When Mexican music icon Juan Gabriel died suddenly last summer, it was revealed that Gabriel (real name: Alberto Aguilera Valadez) had more children than previously thought. Months after the 66-year-old singer’s death, we learned that he was actually the father of six, not four, children. One of his “secret” kids, Luis Alberto Aguilera, was born to Guadalupe Gonzalez, one of Juan Gabriel’s domestic workers.
Soon after the revelation, the 26-year-old expressed his desire to follow in his father’s footsteps. In an interview with “Ventaneando” last year, Aguilera said he was writing songs in English and Spanish, but was leaning towards creating music in English so he could forge his own path. Earlier this month, Aguilera released his first track, “Sprite,” and if you’re expecting something in the vein of “Querida” or “No Tengo Dinero,” you’re out of luck. The English-language song sounds heavily influenced by “Thank Me Later”-era Drake and The Weeknd, so any JuanGa comparisons immediately fly out of the window.
Before releasing “Sprite,” Aguilera told “Ventaneando” he knows his father’s iconic status means he’ll never completely escape comparisons. But he’s good with it. “I know the comparisons will be there but I’ve got my own style. Maybe there’s a slight similarity in our vocal range,” said Aguilera.
The history of Gay Rights in the country date back to the late ’60s and the epicenter was Manhattan. The core fighters of the LGBTQ community include Marsha P. Johnson, Scott G. Brown, Sylvia Rivera, and a slew of other pioneers. The sad thing is this generation has passed or will very soon, which is why we have to honor their legacy while they’re still alive. One of those people is an inspiring person in our Latinx community.
Victoria Cruz, who is in her 70s, is a survivor of the Stonewall Riots and is still very much a part of the fight for LGBTQ rights.
Cruz, who was born in Puerto Rico, is one of 11 children that grew up in New York. While Cruz was born a male, she knew since she was in high school that she was a woman. Back in the ’60s, that was no easy thing to admit, yet her Puerto Rican family supported her transition.
While her family and close community were supportive, Cruz faced immense hardships including harassment from the police, and later in the ’90s, she was assaulted.
“I was very angry. Very angry,” Cruz said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2017. “The worst part of it is that I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me, and added that she was “was contemplating suicide,” at the time.
But she overcame that tough time and is recognized as a leader in the movement for Gay Rights.
Yet, despite the hate and violence she faced, Cruz pushed on standing up for her LGBTQ+ family.
“I used to go to St. Vincent’s on my lunch hour…and I would see her,” Cruz told The Advocate. “She called to me, ‘Victoria, come here.’ And she always called me Dickie, you know, so when she said, ‘Victoria come here,’ I knew that she meant business. I sat down, and she looked at me. She said, ‘Try to keep the community together because we are our own worst enemy. And there’s power in numbers.’ And then she said, ‘The world will come up to try to divide us, and when you divide a community, you conquer it. So try to keep the community together.’”
As a trans woman and pioneer of the LGBTQ movement, Cruz said positive change is happening right now.
“I’m optimistic, and I’m hopeful that it will change for the better,” she told The Advocate. “There’s power in numbers. If we unite and keep united, we can make the future different, and what we want it to be. By galvanizing one another, we galvanize each other. And with the same frame of mind, the same frame of thought, we can change what’s happening.”
Trans rights are the new frontier in the LGBTQ+ movement. Despite the contributions made to the movement by trans women of color, cis members of the LGBTQ+ community ignore their plight or add to the harassment.
“There is so much hatred directed toward queer people, particularly transgender women of color. For what? Why? I think it may be about people’s own insecurities about their own identities and sexualities. And further, people don’t know their history,” Cruz told BC/Stories. “The transgender experience isn’t new. It’s as old as the human experience, and anyone who does their research would know this. I think society needs to be educated, and maybe after being educated, empathy will follow.”
It’s always really cool to see a big name brand embrace the art of our Latinidad. It’s like a nod to all of the great Latinx artisans who add beauty and color to our culture. In fact, seeing consumers enthusiastically welcome these goods feels like further validation. With this in mind, it makes this new collaboration all the sweeter for us art and fashion lovers.
In what the shoe company is calling a “collaboration fiesta,” Keds released three fun and vibrant new designs.
Some of the shoes borrow inspiration from Thelma Dávila’s colorful Guatemalan textiles. Alternatively, other pairs utilize Lolita Mia’s festive fringe as embellishments. These touches combine with Keds’ original platform shoes to make a unique product.
Of the partnership with these new brands, Keds’ website says:
“It’s so rewarding to be able to be a part of the professional and personal growth of women who decided to follow their dreams. Entrepreneurs (especially female ones) are always brave, they’re risk-takers that believe strongly in themselves. And we believe in them too. We’re so excited to introduce you to our latest for-women-by-women collaborations.”
The company specializes in designing and crafting unique pieces by hand. Furthermore, their products utilize Guatemalan textiles, leathers and non-leather materials. Obviously, this collaboration is built on a solid relationship between the two brands. Since last year, Keds retail locations have carried Thelma Dávila bags and products in stores.
On their website, Keds said the design collaborations were intent on “taking geometric design and color cues from [Dávila’s] native culture, our classic Triple Kick gets transformed into a fiesta-ready standout.”
Founded by jewelry artisan and entrepreneur, Elena Gil, Lolita Mia is a Costa Rican accessory brand.
While studying abroad in Italy, Gil made a significant personal discovery. She realized that ethnic crafts and traditions were very alike across regions. Specifically, they were similar in cultural importance. In light of this, she decided to start her own brand. Lolita Mia’s handmade products embrace what Gil has coined a “Universal Ethnic Luxury.”
Of the collaboration with Lolita Mia, Keds’ website reads:
“[The] aesthetic shines through in these playful renditions of our platforms in the form of fun, festive fringe and punchy tropical shades.”
The Ked × Lolita Mia collaboration has two designs while the Ked x Thelma Dávila collab is made up of one.
“Triple Tassel” is a multicolored platform with purple, pink, orange and white tassels attached to the laces. “Triple Decker Fringe” is an off-white platform slip-on with multi-colored fringe and golden embellishments on top. The “Triple Kick” features a neutral platform with Guatemalan textile accents around the bottom.
Each design is priced at $70 a pair. Moreover, they are available exclusively on Keds’ website. Be sure to order yours today and add a little extra Latinx flare to your summer looks.
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