deportation. The Trump administration ended the program in 2017 and immediately threw the lives of all DACA recipients in limbo.

United We Dream, a DACA-led media company filed its own brief with the Supreme Court. The brief is a first-of-its-kind video brief with DACA recipients arguing their case for preserving DACA. The organization also included an official written brief.

“DACA has accomplished far more than affording deferred prosecutorial action. It has created lifechanging opportunities for hundreds of thousands of promising young people. DACA has allowed them to lead fuller and more vibrant lives, including by seizing opportunities to advance their education, furthering their careers, providing critical help to their families, and giving back to their communities,” reads the United We Dream brief. “Able to make use of the basic building blocks of a productive life—a Social Security number, work authorization, or driver’s license, for example—DACA recipients have thrived. They are students, teachers, health care workers, first responders, community leaders, and small business owners. They are also spouses, neighbors, classmates, friends, and coworkers. Collectively, they are parents of over a quarter-million U.S. citizens, and 70% of DACA recipients have an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen. They pay taxes, contribute to their local economies in myriad ways, and spur a virtuous cycle of further opportunity for many Americans.”

Another case people are watching is an abortion case coming out of Louisiana.

Credit: @IlhanMN / Twitter

The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, isn’t aiming to overturn Roe v. Wade but it is hoping to limit the abortion rights of women starting in Louisiana. The law being challenged requires all abortion providers to get privileges are a hospital 30 miles from where the abortions take place.

The case is very similar to a Texas case that the Supreme Court rejected three terms ago. As such, the Louisiana case is asking the Supreme Court to distinguish between the two cases and to determine that the restriction is legitimate if a legislator vouches that the restriction is valid rather than it being valid in practice. As it stands, the law would leave just one doctor in the state of Louisiana allowed to perform abortions.

Another case getting some attention as it sits on the Supreme Court docket deals with the Second Amendment.

Credit: @DaigleLawGroup / Twitter

New York City’s original rule made it so handguns could only be transported to seven gun ranges throughout the city. While the case was originally contested because of the rule. New York City changed the rule and asked the court to dismiss the case as moot, but the court rejected the motion. This will be the first time the Supreme Court has heard a case about the Second Amendment’s reach in over a decade and is being hailed as a victory for gun rights advocates.

READ: DACA Advocates Shut Down Joe Biden At Last Night’s Democratic Debate, Here’s The Message They Delivered Loud And Clear