The Latino LGBTQ community in Miami is celebrating October a lo grande! Not only because we’re in the midst of Hispanic Heritage Month, but also because the 6th annual Celebrate Orgullo Festival is in town – a month-long celebration uniting artists, musicians, educators and more.
What began as a one-day event in 2012, has flourished into a month-long festivity with activities like movie screenings, poetry readings, book signings, writing workshops, culinary tours, and drag brunches, according to the event’s official website.
The festival is organized by Unity Coalition/Coalición Unida, the first and only organization for the South Florida Latino LGBTQ community.
“Our focus is much more on the culture and the heritage of the Hispanic community. We certainly like to have fun and have our events be celebratory, but unlike a traditional LGBT Pride festival we try to focus more on the art and the culture of our community,” Unity Coalition President Herb Sosa said to The Miami Herald. “It’s a showcase for the rest of the world to come see the wonderful talent that is the Hispanic LGBT community.”
Celebrate Orgullo, which runs from September 15 to October 16, is one of a kind in the 305.
The Estefans’ Red Table Talk is officially here and queer!
So get used to it!
The beloved Cuban singer and her family hosted their second episode of the Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk: The Estefans. Things got real real as she, her daughter Emily Estefan and niece Lili Estefan sat down for a raw and honest conversation about their lives and relationships.
In the second episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans‘ titled, “Emily’s Coming Out Story,” the family revealed that Gloria was shocked to learn that her “miracle baby” was queer.
Speaking frankly, Gloria explained that her initial reaction to her daughter’s coming out was to dissuade her from telling her grandmother the truth. According to Gloria, she feared that her own mother would die from the news about Emily.
“I came out to my parents like in 2017. But as you’ll see on the show, I think they knew way before that,” Emily, who is 25-years-old Entertainment Weekly in an interview. “What I’m most excited about in this episode is the complexity of it all. I wouldn’t be doing anybody justice if I went up there and lied and said that it was easy or that there weren’t complex emotions involved, even though my mom has been such a fierce supporter of the LGBTQ community. Everybody has a perspective. And as human beings, we’re always trying to be understood instead of understanding. As you’ll see in the clip, it was difficult for me to hear that. No matter under any perspective, those words were difficult to hear.”
Sadly, Emily never had the chance to share this part of her identity with her grandmother, Gloria Fajardo.
Fajardo passed away in 2017 before Emily had the chance to come out to her. It is unknown whether she knew of her sexual orientation before she passed away.
“That is one of my biggest unanswered questions that I will live the rest of my life with,” Emily explained “Many of the people around me that love me have told me they knew. But in my heart, my grandmother and I were so close but I’m really not sure. But that’s part of life too — you don’t get every answer that you want. I’m also learning that regrets are a waste of time. But I’m still on that journey. A few years ago, I would’ve never imagined that we’d be talking about this as I’m about to release an episode where I say things I’ve not even told family members of mine. I’m still growing and learning.”
In the latest episode of the Red Table Talk, Gloria explains that Emily became known as her “miracle baby” after she was conceived following a devastating tour bus accident in 1990.
At the time, Estefan’s doctors told her she would not be able to concieve more children. At the time, Gloria and her husband, Emilio Estefan, already had their son, Nayib Estefan. Nayib is 15 years older than his sister Emily.
In the latest interview, Emily talks about the pressures of having to live up to the concept of a “perfect daughter” that had been projected onto her by media outlets. She also addresses how she became the target of tabloid fodder in Spanish-language media after her relationship with Gemeny Hernandez was revealed.
“My parents would tell me all the time that we all have to earn respect, which I totally understand and fully agree with,” Emily explained of her experiences growing up in the spotlight. “Life is difficult and you don’t know what people’s intentions are all the time. When my dad started dating my mom, my grandma would slam the door in his face! My parents never exhibited anything extreme like that when it came to my relationships, but they would remind me what their courtship was like. I would let them know that we’re going through similar things, but in different colors. Life is about repetition and trying to pick up new things along the way. My grandma came from a time where she didn’t go on a date with my grandpa until they had their marriage certificate, and even then her mom was chaperoning them. They didn’t kiss until they were married.”
Emily revealed that she and her girlfriend Gemeny have been together for almost four years now and that she has been welcomed as part of the Estefan family.
“Family dynamics are hard, no matter what,” Emily went onto share. “Gem is one of those people who is like a mirror: She came into my life and showed me my truth. Sometimes that’s not beautiful, but that’s what love is. It’s not beauty or dates or romance all the time, but all of the things that come with love. I’m really young, but I feel that having her by my side has made me truly understand what a loving, adult relationship is like. That’s why it’s been so easy for me to fight this fight and speak my truth, because it’s all worth it. She helped me be brave. Now she has a relationship with my family which is the incredible part and can maybe be explored in season 2? Having her come to sit at the table and talk about those dynamics. Everybody loves each other, but as I said, love isn’t easy. And you know what it’s like being a part of a Latino family. The baby starts dating somebody, even if it’s Mickey Mouse, they still wouldn’t think he’s good enough!”
The second episode of the Estefan’s Red Table Talk, “Emily’s Coming Out Story,” debuted this past Wednesday, Oct. 14, at noon ET on Facebook Watch.
Ash Soto is a young Latina living in Florida using social media to bring acceptance and self-love to the vitiligo community. The Instagrammer has more than 166,000 followers and uses her platform to deliver art and activism one post at a time. Vitiligo is a skin condition and this Latina is reclaiming her skin one photo at a time.
Ash Soto is giving the vitiligo community some love and representation on social media.
Soto is a 24-year-old Instagrammer who is using her platform to show off her vitiligo and give the community some love and representation. The sudden social media star is catching a lot of attention after showing off her body in a way followers hadn’t seen before.
According to an interview with Self, Soto first started her Instagram page to do makeup and only showed her face. The reason was that she was uncomfortable showing people that part of herself.
Soto uses art to highlight and celebrate her vitiligo.
You might recognize Soto because of her incredible body art that is giving her vitiligo all of the self-love and acceptance. It is all part of her mission to reclaim her skin and make other people comfortable in theirs.
“I remember back when I was really young—you know when you’re in middle school, you try to fit in with the crowd,” Soto told Self. “I wasn’t fitting in. People made fun of me to the point where I would cry myself to sleep every night.”
Soto was young when she was diagnosed with vitiligo.
Vitiligo is a skin condition where a person loses the pigmentation of their skin. The cells in the skin that produce the pigmentation die or stop functioning leading to the loss of skin color over time. The disease shows up as splotches on the skin without pigmentation.
“I never realized how beautiful my vitiligo was until I traced it with a black marker, it really helps to bring out the different colors of my skin. I was always trying to find a way to look at my skin in a positive light, [and] I couldn’t do that before starting this,” Soto told Daily Mail. Now what others would perceive as an imperfection, I have made into something more beautiful and made it more accepted than before.”
Soto has been living with her vitiligo since she was 12 years old.
A moment in her teens made her embarrassed of her body and her skin. When she was a teenager, a little girl on the beach asked her if she took a shower in bleach. According to Daily Mail, that was when Soto wanted to lock herself away from the world.
Years later, Soto is flipping the script and embracing her vitiligo in all of its glory. You can follow Soto and her vitiligo journey on Instagram at @radiantbambi.
“If you feel beautiful, that’s what matters,” Soto told Self. “No one can say anything if you feel happy with yourself.”