Entertainment

Here’s Why Lady Gaga Confused a Mariachi Festival with a Gay Pride Parade

Lady Gaga took to Instagram to share a couple photos of herself from the balcony of her Chicago apartment in celebration of gay pride. Overlooking a huge gathering of people down below, her caption read, “Watching over Chicago Pride from my apartment and smiling so big. So many happy people. Happy pride!!

People with Over-the-Top Costumes

And Out-of-this-World Characters

Oh, and, there’s Always a Queen Walking Around

Cocktail O’Clock Lasts All Day

Let’s Not Forget the Cuties in Tight Pants

Or the Sexy Ladies in Colorful Outfits

Brewing Bromances

What’s your favorite festival or parade memory? mitú wants to know. Leave a comment below.

This All-Female Mariachi Group Won’t Let Trump And Threats Of Shootings Keep Them From Performing

Entertainment

This All-Female Mariachi Group Won’t Let Trump And Threats Of Shootings Keep Them From Performing

Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas / Facebook

A week after the El Paso, Texas shootings, there’s no denying that the Latino community at the border town and across the nation remains gripped by both grief, fear, and anger. Threats have been made against Wal-Marts across the country and at least one White Nationalist has traveled to El Paso to inspire further fear in migrants and Latinx folk. It only serves to further the trauma that El Paso natives are feeling and — in doing so — allows racists to win by compromising our way of life.

While it’s extremely understandable to give in to this fear, one group of mujeres are fighting to live on their own terms.

Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas, a 14 member, all-female mariachi band, has declared that they will continue to perform despite the increased hate aimed at Latinx folk.

Twitter / @CynthiaPompa

Despite their defiance, the group admits that they have felt vulnerable to attacks because of how visible the mariachi group is. Lilly Sanchez, the woman who has led the group since 2002, spoke with NBC NEWS about their situation.

“What is more Hispanic than wearing a mariachi outfit?” she asked. ”We certainly feel like we have a target on our back, but we still have to do our job, so we do our job.”

The mariachi group played for counter-protesters back in February when Donald Trump came to El Paso and held a rally for his border wall. During the El Paso Massacre memorial, another mariachi group named Puesta del Sol played a classic Juan Gabriel song; showing just how integrated mariachi is into the El Paso community.

Still, there’s no denying that their public personas draw a certain amount of attention that can expose them to violence and hate.

Twitter / @ChordsofPeace

The fear is still very real and it resulted in one member quitting the mariachi group after the attack in El Paso.

“It’s still fresh, it’s very fresh,” Sanchez admitted in the interview with NBC. “We still pass by that Walmart every single day, several times a day, so it’s a reminder that it just happened, and yeah, we’re feeling afraid, we’re feeling targeted after this.”

Like many El Paso citizens, members of Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas are finding it hard to return to normal life.

Twitter / @votolatino

Violinist for Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas, Karyme Perea, acknowledged to NBC NEWS that she finds it hard to leave her home following the attack. However, the musician says she draws strength from the people of El Paso and the fact that the man who attacked her community was an outsider. The alleged shooter is said to have driven eleven hours from the Dallas area to attack the border town.

“I also know that we still have to keep on going, and I trust the city,” Perea explained. “It was from someone on the outside. No one in the city would actually do that, and I put that trust back into the people and that’s what makes me go outside every single day.”

The band’s youngest member, high school student Regina Hernandez, has an extra layer of anxiety with school returning to session in the upcoming days. The guitarrón player shared her anxieties in the NBC NEWS interview.

“There’s times where I feel very nervous to even go to school because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she admitted. “There’s times where we have to … go on with it, pretend like we’re still okay, we’re still strong enough to.”

Still, the group of strong mujeres know that they are a symbol of the Latinidad and need to be unified and reliable for their community.

Twitter / @BetoORourke

Members of Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas understand that they can’t allow fear to control them any longer than it already has. The people of El Paso need to be able to move on in their grief and in their lives. Only by living life to its fullest potential will survivors honor the 22 who are lost and condemn the man who tried to destroy their community.

“We’re not going to let him win and take away our security” Sanchez declared. “But if we stay home and we let this change our lives, his racism wins.”

Reactions to Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas stance have been supportive and have included expressions of pride.

Twitter / @JoseLagniton

As this tweet suggests, mariachi music is just as American as country, rock and roll, and pop music. To attack an institution like mariachi is to attack not only Mexico but also the Southwestern United States where it is so popular.

