Deanna From “Queer Eye” Was Harassed By Neighbors Who Told Her “The Mexicans Are Building Their Own Wall” But The Fab Five Helped Her Overcome Giving Us Another Reason To Love Them
Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye, featuring the Fab Five, has become a staple of America’s collective therapy. In the days since the fourth season has dropped, we’re all feeling more in touch with our feelings, but never have we been so attacked as when we met Chicana Deanna Muñoz.
Deanna is a proud second generation Mexican-American who struggles with being “stuck” between two cultures. She doesn’t speak Spanish and can’t cook, making her feel like she’s “not Mexican enough”, and racism felt by her white neighbors makes her feel like she’s “not white enough.” Needless to say, that experience is so relatable for most of us second-generation Latino-Americans.
Meet Deanna Muñoz in all her J.Lo glory.
In fact, we call it brujería. Deanna had her first child when she was just 16 years old, and had to drop out of school. As her daughter started pouring her heart into creative writing, she wanted to find her a tutor. With none to be found, she founded the Latino Arts Festival non-profit foundation, to showcase and cultivate Latino culture in Kansas City.
We’re giving Queer Eye a 10/10 for shining a light on cultural Imposter Syndrome within the Latinx community.
Why did Queer Eye do such a good job of this? They created space for Deanna, an actual Chicana, to share her experience to America. So many of us have faced the surprise of both Latinos and non-Latinos alike when we answer that “what are you?” question. In a place like the U.S., where we often come from mixed-culture families, seeing the emotional effects played out on screen is validating AF.
Karamo Brown took Deanna door to door to find neighbors that can counter the racism she experienced by other vecinos.
Deanna’s family had to build a mini wall to reinforce water drainage on their yard, and a neighbor texted her husband saying, “The Mexicans are building their own wall.” 😡
Deanna’s family immediately felt uncomfortable in their own neighborhood. Our favorite Cubano, Karamo, made sure that Deanna went where the love is–and had her create her own welcome to the ‘hood.
And sons and daughters of immigrant parents everywhere sobbed to see the sacrifice.
Deanna’s parents immigrated to the U.S. to give Deanna a better life. So many of our parents or abuelos left their culture and language behind to give their children a new start in life. Seeing Deanna get that is what it’s all about. #NoWall
Meanwhile, Bobbi created a safe space for Latino artists in Kansas City by gifting Deanna an office space.
Deanna was working out of a tiny space in her home, with the third annual Latino Arts Festival upon her. Bobbi was able to create a studio space for Latinx artists, and made sure that Latinx artists influenced the design of the space. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
There was also this Latino lesson: never reject abuela’s food. She’ll bring it to you anyway.
Twitter user Pamela Gocobachi shared, that “one of my fave moments from the new #QueerEye season was in Deanna’s episode when @antoni learned the hard way that you never say no when abuelita asks you if you want to eat something– Martha’s face when he said “later”? Antoni’s face when she brought him food anyway? I DIED”
If you don’t speak Spanish but could relate to Deanna’s struggle to ask for help or take up any space at all, you inherited that from Latino culture.
Not one of us would question Deanna’s Latinidad, but we internalize so much shame for not living like we grew up in a Latin American country. Language and food are just two ways to define culture.
Deanna relatably felt intimidated to be in the kitchen with the viejas.. Deanna felt like her Latin style was seen as “childish” in her board meetings and had trouble being taken seriously. These are the Latino-American experiences we have all experienced and they make us Latino.
If you’re feeling inspired, be like Chloe, and donate to the Latino Arts Foundation!
It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak Spanish and couldn’t roast a poblano for your life–your Latinidad is bigger than that. It’s everything that gives us the birthright to claim that identity, especially in a foreign land. Whether your culture looks like the art of cafecito or appreciating Bad Bunny even though you don’t understand every word he’s saying, somos Latino.
What we do to celebrate that is what we pass on to the next generation. Donate to the Latino Arts Foundation hoy.