Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for iHeart
Former Fifth Harmony member Lauren Jauregui is opening up about a traumatic time in her life that affects the way she approaches romantic relationships to this day.
On Becky G‘s En La Sala podcast, Jauregui revealed that the imaginary relationships that fans “shipped” between her and Camila Cabello made her “disgustingly uncomfortable”.
As a background, “shipping” is an internet phenomenon in which fans want two people (either real or imagined) to get together in a romantic relationship. On the internet, “shipping” usually consists of fans producing art or other creative works to support their imagined storyline.
Jauregui and Cabello were the centerpiece of such a fandom. Fans even had an imagined portmanteau for the duo: “Camren”. Fans would interpret everything–a stray glance, a lingering hug, them dancing on stage together–as evidence that they were secretly dating. But the two women were never in a romantic relationship.
Jauregui–who now identifies as bisexual–explained that the rumors upset her so much for a myriad of reasons. First, she didn’t have romantic feelings towards Cabello. “Camila and I were just very good friends at that time,” she explained to Becky G. “And we respected each other. When each other would talk, we would look at each other. We had love for each other. Like, genuine friendship.”
Number two, Jauregui was aware that Cabello was not queer, and that fact further complicated things.
“It made me feel like a predator,” she said. “Because of the type of clips people would put together and the type of stories people would write and the type of stuff–I was always the aggressor and I was always the one turning her. I was always the one who was the ‘masculine’ energy in the scenario and it made me very uncomfortable because that is not how I identify.”
Jauregui also explains that the rumors were hard for her because, at the time, she wasn’t ready to come out publicly. “I wasn’t even comfortable with telling my parents about it,” she said. “I wasn’t even comfortable telling myself that I was queer.”
All of the speculation around her relationship with Cabello had lasting effects on her confidence with women.
“To this day I have an issue flirting with girls because I don’t want to make them think that I’m trying to invade or anything like that,” she revealed.
Jauregui went on to say that she doesn’t usually talk about that time of her life in public because it was “so traumatizing” for her. “I just chose to ignore it at a certain point, because getting angry to [those fans] would mean that it was real and validated it more for them. So I was like, okay, then I can’t get angry or defend myself, apparently, because that just makes it more real [for them]. It just really f—– with my head.”
Lauren Jauregui’s revelation is just another example of how fans can sometimes forget that celebrities are people too. Unfortunately, Jauregui experienced trauma at the hands of people who probably thought the entire thing was just fun and games.
With homosexuality still illegal in more than 60 countries around the world and attitudes towards transgendered people often even less welcoming, it’s obvious why so many people risk their lives to migrate to the United States.
However, that journey to a better life is often one of many dangerous hurdles and often times, once swept up in immigration proceedings, things don’t get much better.
LGBTQ detainees across the country have shared harrowing experiences of being mocked or tortured for their gender identity or sexual orientation. Many others have been sexually assaulted while in ICE custody or while waiting for their asylum claims at the U.S.-Mexico border. And transgendered and HIV-positive detainees have both been denied medically necessary healthcare that has posed a risk to their lives.
LGBTQ migrants have the same issues and problems to worry about that all other migrants face, however, the LGBTQ experience comes with several extra hurdles.
LGBTQ migrants coming to the U.S. face unique challenges that often put them at increased risk of violence.
Like so many others, LGBTQ migrants are often fleeing violence and persecution in their native countries. But despite often fleeing sexual violence and trans- and homophobia, so many migrants are sexually assaulted while in U.S. custody.
While just 0.14 percent of ICE detainees self-identified as LGBTQ in 2017, they reportedly accounted for 12 percent of sexual abuse and assault victims.
Based on a new report from the Center for American Progress, a public policy research and advocacy organization, LGBTQ migrants in federal detention centers are 97 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than other detainees.
Studies show LGBTQ migrants are among the most vulnerable, more likely to be assaulted and killed, especially trans migrants. Of Central American LGBTQ migrants interviewed by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in 2017, 88 percent were victims of sexual and gender-based violence in their countries of origin; two-thirds suffered similar attacks in Mexico.
Human rights group allege that ICE fails to provide proper medical care to LGBTQ migrants – particularly trans and HIV-positive detainees.
Migrant advocacy groups and several lawmakers have demanded that ICE release all LGBTQ detainees and anyone with HIV in the agency’s custody, because the government has repeatedly failed to provide adequate medical and mental health care to them.
“We know that lack of medical and mental-health care, including lack of HIV care, is the norm,” Roger Coggan, director of legal services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “By the Department of Homeland Security’s own count, 300 individuals identifying as transgender have been in custody and at the mercy of ICE since October of 2018.
For detainees with HIV, antiretroviral treatment is necessary to help kill and suppress the virus which ensures a healthy life but also reduces the risk of transmission to basically zero. Yet ICE is failing to provide this life-saving care.
