Things That Matter

Isabella Gomez From ‘One Day At A Time’ Is Humbled To Be An Icon To The Latinx LGBTQ Community

If you’re Cuban then you’re most likely watching Netflix’s One Day at a Time (ODAAT) like your life depends on it. My own therapist instructed me to watch ODAAT for ‘racial mirroring,’ and at first, I was hesitant to let any show tell me what my culture is, but ODAAT was really what I needed. It’s written by a Cuban woman, for Latinos, and everyone can relate with all the characters on the show.

There’s always one character who filters your lens of all the other characters. For me, it was Isabella Gomez’ character, Elena Alvarez, the angry, feminist, activist lesbian who breaks stereotypes for the LGBTQ community. We couldn’t help but tell the story of the young woman behind our favorite ODAAT character.

Isabella Gomez is an Aquarius.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

She was born on February 9, 1998, which means she’ll be celebrating her 21st birthday imminently. Feliz cumple, Isabella.

Gomez was born in Medellín, Colombia.

CREDIT: @elianamejiav / Instagram

To mother, Eliana Meija and father Sergio Gomez, whose world filled up with the birth of their daughter. They have no other children.

She started acting in commercials when she was 5 years old.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

Caption: “Feliz día a la mamá mas mamacita de todas!!! Te adoro mamita linda, eres la mejor de todas en todo el mundo y el universo por toda la eternidad, amén. 😂💙”

Her family moved to Orlando, Florida when she was 10 years old.

CREDIT: @sergiogomezc / Instagram

Why? They are the most supportive family imaginable. Gomez wanted to become an actress, so they moved to the country home to Hollywood to being naturalization. Plus, she got to grow up with Mickey Mouse.

Gomez received vocal lessons to moderate her Colombian accent.

CREDIT: @elianamejiav / Instagram

Apparently, she was an honor student from the get-go! When Dreamers dream, am I right?

Pero, todavía, habla español.

CREDIT: @sergiogomezc / Instagram

You’d know if you follow her on any of her social media accounts. She finds a Latino on the red carpet and they both story to share their Latino pride.

Pro tip: if you want to see all the throwback pics of Isabella as una muñeca, follow her parents @sergiogomezc and @elianameijav.

The family made one final move to Los Angeles when Gomez was 17 years old and the rest is history.

CREDIT: @elianamejiav / Instagram

She had appeared on 7 episodes of Matador and even had a small role in Modern Family before she was cast as Elena Alvarez on One Day at a Time. Way to go, fam!

It’s paid off.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

Gomez has pretty much always known she wanted to be an actress. She’ll be the first to tell you (or CorrienteLatina) that, “there’s a lot of rejection, so you have to be sure that this is what you want to do. You have to know that you love this. And I think once you know that you love something, the rest comes into place.”

Caption: “Thank you, thank you, thank you to the TV Academy for the incredible honor and for such a lovely night. #TVAcadHonors 💙”

When she was invited to audition for ODAAT, she was asked not to wear makeup.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

Which, if you know Elena, you understand why, but it’s an unusual request for actors. Elena is valued for her intellect, not her beauty, no matter how much it disappoints her beauty-obsessed abuelita.

Her on-screen vampiric BFF is her IRL BFF, Ariela Barer.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

Caption: “Wearing shirts with each others shows on them bc how freaking cool is that & also bc we’re annoyingly proud of each other 🖤”

Gomez credits her character Elena for teaching her about white-passing privilege.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

Gomez told Vanity Fair, “Ariela Barer, who plays Carmen in the first season, and I are really good friends, and we always talk about the industry, and she’s told me horror stories about the racism that she’s encountered because she’s Latinx. I was like, ‘That’s funny! I’ve never encountered that.’

And then I got this script, and I was like, ‘Oh my god. This makes so much sense.’ . . . It’s so good to be aware of your privilege that way, and I absolutely identified with Elena.”

