Entertainment

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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The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Entertainment

The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

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On Thursday, the cast of “Glee” paid tribute to Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Media Awards. Rivera was a once-in-a-lifetime talent the touched so many lives personally and through the screen while she was alive. But perhaps none of Naya’s roles were as impactful as Santana Lopez was.

This year, GLAAD decided to take time to honor the impact Naya Rivera had on LGBTQ representation onscreen.

During a time when LGBTQ represenation onscreen was rare, Santana Lopez was groundbreaking for being both queer and Latina. Santana went from a shut-off closeted cheerleader to an out-and-proud lesbian woman. This was a story arc many queer kids had never seen before.

Demi Lovato introduced the cast of “Glee” with a touching speech. She described how honored she was (and still is) to have played Santana’s girlfriend, Dani, on the show.

“I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year,” Lovato said. “A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me: losing my friend Naya Rivera. I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on ‘Glee.’”

“The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls — like I was at the time,” she went on. “And her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Then, dozens of former “Glee” cast members gathered via Zoom to pay tribute to Naya Rivera.

The tribute featured former “Glee” actors like Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, and Kevin McHale. There were also many others.

“Naya would be honored to receive this recognition,” read the statement. “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said ‘I feel great about it!'”

“This year marks the tenth anniversary that Naya’s character, Santana Lopez, came out on ‘Glee’,” said Dot-Marie Jones, who played Coach Beast on the Fox series.

“Santana basically got disowned by her family. And as alot of us know, that’s a feeling too many LGBTQ kids know too well,” continued Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel.

The loving tribute then ended with a written statement from Naya Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire, who couldn’t make it to the call.

“Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community. Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice.

“She continued: “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

“Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice,” the message read, in part. “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

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Selena Gomez Tells Senate to Pass Equality Act, Credits Gay Community with Launching Her Music Career

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Tells Senate to Pass Equality Act, Credits Gay Community with Launching Her Music Career

After the Equality Act was recently passed in the House, Selena Gomez is now telling the Senate to pass the bill that would give added federal protections to the LGBTQ+ community. The Mexican-American pop star also talked about her history with the gay community and how they helped support her music career.

The Equality Act would extend protections from the Civil Rights Act to the LGBTQ+ community.

The Equality Act was first introduced in 2015. The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity when it came to employment, housing, education, and other public and federal accommodations. In 2019, the Senate under President Donald Trump refused to vote on the bill.

The Equality Act recently passed through the House and now Gomez wants the Senate to pass it as well.

In February, the Equality Act was reintroduced to the House of Representatives. The bill passed through the House for a second time on Feb. 25. In a recent interview with the Recording Academy, the institution that hosts the Grammy Awards, Gomez is telling the Senate to vote on the bill this time and pass it through.

“We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years, but we have so much further to go,” Gomez said about the progress of LGBTQ+ rights in the country. “The Senate must pass the Equality Act. It’s absurd that this is even being debated in 2021.”

Gomez says the gay community helped support her 2009 breakthrough hit “Naturally.”

While Gomez was promoting her Latin music EP Revelación, she also revisited a few of her past hits. In 2009, she launched her music career with her band The Scene. Later that year, Gomez got her first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her breakthrough smash “Naturally.” While talking about her relationship with the gay community, she says they were the first ones to show that song love.

“Earlier you mentioned my song ‘Naturally’ and I remember when it was released, it truly started getting played in the gay bars before anywhere else,” she said. “I would hear from older friends that they heard when they went out. I was so jealous that I was too young to be out and dancing to it with everyone. The LGBTQ+ community has been there for me and I don’t take them for granted.”

The Equality Act is waiting to be debated by the Senate. This is Gomez’s first time speaking in support of the bill. Last year, she launched the Black Equality Fund to support groups like the Movement for Black Lives.  In March, she also asked for the Senate to pass the People Act.

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Read: Selena Gomez and Myke Towers’ “Dámelo To’” is Everything: Listen to the ‘Revelación’ Standout

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