Johana Medina Leon, a transgender woman who was detained at Otero and had tested positive for HIV, fell seriously ill and died at a hospital in nearby El Paso. Leon, 25, was the second trans woman to die in ICE custody in New Mexico in the past year. Roxsana Hernandez, 33, died in November 2018 after falling ill at the Cibola County Correctional Facility.
Meanwhile, Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy is presenting additional challenges to the LGBTQ community.
While the Trump administration has severely limited asylum qualifications for Central Americans fleeing gang violence and domestic abuse, migrants can still request asylum based on persecution because of their gender identity and/or their sexual orientation. But their path is far from easy.
The administration continues to return LGBTQ migrants to Mexican border cities where they face assaults, kidnappings and death while they await U.S. court hearings.
“Here, the same as at home, the police discriminate against us,” Alejandro Perez told NBC News in early October. “We’re very vulnerable. I don’t feel safe here in Mexico.”
Border Patrol officials initially said “vulnerable” asylum seekers would be exempted from the Remain in Mexico program, including those who are LGBTQ, pregnant or disabled. But that hasn’t been the case.
Thankfully, the LGBTQ Center Orange County is working hard to protect and help the most vulnerable.
Southern California is home to the nation’s largest undocumented community, which means organizations like the LGBTQ Center Orange County have their work cut out for them. However, the center has proudly stood up to help in powerful and life-changing ways.
The LGBTQ Center OC is one of the leading migrant outreach centers in the region, attending numerous events throughout the year and providing outreach at the Mexican consulate in Santa Ana – each year reaching more than 5,000 people. The center also played a pivotal role in ending the partnership of Santa Ana Police and the Orange County Sheriff with ICE, bringing an end to ICE detention within the county.
As those migrants were detained at facilities outside the county – sometimes more than two hours away – the center mobilized volunteers to help stay in touch with detainees. This team helps provide much needed companionship through letters and notes, as well as providing legal representation and even cash payments that help detainees get everything from a filling meal to in-person visits.
And the work the center does is so important because it shouldn’t just be on detainees to speak out. All of us as part of the LGBTQ and migrant communities should support those in detention and speak out about the injustices they’re suffering in detention.
The Center is hosting a digital posada and you’re invited!
We all know the tradition of a posada. So many of us grew up with a holiday season full of them and although this year will look very different (thanks to Covid-19), the LGBTQ Center OC wants to keep the tradition and celebration alive.
Posadas commemorate the journey of Mary and Joseph in search of a safe refuge, a sentiment that so many migrants and refugees in our communities can relate to. It’s with this spirit that the center is hosting it’s annual posada – but virtually.
The important event is free for all to attend but is a critical fundraising event that enables the center to do all that it does for the LGBTQ migrant community across Southern California. You can learn more and RSVP here but just know that it’s an event you do not want to miss.
Not only will you be able to virtually hang out with members of the community and leaders from the LGBTQ Center OC but there will also be a screening of the short documentary, Before & After Detention, a spirited round of lotería, raffle, and a live performance by the LGBTQ Mariachi Arcoíris de Los Angeles.
Selena Gomez is ready to make mountains into movies
The Texas-born singer, actress, and producer has set her sights on a big-screen biopic about Peruvian mountaineer Silvia Vásquez-Lavado who became the first Peruvian woman to summit Mount Everest. Vásquez-Lavado is also the first openly gay woman to scale the Seven Summits in their entirety.
In the Shadow of the Mountain is an upcoming biopic based on Vásquez-Lavado’s memoir of the same name.
The Seven Summits challenge encourages climbers to climb the highest mountain on each continent.
Vásquez-Lavado’s story of pursuit and inspiration will be produced by Scott Budnick’s impact-focused co-finance company One Community. The company is a film, television, and digital content co-financing company that “harnesses the power of storytelling to inspire and encourage positive change in the world.” The film aligns with One Community’s efforts given the fact that Vásquez-Lavado’s story follows her childhood experience of assault and neglect. According to Vásquez-Lavado mountaineering proved to be a source of healing.
Vásquez-Lavado’s memoir In the Shadow of the Mountain is scheduled to be published in winter 2022.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Vásquez-Lavado’s work in survivor circles has been heralded, particularly her efforts to organize treks to Mt. Everest’s base camp for other women who have endured abuse.”
Oscar-winner Donna Gigliotti who is set to produce the film, called Vásquez-Lavado “a force of nature.” Scott and I are so excited to work with Elgin and Selena to tell this story of resilience, courage, adventure, and humanity.”
Gigliotti has worked on acclaimed films such as best picture Oscar-winner Shakespeare in Love, she also produced films such as The Reader, Silver Linings Playbook, and Hidden Figures.
“We are thrilled to get to work bringing Silvia’s incredible and inspiring story to life onscreen,” Budnick said of the film.
Gomez will produce the film through her July Moon Productions. Vásquez-Lavado will executive produce.