Culture

This Queer Immigration Activist Is Pushing The Boundaries Of Brown LGBTQ Art

Julio Salgado is a Mexican artist who does not hold back in his art. The California-based artist has been making politically charged and relevant AF pieces over the past year and things are just getting started. mitú spoke with Salgado to learn a little bit more about the man behind the art.

You may recognize Salgado’s viral art series featuring popular sitcoms reimagined with people of color as lead characters.

Julio Salgado / Facebook
CREDIT: Julio Salgado / Facebook

“When the POC TV Show Takeover series took off online and folks were sharing the images, I remember reading comments that were accusing me of being anti-white or stealing white culture,” Salgado told mitú. “Hilarious! For the record, these series were not meant to put down these shows. On the contrary, I loved these sitcoms. I grew up with these sitcoms. I learned English with these sitcoms! It’s about the need to create more shows and movies that depict our stories not just in front of the camera but behind the camera.”

I-Con-Ic.

Julio Salgado / Facebook
CREDIT: Julio Salgado / Facebook

“Why were people so obsessed with a show like “Friends,” which is basically a show about six white people that hung out at a coffeeshop,” Salgado asks. “It was because they had great writers behind these characters who made them humane. We need more of that with people of color character. Thank God for Issa Rae and Shonda Rhimes!”

Salgado first started making art when he was a kid and his biggest inspiration is Frida Khalo.


“When I moved to California from Ensenada, Mexico, I was put in this 7th grade class where most of the kids that looked like me spoke mostly in English. I was 12 years old, about to be a teenager and so not wanting to live in this country,” Salgado told mitú. “I felt like it wasn’t my home. But it was in the 7th grade where I was introduced to Frida Kahlo. Her raw and emotional work sparked something inside of me. As the years went by and art teachers kept encouraging me to take the art route, I just knew I wanted to do art for the rest of my life.”

And as his experience with art has grown, so has his voice, along with his no-f*cks given attitude.


“I think it’s important for artists, or anyone really, to continue to grow,” Salgado told mitú about what he wants people to take from his art. “But I guess the main message is for people to own their narratives and not let anyone speak for you.” #PREACH

Salgado first became interested in politics as a journalism student at Long Beach City College. He made cartoons for the student newspaper.

Can't sleep? #AdventuresOfBitterFag #FagFriday #Deportations #Homophobia #UndocuQueer

A photo posted by Julio Salgado (@juliosalgado83) on


“While I was at the student newspaper [at Long Beach City College], I was also creating editorial cartoons and eventually transferred to California State University, Long Beach and continued to hone my political cartooning skills,” Salgado told mitú. “Around this time, there weren’t many depictions in the media of who we were as undocumented students. The snippets you would see in the media were very dehumanizing of the migrant experience.”

“I started making artwork and writing about being undocumented and things that were affecting our communities,” Salgado said.


Salgado was moved by other undocumented activists at the time and wanted to make sure that he could help to document their fight.

Not only is Salgado tackling the political issues facing the undocumented community, he is also tackling the LGBTQ issues within the undocumented community.


Salgado says that his biggest inspiration of incorporating the queer identity to his art was from fellow queer migrant activists.

“As we know from many movements, when you’re queer you’re always told to leave the ‘gay agenda’ behind and focus on the big picture,” Salgado told mitú. “In the migrant rights movement for many years, that big picture meant immigration reform.”

By creating queer migrant art, Salgado joined several migrant activists pushing against the homophobia within the migrant rights world.


“A lot of key undocumented and formally undocumented organizers like Yahaira Carrillo, Prerna Lal, Sonia Guinansaca, Kemi Bello, Javier Hernandez and many more pushed against the real homophobia and heteronormativity that lurked in migrant rights organizing and that really informed the queerness in my political art,” Salgado continued. “Of course, my own personal queer experiences have been part of my art as well.”

Salgado’s undocuqueer lens has helped him to create some incredibly relevant art in 2016 from the ridiculousness being spewed this presidential election…

…to the tragic Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting that targeted LGBTQ people of color.


“The morning after the horrible tragedy in Orlando earlier this year, I got a call from my mother who pretty much told me to stop going to gay clubs,” Salgado told mitú. “I can’t imagine being the mother or the father of a gay son or daughter and hearing what was happening. This tragedy only reminded me of the reality that our communities go through as queer people of color.”

Since the Orlando shooting, Salgado has created a new art series dedicated to queer trans people-of-color (QTPOC) love.

