Entertainment

We Know What The Cast Of OITNB Looks Like Out Of Prison Uniforms, Here Are All The Badass Things They’re Doing

Now that we’ve binged and cried our eyes out now that “Orange Is The New Black” has officially come to an end, let’s take a moment to reflect on life outside of Litchfield. Sure, the Latinas have given us a season to admire and love, but what are all of them doing when not behind bars?

Diane Guerrero, a.k.a. Maritza Ramos

Credit: @dianeguerrero_ / Instagram

When she isn’t using pizza to win an election, Diane Guerrero is offering her voice and story to fight for comprehensive immigration reform. The Colombian-American actor has shared very personal and heartbreaking details of the day her own family got deported when she was just 14 years old. Since rising to fame, thanks to her role as Maritza, Guerrero has written a book about her immigration story and has spent time trying to work with politicians to get some form of immigration reform passed.

Jessica Pimentel, a.k.a. Maria Ruiz

Credit: rhyknowforever / YouTube

When she isn’t playing the tormented mother who was separated from her children, Jessica Pimentel is rocking out. Seriously! Pimentel is the lead singer of not one but TWO heavy metal bands. Now, heavy metal was not always the path she thought she would take. The woman behind Maria Ruiz trained as a classical violinist, touring all over Japan and the U.S. playing her music. But, tbh, girl slays on the stage as she leads the bands into hella awesome concerts.

Elizabeth Rodriguez, a.k.a. Aleida Diaz

Credit: @theonlyelizabethrodriguez / Instagram

Elizabeth Rodriguez has captured our attention as the not-so-kind mother trying to make amends on “OITNB,” but when she isn’t playing Aleida Diaz, Rodriguez is all over the stage. With a background in theatre (and a Tony nomination), she continues to own the stage with different shows since becoming a member of the “OITNB” familia.

Laura Gómez, a.k.a. Blanca Flores

Credit: News Update / YouTube

Laura Gómez might look familiar. After all, as as Blanca Flores, she did tell all those white Litchfield inmates that Latinos are in fact taking over the country. ? When she isn’t in prison, Gómez is trying to initiate a change in culture in her home country and in all of Latin America. The Dominican-born actor is using her voice and position in the media to fight alongside the Latin American LGBTQ community for acceptance, rights and protections. While proud of being Dominican, Gómez wants her country to become a safer and more welcoming place for LGBTQ Dominicans.

Selenis Leyva, a.k.a. Gloria Mendoza

Credit: @selenisleyvaofficial / Instagram

Selenis Leyva is the epitome of a philanthropist. When she isn’t running the kitchen as Gloria Mendoza, she is tackling some of society’s most talked about issues. Not only is she an ambassador for Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, but she has taken to the talk shows to talk about body positivity for women. During one interview, she expressed her concern that teenagers, like her daughter, are being taught that their curvy bodies aren’t perfect. As a Latina, Leyva says that you need to own your curves because there are people who wish, and would pay, to have those same curves.

Jackie Cruz, a.k.a. Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales

Credit: HeyVivala / YouTube

Sure, we have all seen Jackie Cruz and her tribute to the one and only Selena, but Flaca has been at this game for a minute. Before she was the Flaca of Flaritza (Flaca + Maritza), Cruz was trying to pursue a career in singing. And she ain’t bad, as you can see in this music video from 2010. Now, all we need to know is when she’ll be dropping her very own full-length solo album. You might also remember her days on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”

Dascha Polanco, a.k.a. Dayanara “Daya” Diaz

Credit: @sheisdash / Instagram

Dascha Polanco made our hearts stop as the pregnant inmate to a correction officer’s baby (WHY BENNETT?! WHY?). But when she isn’t Daya, Polanco is breaking barriers and using her voice for some good. Photoed above is Polanco when she joined the NFL’s Women’s Apparel push last year. Did we mention that she was the only Latina in the initiative? Way to represent. When she isn’t bringing more Latina representation to sports, she’s using her voice to further abortion rights. She joined the Center for Reproductive Rights as a celebrity voice, reading the stories of those who are brave enough to share their abortion stories.


