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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Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Mike Windler / Getty Images

Ricky Martin has long been an international superstar – even long before ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ took over virtually every airway in the world. But it’s hard to deny that with that song, the Puerto Rican singer entered the global mainstream and ever since he’s been a pop icon.

From being one of the first major pop stars to publicly come out as gay, to acting in popular TV series, and getting married and becoming a father of four, Ricky Martin has always been a very busy man.

And despite a global pandemic that has forced all of us to stay at home and find a ‘new normal,’ Martin has forged a path forward. He recently sat down for an interview with Billboard to discuss everything from new music, the global Coronavirus pandemic, and his identity as an out and proud gay Latino.

Considering we’re all still living amid a global pandemic, the Billboard interview started on this very relevant topic.

Billboard points out that Martin and his family live in a very big and beautiful house in Beverly Hills, which likely makes staying at home a bit easier compared to the rest of us. However, Martin points out that he has a very loud home – with four kids and his mom all living under one roof. But he admits, “…I am very lucky. I am in a comfortable home where my kids can play.”

Ricky Martin is also working on new music. He released Pausa in May, and now as he works on new music the world is a very different place. He told Billboard: “I started working on my music maybe nine months ago. In my mind, the album was going to be called Movimiento, which means movement. But with all this [pandemic], it just told me… “The way it was, was not working. Let’s do it differently.” I have music with rhythm, but I was not going to tell people to move! So I named it Pausa.”

He also speaks about his close relationship with fellow Puerto Rican, El Conejo Malo.

Shortly after Billboard released its history-making cover with Bad Bunny on the the cover, Martin described San Benito as a “Latin queer icon.” Many people – of all backgrounds – took issue with that. But Ricky Martin tells Billboard that “allies are so important. Without them, our fight for equality is impossible. It really tickles me to see Bad Bunny as a gay icon — just like Cher could be. Why not?”

The Puerto Rican singer shared what his coming out experience was like and reveals he never tires of sharing it.

In the interview, Martin is very open about his coming out as gay. The singer came out as gay in 2010, married husband Jwan Yosef in 2017, and together the couple is raising four children.

Rolling Stone asked Martin, 48, what it was like to remain closeted during “the most public, exposed period” of his life.

“I had moments of extreme positivity, and not so positive [moments],” Martin answered. “Life was a bit on steroids in those days. Everything was really intense, but I could take it! I come from a school of military discipline when it comes to training for music, dance, and acting. I started when I was 12. So for me, it was about not being ready to open [up]. When you open an egg from the outside, what comes out is death. But when the egg opens from the inside, what comes out is life. It’s something that needs to come from within. Every time someone forces someone to come out, what you’re doing is you’re destroying the natural flow of the self-discovery.”

When asked what motivated him to come out publicly, Martin said that a kid somewhere in America needs to see positive headlines about coming out.

“Today I woke up to this beautiful headline that I know someone out there is in need of. The headline was something like, ‘I came out. And ever since I’ve been the happiest.’ Something like that, something… My heart is beating faster because I know today a kid somewhere in America woke up needing to hear those words. A lot of people say they get tired of talking about the same thing. Why would I? Are you kidding me? For so many years I had to keep it inside. And then the effect of someone… What people are getting from it in their healing process?”

Billboard also asked Martin his feelings on how the media is profiting and accepting Puerto Rican and Latinx culture.

When asked if he feels that the American media has gotten better or more open to understanding Puerto Rican culture, Martin responded: “We certainly have a long way to go, but the important thing is that we see that there’s an audience that is interested. And it’s up to us to bring [the] education.”

And he’s absolutely right. This year has seen several Latino artists rise to the top of all sorts of charts. Bad Bunny and J Balvin are among the most streamed artists globally and Bad Bunny is one of the most streamed artists on YouTube as well.

Meanwhile, Maluma and Jennifer Lopez are working on a film that will be out early next year. The Emmy’s, VMAs, and other award shows finally had decent representation of artists of color – particularly among the Latinx community.

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The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

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The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for his progressive views on contemporary issues. Since his election to papal office in 2013, Pope Francis has largely been considered open-minded due to his comparatively laid-back stances on controversial topics like divorce, climate change, and LGBT issues.

On Thursday, the Jesuit publication American Magazine reported that Pope Francis recently told the parents of LGBT children that “God loves your children as they are.”

via Getty Images

According to the publication, the Pope was having a dialogue with the parent of a lapsed-Catholic gay child who had left the church because “he did not feel accepted in his diversity”. The woman, whose name is Mara Grassi, is the Vice President of an association called “Jonathan’s Tent,” which “welcomes and provides information and formation to L.G.B.T. Christians, their families and pastoral workers.”

Before describing her interaction with the Pope, Grassi explained her journey as a Catholic parent of a gay child to American Magazine. “For many years I was like a blind person,” she said.

“After I came to know that my son was homosexual, I suffered a lot because the rules of the church made me think that he was excluded from the love of God. Nobody helped me,” Grassi added.

via Getty Images

It was only when Grassi attended a Catholic vigil against homophobia and connected with other parents of gay children that she realized that “faith and homosexuality are not in opposition” and that “God loves my son as he is.” And according to this most recent report, the Pope’s opinion seems to be in accordance with Grassi’s beliefs.

Grassi told American Magazine that she told the Pope she wanted to “create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.” It was in response to this statement that the Pope told her: “The church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”

According to the same report, before he left, Jonathan’s Tent gifted the Pope a rainbow-colored T-shirt with the words “In love there is no fear” written across the front.

Considering the Catholic Church’s traditionally conservative stances on gay issues, the Pope’s statement was surprising to many. In the past, the Catholic Church’s stance has been that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law.”

The Pope himself also has a complicated track record on gay rights, implying that gay marriage “threatens” the “very institution of marriage”. However, he has also previously expressed sympathy and modest support for people in the queer community as well as their loved ones, saying “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?”.

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