Que Siga La Fiesta: Queer and Trans People of Color Club Takeover. #QueerCumbia #QTPOC #QueerArt #UndocuQueer #Oakland

A photo posted by Julio Salgado (@juliosalgado83) on


“I decided to keep going to gay clubs and bars to take pictures of the smiling queer and trans people of color while they were alive and make these illustrations,” Salgado told mitú about how he responded after the Orlando shooting. “I wanted to capture the moments when we as a community celebrate ourselves and hug each other and are there for each other.”

As for the presidential election, well, Salgado thinks the whole thing, no matter who wins, is just going to be a wash.

When you want to be hopeful but… #AdventuresOfBitterFag #FagSaturday

A photo posted by Julio Salgado (@juliosalgado83) on


“All I know is that after this circus of an election is over, we will still have detention centers, prisons, racism, etc,” Salgado told mitú. “The job of the artist is to portray that in the art. To remind folks that our bodies will continue to suffer after we elect a rich white person into office.”

And he just hopes that people of color realize that when election is over, it doesn’t mean there’s no more work to do.


“Being in the migrant rights movement for so many years has made me very, very skeptical of any politician regardless of party affiliation,” Salgado said. “So whether you decide to exercise your right to vote or stay at home, the realities that we face as communities of color will still be there after this election.”


READ: Letters of Detained Immigrants are Getting Mass Exposure by Becoming Works of Art

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Lauren Jauregui Says That the Imaginary Relationship That Fans Invented Between Her and Camila Cabello Was ‘Traumatizing’

Entertainment

Lauren Jauregui Says That the Imaginary Relationship That Fans Invented Between Her and Camila Cabello Was ‘Traumatizing’

Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for iHeart

Former Fifth Harmony member Lauren Jauregui is opening up about a traumatic time in her life that affects the way she approaches romantic relationships to this day.

On Becky G‘s En La Sala podcast, Jauregui revealed that the imaginary relationships that fans “shipped” between her and Camila Cabello made her “disgustingly uncomfortable”.

As a background, “shipping” is an internet phenomenon in which fans want two people (either real or imagined) to get together in a romantic relationship. On the internet, “shipping” usually consists of fans producing art or other creative works to support their imagined storyline.

Jauregui and Cabello were the centerpiece of such a fandom. Fans even had an imagined portmanteau for the duo: “Camren”. Fans would interpret everything–a stray glance, a lingering hug, them dancing on stage together–as evidence that they were secretly dating. But the two women were never in a romantic relationship.

Jauregui–who now identifies as bisexual–explained that the rumors upset her so much for a myriad of reasons. First, she didn’t have romantic feelings towards Cabello. “Camila and I were just very good friends at that time,” she explained to Becky G. “And we respected each other. When each other would talk, we would look at each other. We had love for each other. Like, genuine friendship.”

Number two, Jauregui was aware that Cabello was not queer, and that fact further complicated things.

“It made me feel like a predator,” she said. “Because of the type of clips people would put together and the type of stories people would write and the type of stuff–I was always the aggressor and I was always the one turning her. I was always the one who was the ‘masculine’ energy in the scenario and it made me very uncomfortable because that is not how I identify.”

Jauregui also explains that the rumors were hard for her because, at the time, she wasn’t ready to come out publicly. “I wasn’t even comfortable with telling my parents about it,” she said. “I wasn’t even comfortable telling myself that I was queer.”

All of the speculation around her relationship with Cabello had lasting effects on her confidence with women.

“To this day I have an issue flirting with girls because I don’t want to make them think that I’m trying to invade or anything like that,” she revealed.

Jauregui went on to say that she doesn’t usually talk about that time of her life in public because it was “so traumatizing” for her. “I just chose to ignore it at a certain point, because getting angry to [those fans] would mean that it was real and validated it more for them. So I was like, okay, then I can’t get angry or defend myself, apparently, because that just makes it more real [for them]. It just really f—– with my head.”

Lauren Jauregui’s revelation is just another example of how fans can sometimes forget that celebrities are people too. Unfortunately, Jauregui experienced trauma at the hands of people who probably thought the entire thing was just fun and games.

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Gloria Estefan Shares Her ‘Shocking’ Reaction To Her Daughter Coming Out

Fierce

Gloria Estefan Shares Her ‘Shocking’ Reaction To Her Daughter Coming Out

David M. Benett / Getty

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.

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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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGOWijzBSHQ/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=12&wp=1200&rd=https%3A%2F%2Few.com&rp=%2Ftv%2Fgloria-estefan-reaction-daughter-emily-coming-out-red-table-talk%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A1772.594999987632%7D

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.

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