READ: This Trailer Shows Latinas Taking Over “OITNB” Next Season And We’re Hyped AF

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Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

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Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

Bryan Bedder / Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES

CNN and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) hosted a historic town hall last night focusing on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community. The moderators and presidential candidates tackled topics and hard-hitting issues that have severely impacted the lives of millions of LGBTQ+ Americans. The town hall happened as the Supreme Court is deciding if LGBTQ+ people are deserving of the same discrimination protections as all Americans. Here’s what happened last night.

Texas politician Julián Castro made it clear that religion will not be an excuse for LGBTQ+ discrimination in his administration.

There have numerous attempts by local and state governments to legalize religious discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. The bills, often labeled as Religious Freedom bills, have been proposed in North Carolina and Indiana and failed. North Carolina wanted to legislate what bathroom people had to use and Indiana wanted to give religious organizations and business owners the license to outright discriminate against people based on their faith.

“If I’m elected president, the first order of business on January 20, 2021, will be to have a catalog with all of the different executive actions that this president, this administration, has taken, including exemptions that they’ve created or rolled back that has allowed people to discriminate against the LGBTQ, using as the reason their religion, their excuse their religion,” Castro told an audience member who asked how he will stop religious organizations from using their faith to dictate discriminatory laws. “I will go back to what we did in the Obama administration and then take it to the next level to protect the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that anybody should be bale to discriminate against you because you are a member of the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that folks should be getting funding if they’re doing that. I don’t believe that in the healthcare context, the housing context, the employment context that people should be able to do that. I support the Equality Act and will work to pass that. When I was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we did the transgender rule, which as I mentioned, expanded the equal access rule so that transgender individuals can find shelter in a manner that they are comfortable with and in accordance to their preference and that’s what I would do as president.”

Castro’s performance during the LGBTQ+ town hall has received praise from LGBTQ+ people.

Credit: @cmclymer / Twitter

Castro was able to speak about the issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community with an understanding that proves he isn’t going off talking points.

His conversation about faith and the license to discriminate showed his understanding of religion and LGBTQ+ people of faith.

Credit: @TUSK81 / Twitter

Castro wants to keep religion from attacking the very LGBTQ+ people of faith who depend on it. For many religious LGBTQ+ people, seeing religious leaders claim that their faith doesn’t accept them is a harsh reality.

Trans women of color let their voices be heard in a town hall that largely ignored them.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg was interrupted when he started his time on the stage. Trans activist Bamby Salcedo and other trans women of color stormed the venue holding trans flag that read “We Are Dying.” The women chanted “We are dying” and “Do something.” Some audience members joined the women in their protest however others jumped up to take the flag away and end the protest.

Anderson Cooper, who was moderating for Buttigieg, spoke up for the women as they were escorted out telling the audience, “Let me just point out, there is a long and proud tradition in history in the gay, lesbian and transgender community of protest and we applaud them for their protest.”

Cooper continued saying, “And they are absolutely right to be angry and upset at the lack of attention, particularly in the media, of the lives of transgender [people].”

Another trans activist, Blossom C Brown, also took on the moderators about the lack of Black trans voices during the town hall.

A lot of the conversation during the town hall focused on issues impacting gay men, trans women, and bisexual people. Many are calling out the town hall for ignoring trans people of color, lesbians, and non-binary people when it comes to health, housing, identity expression, and other issues impacting these communities specifically.

Ashlee Marie Preston, the only trans Black woman in the program, was taken out of the program by CNN so she publicly boycotted the event.

Credit: @AshleeMPreston / Twitter

There was a pretty glaring lack of trans women and men of color during the hours of discussion about LGBTQ+ issues. It is a common complaint within the community as trans women of color have long been ignored and silenced within the LGBTQ+ Rights movement.

