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9 LGBTQ Latinos Fighting To Make The World A Better Place

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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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Celebrate This Cool Jefa: Luisa Capetillo The Boricua Activist Arrested For Wearing Pants

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Celebrate This Cool Jefa: Luisa Capetillo The Boricua Activist Arrested For Wearing Pants

Born on October 28, 1879, in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Luisa Capetillo is best known for her contributions to the labor and anarchist movements in Puerto Rico at the time. She’s also famously remembered as the first Puerto Rican woman to ever have worn pants in public. 

However, her commitment to break the glass ceiling and break traditional societal norms imposed on women extended beyond her fashion choices. Capetillo was a diligent organizer and passionate activist who advocated for women’s rights. She was an all-around badass. 

In a children’s e-book on Rejected Princesses, you can learn more about Luisa Capetillo’s life, one learns about her beginnings and when she first started to become an activist. 

In 1951, Luisa Capetillo became the first Puerto Rican woman to ever wear pants in public in 1951. 

Due to this, it’s been said that she was stopped and arrested for “causing a scandal.” News outlets back then reported that Capetillo defended herself ardently against the claims that she was causing a scandal for wearing pants. 

She has been quoted as saying, “Your Honor, I always wear pants,” and then slightly lifted her dress to show a pair of loose white pants. “And on the night in question, instead of wearing them underneath, I wore them just like men do, based on my perfect civil right to do so, on the outside.” Tell em, Capetillo.  

Luisa Capetillo was homeschooled by her parents.

Her mother, Luisa Margarita Perone, was a French immigrant who worked in domestic work and her father, Luis Capetillo Echevarría, who was from Spain, worked in labor. Her parents never married but they formed a partnership strong enough to raise a young fiery and passionate woman. 

Capetillo’s parents were also drawn together by their similar “beliefs in democratic ideals expressed in the attempted European revolutions of 1848.” They devoted their time to homeschooling her through a liberal education that was infused with ideological influences of both the French Revolution and the workers’ rights movement in Northern Spain. 

Her homeschool education heavily influenced the work she would be later known for. 

After a romance that didn’t end well, and that resulted in two children, she began working as a reader at a tobacco company after the Spanish-American war in Puerto Rico. Readers were needed at companies because, at the time, most of the workforce was illiterature and poorly-educated. As a result, unions hired readers to read newspapers and books out loud during work hours. 

The tobacco factory was also where Capetillo first came into contact with labor unions. What she learned through unions, she used to educate many women across Puerto Rico. 

Her work at the tobacco company also inspired her to write opinion essays and in her writing, she criticized the labor conditions tobacco workers were exposed to.

In an essay titled, “Mi opinión,” Capetillo writes: “Oh you woman! who is capable and willing to spread the seed of justice; do not hesitate, do not fret, do not run away, go forward! And for the benefit of the future generations place the first stone for the building of social equality in a serene but firm way, with all the right that belongs to you, without looking down, since you are no longer the ancient material or intellectual slave.” 

Further, working at the tobacco company led her to organize strikes. It also led her to become an anarchist and inspired material for the four books that she would write. 

Luisa Capetillo was a feminist way ahead of her time and advocated heavily for women’s rights.

Especially when it had to do with female agency. For 1910, she definitely way ahead of the curve. 

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💪 Mes de la mujer: Luisa Capetillo Born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico in 1879, Luisa was homeschooled by her parents and later became one of the island’s most important women’s rights activists of her time. She worked as a reader in a cigar making factory and that provided her with her first experiences with labor unions. In 1904, she wrote Mi Opinión (My Opinion), which encouraged women to fight for equal rights. Capetillo’s writing often discusses identity and seeks to motivate women. In her essay ¿Anarquista y espiritista? (Anarchist and Spiritis?) she discusses how she considered herself to be both. • Luis is best known for her involvement in the 1905 farm workers’ strike. She became the leader of the American Federation of Labor and began urging women to fight for their rights. In 1908, she asked the union to approve a women’s suffrage policy. Four years later, she traveled to NYC and Florida to organize Cuban and Puerto Rican tobacco workers; she joined various labor strikes in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Capetillo was also the first woman in Puerto Rico to wear pants in public. In 1910, it was illegal for women to wear pants in public and she was jailed (the charges were eventually dropped). Later that year, she helped pass a minimum wage law in Puerto Rico. Luisa Capetillo passed away in October 1922. • Capetillo’s legacy includes Casa Protegida Luisa Capetillo: a non-profit organization whose purpose is to defend mistreated women, the Luisa Capetillo Center of Documentation at UPR Cayey: a part of the university’s Women’s Studies project, and a plaque in La Plaza en Honor a la Mujer Puertorriqueña. ⚡️ Luisa Capetillo was submitted as a mujer pode🌹 by one of program organizers/coordinators in Puerto Rico! ⚡️ Stay posted for tomorrow’s mujer pode🌹 from another one of our team members! 📸: Libcom.org • • • • • • • • • • • #puertorico #womenshistorymonth #womenshistory #luisacapetillo #arecibo #history #mujer #mujerpoderosa #studyabroad #westernillinois #westernillinoisuniversity #wiu #wiu18 #wiu19 #wiu20 #wiu21 #wiu22 #wiu23 #puertoricanhistory

