Entertainment

Queer Latinas Have A Very Relatable Character In ODAAT’s Elena Alvarez

Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” is truly one of the only sitcom comedies so many people have been able to relate to. Based on the CBS sitcom of the same name, Netflix upped its relevance by basing the story around a Cuban-American family. The show features a single mom, who is also a veteran suffering from PTSD; an abuelita Cuban immigrant; her pet grandson who can do no wrong; and Elena Alvarez, a teenage girl coming to terms with her sexuality.

Watching a gay Latina, well-played by straight ally Isabella Gomez, navigate teenagehood in an overprotective Latino home is a world of difference from similar shows targeting white audiences. Often, our experiences don’t come close to the loving response Elena gets, but seeing it come to fruition for a fictional character is everything. Here are some of the times Elena was the queer Latina representation that has been missing for too long.

We said it to our mami’s over and over again and they thought we were wacky feminists.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Well, it was all true. Elena’s mom’s response was like all of ours: “I know, honey, but you’ll find the right boy and then you’ll know.” Nope. There never was a right boy.

We all had one best friend that we called wifey and held hands with.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

You didn’t have romantic feelings for them (or maybe you did), but the intimacy you craved most was with girls and your lesbian heart knows no depths of love for your BFF. 

IRL, Gomez is besties with her on-screen bestie, played by Ariela Barer.

You were excited about saving the planet as a teenager.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Sure, the activist lesbian is a stereotype, but I haven’t found a fellow queero who wasn’t either vegan, plastic-free, or concerned about world affairs as a teenager. The world needs us.

You were the feminist authority in the house.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Before Elena’s sexuality ever came into question on the show, she was teaching Feminism 101 to all the generations that came before her. Same.

And you were never trying to be ladylike.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

The “how are you going to get a husband with Cheetos for fingers?” worked nothing on us. No me importa.

You were a constant disappointment for your lack of enthusiasm for beauty products.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

My mom threw away my skater Vans in a public dumpster to force me to buy different shoes or walk home barefoot, HBU?

Your reaction to kissing a boy for the first time was something like this:

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

I mean, it usually wasn’t, right? ????Elena thought that if there was ever a boy that she would like, it would be cutie pie Josh. Raise your hand if you gave yourself this test before just letting yourself be gay? ????‍♀️

Your abuela or tías kept trying to force boys onto you.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Or Elena onto Josh, in this case. Or your cousins kept calling you a snob for not being into the cutest boy on the block. “What, are you too good for him?” Uh, probably, yes.

When Elena justifies her attraction to Josh because he likes “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

These are solid reasons, Elena. Most people don’t have to write a list of nice things about a person to convince them they like them. Take note, baby gays.

“I feel more when I see a photo of Kristen Stewart than I do when I’m kissing him.”

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

During Elena’s official coming out to her mom, it all clicked for Lupe right here in this moment. For my mom it was, “I had a feeling. You always made a disgusting face when I mentioned cojones.”

It’s like, you’re my mother. Who wouldn’t make a face?

When it’s so complicated figuring out if the girl you like also likes girls (and you)…

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Sometimes, you have to revert to cave speak. Let’s be real, coming out at any age is like resetting the clock to a 12-year-old boy. Eyes up, eyes up.

ODAAT devotes so much good screen time to getting Elena’s S.O., Syd’s pronouns right.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

They identify as they/them and when Elena’s mom starts calling them girlfriends, these two set everyone straight. They spent half an episode trying to figure out a gender neutral, affectionate term for each other. 

And the right amount of awkwardness when Lupe gives Elena the ‘sex talk.’

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Lupe goes to her “lesbian Yoda”, played by Judy Reyes, for advice and comes back with this. K…

When Elena’s dramatic abuela tells her how to come out of the closet.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Apparently, flamingo style and with lots of flair. Lydia proves to be a priceless element of what it means to be queer and Latina.

Having to explain to her abuela identifying as gay is important by bringing up her Cubanidad.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

How many times have we heard someone’s abuela complain about why the gays have to have their own parade? But, yeah, we’re here to build the floats for all your Cuban parades, too.

When the abuela is in pure denial about the other gays in the family.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

“How is that gay?”

Literally, they all went to her wedding but Lydia eventually confesses she thought it was just a “very affectionate BBQ.” 

When Elena asked if she could wear Docs with her quince dress. ????

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

I’m dead. When her abuela surprised her with a pantsuit instead of a poofy dress on her big day, I was sobbing right along with Elena.

Of course, what’s being a queer Latina without a homophobic dad to throw into the mix.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Luckily, he ends up coming around, but not before bailing on her at her own quince. ODAAT isn’t the fantasy world of what we all wish our childhood could have been. The machismo is real, and it made her dad bounce during the father-daughter dance.

Seeing Elena dance the father-daughter dance with her mami had us all ???? ???? ???? 

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Above all, this is a show about strong, empowered women, of all sexualities, ages, and interests coming together. There’s a reason why therapists are prescribing this show to their lesbian Latina clients (it me.)