Gomez has become an LGBTQ icon since starring in the show.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

Caption: “This was my first experience at Clexacon: walking into a room filled with so much love and excitement that we couldn’t help but shed a tear or two. And then it only got better!! I’m still feeling so overwhelmed by this weekend that I can’t quite put into words what an absolute dream it all was. Interacting with you guys, hearing your stories and being able to make human connections with the people we are telling these stories for is so beyond anything I had ever hoped for. My heart feels so full it might burst. I said it over and over all weekend and I’ll say it again: this community feels like my family. Thank you for being so accepting and supportive of me and for allowing me to be a part of your world. And thank you for making my first con an experience I’ll never forget!! I love you all more than you’ll ever know. #Clexacon2018 🌈❤️”

When she read the script where Elena’s father walks out on her after she comes out, she wept.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

She told FanFest News, “I remember Gloria told me about the plot line for the Season 1 finale while we were at an after party and I started crying right there. And then I cried when I read the script and at every table read and rehearsals and through the whole filming day. It wasn’t just shock either, it was outrage and pain and betrayal. I’ve become very protective of Elena and the LGBTQ community so living through a little bit of the experience that is the everyday reality for many of them was absolutely heartbreaking.”

“Being the vessel for this representation means a lot of people are extraordinarily vulnerable with me.”

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

Gomez is touched to be an icon for other young kids participating in their own coming out stories. She told FanFest News, “I couldn’t tell you how many coming out stories I’ve been able to read about and how many people, ranging from kids to adults, tell me that although they’re still in the closet, they now feel better about their situations and are working towards living their most authentic lives. It’s so humbling to read all this feedback and get to be a little part of their journeys.”

Gomez totally spaced out when she found out she got the role of Elena.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram
That’s right. The story goes that she was on a three way call with her agent, her manager and her dad (whose a lawyer), and they just start reading all this legal jargon aloud. She tells corriente Latina the full story:
“And they finished and they’re like, “all right, coo, bye.” And I’m like, “coo, bye.” And I went to walk into my room, and my dad called me back and he said, “What are you doing?” and I’m like, “What do you mean?” and he’s like, you just booked One Day at a Time and you’re not reacting. And I screamed out, like there’s no way this happened. I called Doyle back and said, “What were you reading to me?” and he said, “That was the pickup for you. I was wondering why you didn’t freak out.” So, that was that.”

She’s used her platform to promote voting rights in America…

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

Caption: “Voting is our RIGHT, our PRIVILEGE and our RESPONSIBILITY. I’m voting on November 6th and I hope you will join me if you can #BecauseItMatters.”

And equality for Latinas in pay, respect, and opportunities.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

Caption: “Today is #LatinaEqualPayDay, when we catch up to what white, non-hispanic men were paid in 2017. The pay gap is greatest for Latinas, who get 53 cents for every $1 a man makes. We are #PhenomenallyLatina and we deserve equal pay! 👊🏼@phenomenal.ly t-shirt proceeds benefit the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. www.phenomenalwoman.us”

I know what you’re thinking. Of course she, has a boo.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

His name is Rhenzy Feliz and he’s the Dominicano you love to watch on Marvel’s Runaways and he’s super passionate about environmental justice (and Isabella Gomez). That means her bestie and her boo get to share a set en juntos.

She stans Hispanic Heritage Month.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

Netflix brought together nine Netflix stars for this small photoshoot that brings together some of the cast from On My Block, Orange is the New Black, and One Day at a Time. she says she missed the memo that it was ‘farm casual’ but I ship her look.

She has no advice for her fans except to keep giving her advice.

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez / Instagram

This is Socrates level humility. She told FanFest News, “To my fans: If anything, I think you guys should be giving me advice and words of encouragement. I’ve never encountered such an overwhelmingly positive and supportive group of people. Please, please, please keep being the bright lights you already are. Keep loving hard and fighting for what’s right. If the world could feel a fraction of the happiness you all have made me feel then I truly believe the human race would become better. And I know you are all capable of making that difference. Keep fighting, my loves.”