This tweet declares support for these women, who make beautiful music in both times of celebration and sorrow.

Twitter / @Czazman

There is nothing punishable about making music. Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas and other mariachi groups should be supported and celebrated for continuing to show up for the Latinidad during this hard time. We hope these mujeres and all El Paso citizens get the help and support they need so they can continue to make the music that moves our communities.

Lady Gaga Pledged To Fund 162 Classrooms In Dayton, El Paso And Gilroy Following Horrific Mass Shootings

Things That Matter

Lady Gaga Pledged To Fund 162 Classrooms In Dayton, El Paso And Gilroy Following Horrific Mass Shootings

Our community is still reeling after the recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, Gilroy, California and El Paso, Texas. In these assaults, far-right fanatics aimed their hate at places where migrants and Latinx folk gathered in a direct attack on our public safety. After these violations, public anxieties have been put on high alert. With attacks happening at stores, festivals and out in the streets, it seems like no place is safe anymore. This anxiety is only made worse with the upcoming return to school for millions of children across the nation. 

The communities of Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy especially have reason to be unnerved but there is some good news coming their way thanks to the generosity of one of the world’s biggest stars.  

Lady Gaga has announced that her charitable foundation will “fully fund” 162 classrooms in the three assaulted communities. 

Facebook / Lady Gaga

On August 9th, the Oscar winner made a post to her Facebook account to share her generous plan. In the post, Gaga states that her Born This Way Foundation will partner with DonorsChoose.org in order to fully fund essentials for classrooms in the three impacted communities. Thanks to the help of these foundations, 14 classrooms in Dayton, 125 classrooms in El Paso, and 23 classrooms in Gilroy will get the help and support they need to welcome students back for the 2019/2020 school year. 

Gaga shared her sympathies for the affected communities. In the note addressed to Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy, the artist wrote:

“My heart goes out to those who were taken from us too soon and to their families, loved ones, and communities who are left to grieve. Everyone has the right to laws that make them feel safe in their communities. In this moment, I want to channel my confusion, frustration, and fury into hope. Hope that we are there for each other and for ourselves.”

The signer also spoke to what will be needed to recover from these tragedies. 

Twitter / @thehill

Lady Gaga has long been an advocate for mental health awareness. In her 2019 Grammy’s acceptance speech, the singer spoke candidly about recognizing when someone needs help and getting that help without worrying about the stigma associated with mental illness. So, it makes sense that she would include a focus on mental health in her statement. 

“Surviving and recovering from these tragedies also means prioritizing your mental health and checking in on your loved ones,” the pop star wrote. “If you’re struggling, please be brave and tell a trusted someone. Don’t be scared to ask for help, I beg you. If you see a loved one struggling, please be brave and reach out, remind them it’s ok to not be ok, and listen to them. We cannot turn away from ourselves. We cannot turn away from our loved ones. We need each other. Don’t turn away.”

Mental illness is not a trigger for these tragedies but they are a result. Survivors of mass shootings are inflicted with anxiety and depression. Survivor’s guilt has also been credited for suicides after these assaults. As Gaga says in her post, we have to take care of ourselves and each other in the aftermath of these catastrophes. 

Though hearts are still heavy, El Paso citizens were uplifted by this news. 

Facebook / Lady Gaga

As a comment pointed out, a return to school is a return to normalcy for these students, teachers, and administrators. Being able to return back to class may seem like a small act but it is a reminder to these citizens that life goes on after tragedy and they will move on past this pain. Acts of kindness like the one offered by Lady Gaga will help the community get back to normal after such a life-altering event and that means a lot. 

While responses to Gaga’s philanthropy have generally been positive, many expressed frustration over the government’s lack of help in the communities impacted by mass shootings.

Twitter / @jonbaltz @TPhantom84

There’s a lot of frustration aimed at the government after these tragedies. The failure to pass comprehensive gun reform is only one reason why the public criticizes their representative after these tragedies. Another is the lack of support that these communities see the following mass shootings.

Many families have to resort to Go Fund Me’s in order to bury or cremate their lost family members. The mental impact of these assaults is also ignored by the government. If the people who represent us do nothing to solve gun violence, the least they can do is to do something to clean up after these violent attacks. Either way, something has to happen and — though it’s much appreciated — it shouldn’t be handled solely by the generosity of celebrities.