Even though shelter-in-place orders are slowly being lifted across the United States, should we really be going out with cases reaching record new levels? Thankfully, there are tons of new TV shows coming our way to keep us entertained.
Although we may be missing some of our longtime favorites because of production delays in Hollywood, the summer promises plenty of binge-worthy shows to tide us over. One of those TV shows I’m most excited about – and you should be too! – is Love, Victor.
Hulu’s Love, Victor is finally available for us to binge watch in all of it’s LGBTQ glory.
Love, Victor is the follow up to the successful gay romcom Love, Simon. However, unlike it’s predecessor, Love, Victor is a series, which means it’s literally bingeable. And with Love, Victor we get a young, Latino lead who is struggling to discover his sexuality and what that means for his friendships, relationships, and family.
This sequel offers a touching extension of that story, with a new teen — having transferred to the same high school — experiencing his own coming-out story. Diverted to Hulu from Disney+, it’s a well-crafted teen soap, with a winning cast.
Victor (Michael Cimino) — the oldest of three kids — has moved to Creekwood High in Georgia, which feels positively progressive compared to his hometown in Texas.
He makes contact with Simon (Nick Robinson) via email, using him as a sounding board as he comes to grips with who is — and more to the point, who he loves. Of course, Victor isn’t the only one with secrets, including issues pertaining to his parents responsible for the family’s relocation.
Coming from a less accepting background, Victor struggles with the prospect of being anything but straight and sharing that with his family, exacerbated by a visit from his bigoted grandpa, who is judgmental about Victor’s little brother playing with the wrong kind of toys.
Love, Victor is the highly-anticipated sequel to the film, Love, Simon.
2018’s Love, Simon was a milestone in young, queer representation on the big screen. But it was also overwhelmingly white and seemed made for a straight audience. Sure, its protagonist, Simon, struggled with his sexual identity, but he did so from inside thick layers of privilege that kept him safe. He was white, he lived in a fancy Atlanta suburb with his liberal, warm parents — he could and did easily pass for straight.
That’s why, though it was packaged as a chance for LGBTQ+ kids to finally see themselves on screen in a mainstream love story, the movie played it a little too safe for many queer viewers.
Enter: Love, Victor, where in the pilot’s opening minutes, the series espouses a mission statement that engages with the film’s limitations in a way that seems promising.
The series is now available (finally!) to stream on Hulu!
Every episode of Love, Victor is now available for streaming on Hulu. So if you’re looking for Latinx LGBTQ representation on TV, definitely tune in to Love, Victor.
Say the word “Selena,” and your mind is probably filled with the opening beats of “Como La Flor,” the Tejano singer’s famous ballad. Selena Quintanilla’s legacy has been explored in acclaimed movies, podcasts, documentaries, and now, a Netflix show. The first part of Selena: The Series premiered on December 4 and is guaranteed a second season.
But what do we know about part two of the series?
Selena: The Series is reigniting interest in our beloved Selena like never before but what’s next for the series?
Selena: The Series covers the life of the late Selena Quintanilla, so how does Netflix’s narrative compare to the true story? Crucially, the first nine episodes only cover the first 20 years of the subject’s life, which means that Selena part 2 will focus on Selena’s evolution into a Tejano superstar before her tragic 1995 death.
Part 1 of the Netflix series addresses the most relevant events, and tweaks certain facts for dramatic purposes. It’s also being met with mixed responses from both critics and viewers alike. But one thing is certain, the series is helping introduce an entirely new generation to the life of one of Latin music’s biggest stars.
The second season has already wrapped filming and it will focus on a very different part of Selena’s life.
Ever since the project was announced, it was confirmed that it would be a two-part limited series. As viewers already know, part one consisted on nine episodes, but it’s unclear how many will make up the second part.
The initial season has largely focused on the 1990 release of Selena’s album, Ven Conmigo, and her family’s discovery of her secret relationship with Pérez.
The next season will likely feature the release of Selena’s first English-language album and her 1992 elopement to Chris before her death and her ill-fated meeting with Yolanda Saldívar (Natasha Perez), the woman responsible for her 1995 murder.
Netflix has yet to confirm when viewers can expect the conclusion of Selena. However, Serratos confirmed to the Los Angeles Timesthat production had already wrapped—no COVID-19 delays here! Considering that timeline, season 2 could premiere in the first half of 2021. Worth noting: April 16, 2021 would’ve been Selena Quintanilla’s 50th birthday, an event that may be tied to the season’s release.
Season 2 Selena will be “more of the icon.”
For all of its flaws, the first season of Selena: The Series has helped introduce a new generation to the iconic Latina. And it’s given viewers an introduction to part of the singer not everyone was familiar with. Fans have explored Selena’s childhood and her introduction to music.
But season 2 will focus more on the singer’s megastardom, according to Serratos. “The first part was nerve-racking because there was less footage for me to base my performance on. But at the same time it was more relaxed, because I got more liberty. People don’t know that version of Selena very much,” she told OprahMag.com. “Our second part we’re going to see a lot more of the icon. I had a lot more to base the performance on—but it was nerve-racking because people know that Selena so well. There was added pressure.”
It doesn’t look like there will be any major changes to the cast for part two.
It looks like much of the same cast from part one will also be featured in part two of the series. The ensemble includes Serratos as Selena, Chavira as Abraham, Posey as Chris, Seidy Lopez as Selena’s mother Marcella, Noemi Gonzalez as Selena’s sister and drummer Suzette, and Gabriel Chavarria as Selena’s brother and producer A.B. Natasha Perez’s Yolanda will also play a larger role in season 2 as she gets closer to Selena’s life and business.
Moisés Zamora (American Crime) returns as the series creator, writer, and executive producer alongside producers Jaime Dávila, Rico Martinez, and Simran A. Singh. Members of the real-life Quintanilla family are also involved with both seasons as executive producers, including Abraham and Suzette.
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.