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The social labor organizer became well known for her advocacy for equal rights for women, free love, and human emancipation. She developed a lot of her ideals of anarchism and romanticism from being an avid reader as a child. She read a lot of French literature from writers including Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. She also read a lot of Russian Romantics like Leo Tolstoy. 

She died of tuberculosis in 1922 but her legacy and impact as one of Puerto Rico’s first women suffragists live on. 

In 1912, she traveled to New York City where she organized workers in the tobacco factories there. From 1916-1918, she was involved in an intense period of strikes and she would constantly travel from New York City and Puerto Rico. 

She even traveled to Cuba to work with the Federation of Anarchists of Cuba. A couple of years after she contracted tuberculosis and died at 42. 

‘Fuller House’ Actor And Certified Daddy Juan Pablo Di Pace Comes Out And Yasss

Culture

‘Fuller House’ Actor And Certified Daddy Juan Pablo Di Pace Comes Out And Yasss

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Argentinian actor Juan Pablo Di Pace recently came out in a TEDx video recorded in March. The video was released in late June giving Di Pace’s coming out story a special place in the 2019 Pride Month calendar. Social media erupted in applause and praise for the actor living his truth after so much time hiding in the closet.

Juan Pablo Di Pace came out of the closet as a gay man and is already living it up.

That’s right. Di Pace was living it up in Madrid during pride not long after the video of his talk coming out of the closet was publish. Honestly, it is something everyone should be celebrating. Someone being able to live their life fully is something that some people will never be able to understand. There is an attitude of in the Latino community that tries to shun and silence the LGBTQ+ community. Seeing a prominent member of the Latino community sharing his coming out story is such a positive example for younger people struggling to come out.

Di Pace’s coming out via a TEDx is one of the greatest moments of Pride Month 2019.

Not only did Di Pace come out of the closet, but his story about coming out and learning who he is is also very relatable to most members of the LGBTQ+ community. It wasn’t like he figured out that he was different. It had to be told to him.

“My mother says that I came out of her womb with a paper and pencil in my hand and that I used to draw until I fell asleep, which is why I had very few friends. But, actually, the truth is that, unlike most of the boys in my class, I preferred to play with girls. I was more comfortable. They were more fun,” Di Pace told the audience at his TEDx talk. “So, I didn’t think anything of it, right? Until I heard a word that I had never heard before. It started like a thunder that got closer and louder to me as it exploded like egg in my face: marícon, faggot. Well, I didn’t really understand that word at first but the word was here to stay for years. A little know book, as you might know as the Bible, starts with, ‘In the beginning, was the word and the word was made flesh and it dwelt among us.’ So, after failed attempts to fight against this word and try to make friends, my only option was to make friends with white sheets of paper. Paper would not shout or kick me. Paper was kind and on paper everything and anything was possible, just like in the movies.”

The moment of being made to feel and know that you are different from everyone else is something most people deal with at the beginning of coming out. It is a harsh, and some times dangerous, moment that starts the process of coming out and learning who you are as a person.

Fans of the actor showered him with praise and love for coming out.

Credit: judygeitz / Instagram

Coming out, no matter how old you are or how successful you are, is a terrifying experience. You have to be prepared for people to shun you. You need to be ready for people to speak down to you. It is not an easy or fun process for a lot of people.

The emotional reception to Di Pace’s coming is filled with love and appreciation.

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This is something the Di Pace should be so proud of. It is so important for people to come out of the closet. By coming out of the closet, you force others around you to confront their own ideas of the LGBTQ+ community. When people know someone personally who is LGBTQ+, they tend to become more accepting of the community allowing for more people to come out in a safer environment.

You are with your chosen family now, Juan.

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All people in the LGBTQ+ community understand the importance of a chosen family. Even if your family accepts you, it is important to have a chosen family. It is a way to learn what it means to be gay and how to live life open in a world that can sometimes be really cruel. Your family will want to help but it is hard for your mom and dad to teach about LGBTQ+ culture.

Congratulations on coming out Juan. Sending lots of love.

READ: Grab The Tissues! These Latinas Told Us Their Coming Out Stories And We Have Been Sobbing In Pride

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