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After Being Called A Homophobic Slur, This Man Is Taking Back The Term And Using It To Uplift And Empower Latino LGBTQ

Alberto Mendoza is a man on a mission: to build an online community for LGBTQ Latinxs. Mendoza founded the non-profit organization Honor41 to showcase the great things LGBTQ Latinxs are doing around the country in fields like journalism, activism, politics and entertainment.

The people at Honor41 are recognizing LGBTQ Latinxs living their lives out and proud while contributing to their respective fields.


“Honor41 envisions a world where Latina/o LGBTQ individuals can live their lives with honor, by being ‘out,’ with acceptance from their families and community, and fully integrated in all aspects of society,” reads the Honor41 website.

“What I knew was missing for me and what I knew was missing for a lot of [LGBTQ Latinxs] was the visibility of positive role models,” Alberto Mendoza told NBC News.


According to NBC Out, Mendoza’s decision to start Honor41 comes from the fact that LGBTQ people have very little visibility within Latinx entertainment and media, while mainstream LGBTQ media often ignores LGBTQ people of color.

The use of the number 41 has special meaning for Mendoza, who is Mexican-American, with its roots in El Baile De Los 41 or The Dance Of The 41.


In an interview with People En Español, Mendoza went more in depth about the significance of the number 41 for Mexico’s LGBTQ community.

“In Mexico, in 1901, there was a group of men in high society that were known to have these gatherings or events. They were known to be, perhaps, homosexuals. On this particular night [Nov. 18, 1901] they had a dance and there were 42 of them; half dressed as men and half dressed as women. But at one point, the cops came in, broke into the party, beat them all up then sent them to jail. But one of them was the son-in-law of then-President Porfirio Díaz, so they released him, and the remaining 41 essentially disappeared. The families either had to pay to get them out of jail and out of town, or the families did not claim them, or those who did not have money were sent to the Yucatan to work camps and essentially disappeared, never to be heard from again.”

In honor of the 41 “disappeared” LGBTQ Mexicans, Honor41 recognizes 41 prominent LGBTQ Latinxs from different backgrounds and professions.


Mendoza hopes that using the number 41 in the organization’s name will help reclaim a number that has been used as a coded homophobic slur in Mexico for more than 100 years. Mendoza told NBC Out that he was constantly plagued by the number, particularly from bullies who would chant it at him while he was in high school.

Mendoza wants for Honor41 to be a beacon of hope for LGBTQ Latinxs youths to know that they will be okay.

#honor41 group picture at #LQAFF

A photo posted by Mekahlo Medina (@mekahlo) on


“Everyone has a story, so having the opportunity to capture the stories of these amazing role models and sharing them with others is incredible,” Mendoza told The Fight magazine.

Honor41 has been around since 2013 and its members want this project to bring pride to LGBTQ Latinxs.


“The word ‘Honor’ means pride in English and Spanish,” the organization’s website reads. “By adopting 41 in our name, we take away the negative, oppressive power associated [with] the number; we educate others about this important moment in LGBTQ history; we honor their legacy; and honor our own lives and contributions to society.”

Check out this video with more information of El Baile De Los 41.


READ: This Latino Is Unapologetically Mexican And Gay

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FIERCE LGBTQ Couples Are Sharing How They Met And It’s The Sweetest Thing

Fierce

FIERCE LGBTQ Couples Are Sharing How They Met And It’s The Sweetest Thing

Charles McQuillan / Getty

As we highlight Pride month, we wanted to share beautiful stories of LGBTQ+ love. To do so, we recently asked our FIERCE readers on Instagram to tell us how they met their partners and the results were not only hilarious but deeply inspiring.

Love is love and we love this kind of love.

Check it out!

The old slide in trick.

“I slid into the DMs.” – joanacanna

On their start to being ~educated latinas~

“My girlfriend and I met at the end of our first year of law school. She would say that I curved her for a few months before we became close. Almost three years later, we are both attorneys and looking forward to where life takes us.” – legalricanmujer

These two lovers who met while pushing for a joint interest

“We met in boot camp! 10 years ago (we’ve been together 2 /1/2 years, married 1 yr.” –hey_itsaj18

Chicas who started out on the same path and stuck together.

“We met in Nursing school we graduated together. That was 4 years ago, she’s a psychiatric nurse and I’m a geriatric nurse.” – m_a_r_i_a__j_o_h_a_n_n_a

They found love in a pandemic place.

Love in the time of Corona, thanks to Hinge!” – bienvenidarealidad__

Turns out the internet is the ultimate matchmaker.

“On the HER app. The same day she liked my profile she ended up coming into my job. I saw her but she didn’t see me. I ended up messaging her that night when I got off of work & we have been inseparable ever since. 3 years later and everyday I fall in love with her over & over again.” – _yourfavoritepoet_

And this is the most hilarious one of all.

“My wife @chulaworldand I were both seeing the same guy (total 🐶) …… so when we found out about each other we met up! And we have LITERALLY been inseparable ever since. Married on 4/20/19.” –bunuelitas

Here Are Some Queer Films And Shows To Watch To Start Pride Off Right

Entertainment

Here Are Some Queer Films And Shows To Watch To Start Pride Off Right

posefx / onedayatatimepoptv / Instagram

Pride Month is here and that means it is time to highlight the already celebrated LGBTQ+ shows and movies that have made a mark on us. Since Pride and the COVID pandemic are coinciding, it is a good time to watch some of the best examples of LGBTQ+ Latino entertainment.

“Moonlight”

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, “Moonlight” brought Afro-Latino, Black, and queer storylines together. The movie follows a young Black man in Miami and his own trials and tribulations growing up with a mother who is addicted to drugs. His life is changed thanks to an Afro-Cuban man who takes him under his wing and shows him how to make it through his adolescents.

“To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar”

One of the most popular classic films in LGBTQ+ cinema. “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar” follows three drag queens who drive from New York to Los Angeles for a national drag beauty pageant. Chi Chi Rodriguez, played by Joh Leguizamo, convinces the two competing queens to let him ride with them. Along the way, Rodriguez learns what it means to be a drag queen and the queens all learn a lot from a small, rural community filled with unexpected love and understanding.

“Pose”

“Pose” brings the ballroom culture straight to your living room. Set at the beginning in 1987 New York City during the peak of the AIDs epidemic, “Pose” empowers the queer people of color of the time. Ballroom culture is an underground dancing culture that has jumped into the mainstream because of “Pose.” The show takes the narrative of HIV-positive people of color in the time and empowers them rather than tears them down.

“Tangerine”

“Tangerine” is the story of a prostitute on a mission. The main character gets out of jail and learns that their boyfriend and pimp has started a new relationship with another woman. So, she and her friend set out to find him and teach the two a lesson for straying from her while she was incarcerated.

“Gentefied”

“Genetfied” is the latest Netflix hit and it is all about gentrification and the fight to keep Boyle Heights Latino. In the overall story, there is a lesbian relationship that is leaving everyone with all kinds of envy.

“One Day At A Time”

Netflix really misstepped here when they pulled the plug on their production of “One Day At A Time” but Pop TV saved the show. The first three seasons are currently on Netflix so you can still watch all of those episodes and enjoy the growing openness of Elena as she comes out.

“La casa de las flores”

This telenovela is truly one of the most incredible projects with LGBTQ+ characters today. Even Valentina, the famed drag queen from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is in the latest season solidifying the shows LGBTQ+ status.

READ: The Trailer For The Final Season Of ‘La Casa De Las Flores’ Is Here And We’re Not Ready To Say Goodbye