9 LGBTQ Latinos Fighting To Make The World A Better Place

Latinos have made major strides in recent years when it comes to speaking up and standing out. We have taken new seats in politics, led major national movements and using our voices to uplift each other. Latinos in the LGBTQ community have also found their voice and are taking up space in society and the LGBTQ community like never before. Here are 9 LGBTQ Latinos who are changing the world for LGBTQ rights on day at a time.

1. Alan Pelaez Lopez

Pelaez Lopez is a graduate student at University of California, Berkeley, a writer and an activist within the undocumented, queer, Afro-Latino space. He uses his poetry to tell the stories of his life and the lives so countless people dealing with the same reality he navigates every day. His word and writings have been featured in countless publications including the Huffington Post sharing his message with a larger community.

2. Bamby Salcedo

Salcedo grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico and had a hard time growing up. According to her website, the internationally known activist had a hard life with homelessness, drug addiction and growing up with a sexually abusive step father. After immigrating to the U.S. and fighting through her drug addiction, the trans Latina activist has fought tirelessly for trans rights and trans visibility. Her works has earned her numerous awards for several diverse organizations.

3. Yosimar Reyes

Reyes is a poet and organizer that uses his words to share the experience of being a queer Chicano. His works has toured universities across the country giving a voice to the downtrodden and often ignored. He has published books that are collections of his works as well as co-founding Maricolectiva, a organization of queer undocumented spoken poets. His first book published was “For Colored Boys Who Speak Softly…,” which was self-published with the help of Carlos Santana.

4. Jennicet Gutiérrez

#tbt #motivation #transgender #TransLatina #girlslikeus ??

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Gutiérrez made national news when in 2015 she interrupted President Obama while he was speaking at the White House during Pride month. Gutiérrez was in the crowd when Obama began to speak about trans women of color and she needed to be heard. Her message was that more needs to be done to protect undocumented trans women of color in detention centers. Trans women in detention centers face sexual harassment, rape, refusal of medication and are some times detained with men. Her disruption was for respect and recognition.

5. Carmen Carrera

Summer will come soon enough ?

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Carrera first came out as trans after her time on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She has since become one of the most recognizable faces in the modeling industry and has broken down barriers and doors for trans women trying to become models. She has utilized her fame to speak for trans rights across the U.S. as well as Latin America. As someone of Peruvian descent, she has also used her voice specifically in Peru to fight for LGBTQ rights.

6. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen is an ally to the LGBTQ community. As a Republican representative from Florida, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen fought for LGBTQ rights from marriage equality to same-sex adoptions. She was prompted to take a stand for LGBTQ rights because of her trans son. Her career in politics might be ending, but her legacy is far reaching for LGBTQ Latinos in the nation.

7. Shane Ortega

Ortega was the first openly trans person serving in the military during the fight against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The military veteran is a strong activist for LGBTQ rights in the military. When President Trump announced his ban on trans military members serving, Ortega quickly spoke up and made it known that trans military members should not be silenced or marginalized.

8. Julio Salgado

Salgado is one of the most known undocumented queer artists who uses his art to illustrate the life experiences of undocumented, queer people. His art is provocative and paints a vivid scene about the perils and fear of his community.

9. Lauren Jauregui

Vibin before the shenanigans #boohooontheroad @boohoo #ad

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Jauregui publicly came out as bisexual in 2016 with an open letter to President Trump about the importance of tolerance. She has since used her Twitter account to attack trolls who attack her LGBTQ fans.

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


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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