We ultimately get to see Elena become comfortable and confident in her identity.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

When she confronts her father again and someone made a hat that said V.A.G. (short for Victor Alvarez Guapísimo), he refused to wear it. This. ???? 

And watch her family climb on board…

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Granted, Lydia had to become accidentally super duper high to make this realization, but, yes, the opera is gay. ; ) If you are, too, we highly recommend “One Day at a Time,” now streaming all three seasons on Netflix.

READ: The All-Time Best Quotes From Lydia On ODAAT That Are Too Relatable

Here Are Some Queer Films And Shows To Watch To Start Pride Off Right

Entertainment

Here Are Some Queer Films And Shows To Watch To Start Pride Off Right

posefx / onedayatatimepoptv / Instagram

Pride Month is here and that means it is time to highlight the already celebrated LGBTQ+ shows and movies that have made a mark on us. Since Pride and the COVID pandemic are coinciding, it is a good time to watch some of the best examples of LGBTQ+ Latino entertainment.

“Moonlight”

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, “Moonlight” brought Afro-Latino, Black, and queer storylines together. The movie follows a young Black man in Miami and his own trials and tribulations growing up with a mother who is addicted to drugs. His life is changed thanks to an Afro-Cuban man who takes him under his wing and shows him how to make it through his adolescents.

“To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar”

One of the most popular classic films in LGBTQ+ cinema. “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar” follows three drag queens who drive from New York to Los Angeles for a national drag beauty pageant. Chi Chi Rodriguez, played by Joh Leguizamo, convinces the two competing queens to let him ride with them. Along the way, Rodriguez learns what it means to be a drag queen and the queens all learn a lot from a small, rural community filled with unexpected love and understanding.

“Pose”

“Pose” brings the ballroom culture straight to your living room. Set at the beginning in 1987 New York City during the peak of the AIDs epidemic, “Pose” empowers the queer people of color of the time. Ballroom culture is an underground dancing culture that has jumped into the mainstream because of “Pose.” The show takes the narrative of HIV-positive people of color in the time and empowers them rather than tears them down.

“Tangerine”

“Tangerine” is the story of a prostitute on a mission. The main character gets out of jail and learns that their boyfriend and pimp has started a new relationship with another woman. So, she and her friend set out to find him and teach the two a lesson for straying from her while she was incarcerated.

“Gentefied”

“Genetfied” is the latest Netflix hit and it is all about gentrification and the fight to keep Boyle Heights Latino. In the overall story, there is a lesbian relationship that is leaving everyone with all kinds of envy.

“One Day At A Time”

Netflix really misstepped here when they pulled the plug on their production of “One Day At A Time” but Pop TV saved the show. The first three seasons are currently on Netflix so you can still watch all of those episodes and enjoy the growing openness of Elena as she comes out.

“La casa de las flores”

This telenovela is truly one of the most incredible projects with LGBTQ+ characters today. Even Valentina, the famed drag queen from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is in the latest season solidifying the shows LGBTQ+ status.

READ: The Trailer For The Final Season Of ‘La Casa De Las Flores’ Is Here And We’re Not Ready To Say Goodbye

‘One Day At a Time’ Filming Without Audience Over Coronavirus

Entertainment

‘One Day At a Time’ Filming Without Audience Over Coronavirus

One Day At A Time / Netflix

Ay yay yay looks like One Day A Time has caught the fever.

Sí mi gente, your beloved “One Day A Time” series has caught onto the coronavirus scare. According to Deadline the comedy series from Pop TV has been audience-free since Tuesday.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the beloved primetime multi-camera sitcom has decided to forgo forego taping in front of live audiences.

Pop TV

According to a statement from ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Brands their “top priority is the safety of our guests and staff. All of our LA based shows including Comedy Central’s Lights Out With David Spade and Tosh.0 will film without an audience starting Monday, March 16th. There have been no developments at Lights Out or Tosh.0 to cause concern for audience members who have plans to attend tonight’s tapings. MTV’s Ridiculousness will also tape without an audience beginning today and Pop TV’s One Day at a Time has been doing so since Tuesday. These decisions have been made out of an abundance of caution and concern regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

Earlier this year, when news that Netflix had canceled the critically acclaimed show “One Day at a Time” hit Twitter, many were feared the entire site would be burned down.

Pop TV

News that the beloved comedy-drama, which followed the life of a Cuban American family, had officially been canceled spurned various criticisms of Netflix and backlash from the show’s fanbase. Netflix users decried the decision accusing the site of giving POC viewers low priority and nearly no visibility through its shows. Some canceled their Netflix accounts altogether and even started hashtags to do the same. To say the least, fans were devastated.  

So when the TV channel PopTV announced that fans had convinced them enough to save the series and buy it for their own, Latino viewers were beyond elated. Here’s hoping fans of the series get a chance to attend live productions soon!