21. Take the mitú quiz that Isabella Gomez, la princesa herself, took!

CREDIT: @wearemitu / Instagram

I guess Isabella Gomez wanted to find out who she’d be in the cast of ODAAT, based off her personality. Pero, no sé, maybe you’ll be Elena?


READ: Find Out Who You Are In The Alvarez Family With This ‘One Day At A Time’ Quiz

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Hundreds Of Universities, Cities, And Businesses File Amicus Briefs Urging The Supreme Court To Defend DACA

Things That Matter

Hundreds Of Universities, Cities, And Businesses File Amicus Briefs Urging The Supreme Court To Defend DACA

Getty Images

This week the Supreme Court went back into session, kicking off what’s expected to be one of the most divisive and controversial terms in recent history. Everything from LGBTQ and abortion rights, to yes, DACA, is on the docket, and America will get to see the impact of the addition of Trump-appointee Brett Kavanaugh.

Although judges are expected to be politically impartial, Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation hearing after being accused of sexual assault, left him charging Democrats with unfairly going after his character.

Now, some experts are bracing for a possible “conservative revolution,” after the court overturned two precedents (a highly unusual move) last term, and President Donald Trump has successfully appointed 150 judges to lifetime seats on the bench (whoever told said your vote didn’t matter, lied.)

In its newly started session, the Supreme Court isn’t shying away from hot topic issues – including a decision that will decide the outcome of DACA once and for all.

President Donald Trump’s signature issue is immigration, and in November the court will consider his administration’s decision to phase out DACA, an Obama-era initiative that protects nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation. The eventual ruling will have a major impact on way or another in the presidential race.

At issue before the justices is not the legality of the program, but how the administration decided to phase it out.

Plaintiffs, including the University of California, a handful of states and DACA recipients argue that the phase out violated the Administrative Procedure Act, a federal law that governs how agencies can establish regulations. Lower courts agreed and issued nationwide injunctions that allowed renewals in the program to continue. The Trump administration appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, and at the time, the President predicted success: “We want to be in the Supreme Court on DACA,” he said.

Groups of all kinds are filing so-called Amicus briefs to the Suprme Court urging them to protect DACA.

More than 100 different cities from across the country, dozens of major colleges and universities, and some of the country’s largest companies all joined together to defend DACA.

The brief filed by some 165 educational institutions said: “These extraordinary young people should be cherished and celebrated, so that they can achieve their dreams and contribute to the fullest for our country. Banishing them once more to immigration limbo — a predicament they had no part in creating — is not merely cruel, but irrational.”

Even the Mexican government filed a brief with the court.

Mexico has had little legal recourse in it’s fight against Trump’s cruel and (as many consider) illegal policies targeting the migrant community. And a large part of the migrant community (including those attacked at the El Paso Massacre) are Mexican nationals. So the government has been eager to take a stand.

And with the upcoming legal battle regarding DACA, Mexico has staked its position in support of DREAMers by filing an Amicus brief with the court. The brief points out the commitment to human rights and the principles of dignity that should be afforded to all humans – regardless of their migration status.

Meanwhile, children advocates point out that eliminating the program would also harm more than a quarter million US-born children.

More than three dozen child advocacy organizations say White House officials failed to account for a quarter of a million children born in the U.S. whose parents are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program when they repealed it in 2017.

“These children are endangered not only by the actual detention and deportation of their parents, but also the looming fear of deportation,” the groups wrote in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court last week. “The imminent threat of losing DACA protection places children at risk of losing parental nurturance, as well as losing income, food security, housing, access to health care, educational opportunities, and the sense of safety and security that is the foundation of healthy child development.”

Children’s health experts have been sounding the alarm on the impact of toxic stress inflicted on children impacted by the Trump administration’s immigration agenda. Studies have linked toxic stress to developmental issues with children’s brains and bodies and an increase in their risk of disorders ranging from diabetes to depression, heart disease, cancer, addiction and premature death.

