Entertainment

Valentina Took To The RuPaul Stage Dressed As A Mariachi And It Slayed

Season 9 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is in full swing and one queen is giving the contestants and “Drag Race” fans all the Latina heat they can handle. Valentina, representing Latinos from East L.A., rocked her first runway look by throwing it all the way back…to Mariachi Plaza. The Mexicana queen is already proving herself as a force to be reckoned with her upbeat personality, utterly slaying looks, and by winning the first challenge. Introducing, Valentina – or

Ladies and gentlemen… Introducing, Valentina – or James Leyva when not in drag.

Introducing Valentina, the Latina queen slaying on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”


“My type of drag is very dramatic, very theatrical, and always very Latina,” Valentina, who has only been doing drag for 10 months, said on the season 9 premiere of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” “I’m an undiscovered superstar.”

This queen can give you Barbie doll glam…


“I think I would consider myself a glamor girl, but I think it depends on my look and my level of performance,” Valentina told LAist.

Comedy…


And, when not in drag, smoldering Latino realness.

✨?Amor a la Mexicana?✨ #AllAboutValentina ?: @abelr

A post shared by Valentina? (@allaboutvalentina) on


Yas, James! YAAASSSS!!!!

On the first episode of season 9, performers were told to present an outfit the represents their neighborhood and Valentina did not disappoint.

RuPaul's Drag Race / VH1 / grammylesslana / Tumblr
CREDIT: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1 / grammylesslana / Tumblr

“What I do is very romantic, very regal, very elegant,” Valentina told LAist. “Being Latino and being Mexican, it’s everything that I am and I try to make sure no matter what I’m doing, it’s always through the eye and through the lens of a powerful Latina woman.”

“I’m from East L.A. representing Mariachi Plaza,” Valentina proclaimed while strutting down that runway.

RuPaul's Drag Race / VH1 / grammylesslana / Tumblr
CREDIT: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1 / grammylesslana / Tumblr

[slays in Spanish]

In March, Valentina made headlines with fellow “Drag Race” contestant Trinity Taylor and photographer Jason King when they were attacked in West Hollywood.

I’ve debated writing this post because I don’t usually like to put my very personal stuff out on social media. I’m not…

Posted by Jason King on Friday, March 17, 2017

“Last night Trinity Taylor, James Leyva [Valentina], two other friends and myself were walking home after the club and a guy we didn’t know took it upon himself to join our group but not saying anything,” King wrote on Facebook about the incident. “After a certain amount of time this became uncomfortable and he was asked very politely by Valentina [James Leyva] to please not follow us. He said his car was parked in the same direction we were going so he was asked again politely to go ahead of us and we would wait. He asked us to go ahead of him instead and it went back and forth like that a couple of times until finally Valentina said we would go the other way and the guy then punched him. I went to go get the guy off of Valentina and he punched me in the nose and broke it. I spent 9 hours in the ER.”

Valentina posted a video to Instagram letting his fans know that he was okay after the event.

?I love you guys so much?

A post shared by Valentina? (@allaboutvalentina) on


“I just want to let everyone know that I’m okay. I’m doing really good,” Valentina says in the video. “The incident happened and I’m fine. Everyone is fine. Jason is fine. Trinity is fine. I have lots of support from family and friends and it wasn’t a hate crime. It was just a crazy druggie who was out there just being bad. I was a lucky person to have had it happen to.”


READ: This Queen Is Utterly Destroying This Texas High School In Her New Revenge Movie

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Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Entertainment

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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