READ: After Almost Two Years, Trans Activist Alejandra Barrera Has Been Released From ICE Custody

The Supreme Court’s Term Is Starting Off With Major Cases That Will Impact The Lives Of Many Americans

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The Supreme Court’s Term Is Starting Off With Major Cases That Will Impact The Lives Of Many Americans

Molly Adams / Flickr

The nine justices of the Supreme Court will return to the chambers to an explosive docket. The court is set to hear cases covering an array of social issues from abortion to DACA to LGBTQ+ discrimination to the Second Amendment. It is shaping up to be a major term for the highest court in the land.

The Supreme Court is getting ready to hear a series of cases that could impact some of the biggest social issues in American culture.

Credit: @hshaban / Twitter

All eyes are on the Supreme Court as major cases are being presented. Some of the cases included in the docket for this term of the Supreme Court are the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the definition of “sex” as it pertains to Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act and the LGBTQ community’s right to work without discrimination, an abortion case from Louisiana seeking to limit abortion rights, and a gun regulation from New York City.

On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court heard arguments about discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.

In almost half of the country, there are no laws protecting people in the LGBTQ+ community from being discriminated against in the workplace. The Supreme Court heard arguments from two gay men and one trans woman claiming that they were fired from their places of work because of their identity.

During oral arguments, when the employers being sued in the case argued that sex is different than same-sex attraction, Justice Elena Kagan suggested that the law does favor the employees.

“If he were a woman, he wouldn’t have been fired,” Justice Kagan told General Solicitor Noel Francisco, who is representing the employers. “This is the usual kind of way in which we interpret statutes now. We look to laws. We don’t look to predictions. We don’t look to desires. We don’t look to wishes. We look to laws.”

The Trump administration is aiming to get rid of DACA protections from almost 700,000 young people.

Credit: @SenWarren / Twitter

DACA is a program that was first created by President Obama. It gave almost 700,000 young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children the chance to go to college, get work permits, and protected them from deportation. The Trump administration ended the program in 2017 and immediately threw the lives of all DACA recipients in limbo.

United We Dream, a DACA-led media company filed its own brief with the Supreme Court. The brief is a first-of-its-kind video brief with DACA recipients arguing their case for preserving DACA. The organization also included an official written brief.

“DACA has accomplished far more than affording deferred prosecutorial action. It has created lifechanging opportunities for hundreds of thousands of promising young people. DACA has allowed them to lead fuller and more vibrant lives, including by seizing opportunities to advance their education, furthering their careers, providing critical help to their families, and giving back to their communities,” reads the United We Dream brief. “Able to make use of the basic building blocks of a productive life—a Social Security number, work authorization, or driver’s license, for example—DACA recipients have thrived. They are students, teachers, health care workers, first responders, community leaders, and small business owners. They are also spouses, neighbors, classmates, friends, and coworkers. Collectively, they are parents of over a quarter-million U.S. citizens, and 70% of DACA recipients have an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen. They pay taxes, contribute to their local economies in myriad ways, and spur a virtuous cycle of further opportunity for many Americans.”

Another case people are watching is an abortion case coming out of Louisiana.

Credit: @IlhanMN / Twitter

The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, isn’t aiming to overturn Roe v. Wade but it is hoping to limit the abortion rights of women starting in Louisiana. The law being challenged requires all abortion providers to get privileges are a hospital 30 miles from where the abortions take place.

The case is very similar to a Texas case that the Supreme Court rejected three terms ago. As such, the Louisiana case is asking the Supreme Court to distinguish between the two cases and to determine that the restriction is legitimate if a legislator vouches that the restriction is valid rather than it being valid in practice. As it stands, the law would leave just one doctor in the state of Louisiana allowed to perform abortions.

Another case getting some attention as it sits on the Supreme Court docket deals with the Second Amendment.

Credit: @DaigleLawGroup / Twitter

New York City’s original rule made it so handguns could only be transported to seven gun ranges throughout the city. While the case was originally contested because of the rule. New York City changed the rule and asked the court to dismiss the case as moot, but the court rejected the motion. This will be the first time the Supreme Court has heard a case about the Second Amendment’s reach in over a decade and is being hailed as a victory for gun rights advocates.

READ: DACA Advocates Shut Down Joe Biden At Last Night’s Democratic Debate, Here’s The Message They Delivered Loud And Clear