DACA was created by an Obama executive order in 2012, and the Trump Administration announced in September 2017 it was officially ending the program.

When the Trump administration officially announced the end of the DACA program in September 2017, there were nearly 800,000 young immigrants around the country who benefited from it.

Three lawsuits challenging the termination of DACA filed in California, the District of Columbia and New York eventually led to courts prohibiting the government from phasing out the immigration program. Those lawsuits argued that ending the DACA program violated the rights of those covered by its benefits and ran counter to a federal law governing administrative agencies, according to SCOTUSblog. The Supreme Court consolidated those three lawsuits and will hear arguments on the DACA case on Nov. 12.

The justices will consider whether the court even has the authority to review the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA and, if so, whether the decision to end DACA is legal.

Predictably, President Trump has urged the court to strike down DACA.

As recently as Wednesday, President Trump said his predecessor had no authority to initiate the DACA program in the first place, and that if the Supreme Court overturns it, as it should, Congress would likely find a legislative solution to allowing DACA recipients to remain in the U.S.

“The Republicans and Democrats will have a DEAL to let them stay in our Country, in very short order,” he tweeted Wednesday. “It would actually benefit DACA, and be done the right way!”

A Newly Restored Version of The 90s ‘Selena’ Classic Film Starring Jennifer Lopez Is Coming To The Big Screen Again

Entertainment

A Newly Restored Version of The 90s ‘Selena’ Classic Film Starring Jennifer Lopez Is Coming To The Big Screen Again

Selena /Warner Bros.

Twenty-two years have passed since Latinas across the globe watched in awe as Jennifer Lopez took on the role of Tejano music icon Selena in the biopic of her life. The 1997 classic lovingly spotlighted the singer’s life and death years ago and, in the years since, has been a sort of cultural Latino touchstone for young girls who didn’t have the chance to grow up watching the singer herself.

Now, young Latinas who didn’t get to see the classic in the theaters during its original release will have a chance to do just that this weekend.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music has announced that it will screen a new digital print of the film in theaters this weekend.

Back in 1997, when the film was originally released, “Selena” spent fifteen weeks at the box office. It’s time in theaters proved that Latinos could not only direct films, but they could star in them as well while also drawing massive audiences to movie theater seats. At the time, the film marked a breakout moment for actress, singer, and dancer Jennifer Lopez.

If you’re in NYC this weekend and plan on attending the screening, here are some fun facts to remember while watching!

Fans of Selena protested when they learned Jennifer Lopez was playing Selena.

Selena /Warner Bros.

Selena’s fans began protesting the film once they learned that Jennifer Lopez was taking on the role of their beloved singer. Many thought that Lopez, a Puerto Rican from New York, was unfit to play the Mexican-American from Texas.

Six other women gave J.Lo a run for her money.

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Selena /Warner Bros.

Three women from the open call were selected and three other actresses including Salma Hayek and Bibi Gaytán were considered.

Jackie Guerra lied about her talents.

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Selena /Warner Bros.

Jackie Guera who played the role of Suzette, wanted the role so badly that she lied at her audition and said that she was an expert drummer. Suzette later gave her private lessons.

“Selena” almost became a victim of brownface.

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Selena /Warner Bros.

The film’s director had to fight to get Lopez the role of Selena. At the time, Warner Bros was considering a non-Latina actress to take on the role which would have been AWFUL.

Jennifer Lopez lip-synched

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Selena /Warner Bros.

Creators feared that fans would be upset if they saw Lopez singing the song on her own. So Lopez was coached to lip-synch instead.

Abraham Quintanilla didn’t want to show Selena’s murder.

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Selena /Warner Bros.

The film which came out just two years after Selena’s death was likely a very hard project for Abraham to work on. He didn’t want to show his daughter’s death but the film’s director convinced him it was necessary.

Constance Marie could be Jennifer Lopez’s sister.

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Selena /Warner Bros.

Lopez and Marie play mother and daughter in the movie. But in real life, Marie is only 4 years older than Jennifer Lopez.