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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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Yalitza Aparicio Says She’s Waiting For A Role That Won’t Pigeonhole ‘Because of Appearance”

Entertainment

Yalitza Aparicio Says She’s Waiting For A Role That Won’t Pigeonhole ‘Because of Appearance”

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty

Since the start of her acting career, Oaxacan actress Yalitza Aparicio has been sure to see that her work helps uphold her community. While many actors on the rise tend to focus on racking up more acting roles and fame, Aparicio has been much more vocal about her desire to focus on her advocacy and work for organizations like Cine Too. What’s more, ensuring that she secures proper representation for Indigenous people like herself.

While Aparicio first made headlines and won our hearts with her performance in the 2018 film Roma the Indigenous actress has yet to appear in another role on screen.

It turns out, it isn’t for a lack of offers.

Speaking with Indie Wire about her career, Aparicio has said that she is taking her time to find a role that properly represents her and her community.

“My objective in my career is to give visibility to all of us who have been kept in the dark for so long,” Aparicio claimed in a recent interview with IndieWire. “The acting projects I’m working on are moving slowly because I’m putting all my efforts in not being pigeonholed because of my appearance.”

Aparicio, who is 26-years-old, was born in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, rocketed to fame when she took on the role of Cleo in Alfonso Cuarón’s 2018 movie Roma. The film, which was nominated for various Academy Awards followed Aparicio as Cleo a housekeeper who works in a wealthy household in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma. Aparicio’s role brought her praise not just for her skills but for her role in solidifying a much-needed portrayal of Mexico’s Indigenous community.

Still, despite the praise and fame, the role brought her, Aparicio is adamant that her next role will be something greater.

“I come from a community where there’s no movie theater, and as a consequence, the population — especially the children that grow up in those communities — has less of an interest in the cinematic arts. [Cine Too] has the possibility to reach these children and provide an opportunity to instill in them the passion for cinema and teach them about this art form,” she explained in her interview. “I’m conscious that every step I take may open doors for someone else and at the same time it’s an opportunity for society to realize we are part of it and that we are here,”

In her interview, Aparicio points out that while she is very aware that Indigenous filmmakers and allies “have a complicated job because these things can’t be changed overnight,” she is still pushing for real change.

“Wherever I go, I’ll always be proudly representing our Indigenous communities,” she asserted. “We can show people that the only limits are within us.”

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Queer People Are Shouting Their Gratitude For Naya Rivera’s Trailblazing Character Santana Lopez

Entertainment

Queer People Are Shouting Their Gratitude For Naya Rivera’s Trailblazing Character Santana Lopez

Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

There are few queer characters the people can point to in the past as being someone that changed their lives. Santana Lopez, Naya Rivera’s character on “Glee,” is one of them. Even if you’ve never watched “Glee,” Rivera’s character touched you because of how that representation is so important and empowering.

Naya Rivera’s place in LGBTQ+ media representation will be her long-lasting legacy.

Rivera brought us Santana Lopez, a queer Latina navigating the world of high school in a small town. For many, this kind of representation was so rare and often poorly done that Rivera’s command of the role was impactful. You didn’t have to be an avid viewer of the show to understand and appreciate the magnitude of Santana Lopez.

Rivera brought our experience directly to the mainstream and forced our own classmates to think about the way they saw queer people.

Rivera’s ability to capture the awkwardness and terror of being a closeted queer student in high school still resonates. It is a piece of nostalgia that is so deeply ingrained in queer people that it’s hard not to be emotional about Rivera’s sudden and tragic death.

Who can forget the moment Santana used “Landslide” to tell Brittany that she loved her.

The emotion of a love that is not easy to confess and live authentically is real. Ask any queer person you know about coming to terms with her sexuality in high school and you will hear about the fear and excitement. You will hear about the strategic allyships that epitomize the constant battle between being open and staying safe.

Rivera was more than an actress, she was an ally and advocate during her time on “Glee.”

Season 2, when Rivera’s feelings for Brittany (played by Heather Morris) grew, aired from 2010 to 2011. It was a time when marriage equality was not nationwide. Some states still barred same-sex couples from adopting children. Yet, queer high school and college students had a chance to see their experience mirrored because of Rivera’s insistence.

Rivera’s death is a major loss for the queer community that got our strength and courage from her.

Knowing that all of the “Glee” fans were rooting for and falling in love with Santana Lopez gave us a chance to breathe and feel accepted. Adding her Latina heritage was so important. Queer people of color, who have faced increased scrutiny from their own families, had someone representing them completely and sincerely.

Demi Lovato paid tribute by remembering the time she played Santana Lopez’s girlfriend.

The queer Latina love was not lost on fellow queer Latinos. Lovato herself was not out about her sexuality at the time and she admits in her post that Rivera inspired her. Rivera’s efforts to give the character an accurate and respectful storyline will forever be praised and admired as a fully realized manifestation of our experience.

Thank you for being someone we didn’t know we needed, Naya.

Our hearts are broken and our eyes are wet. We send love and hope to your loved ones. Rest in power, mija. We love you and will never forget what you did for our community.

READ: Naya Rivera’s Body Found In Lake Piru After Going Missing During Outing With Son

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