Things That Matter

LGBTQ+ Latinos Showed Up And Represented At One Of The Largest Equality Marches Of Our Lifetime

It’s been one year since Omar Mateen opened fire and killed 49 people at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Many of the victims were young, LGBTQ+ Latinos enjoying a night of dancing with family and friends. One year later, at The Equality March for Unity and Pride, LGBTQ+ Latinxs were out, loud, and proud for all those who couldn’t be there. Some of them spoke to mitú about why they took part in one of the largest LGBTQ+ demonstrations in recent memory and why they wanted to be visible. Here’s what they told us…

Sara Ramirez

José Salvador Sanchez / mitú

“I think it’s important [to be visible] but I also think that it’s a really individual and personal decision for people to come out either publicly or to their family or to themselves. That’s a very personal process so I’m not one to dictate what people should do,” Ramirez told mitú. “What I do understand from coming out publicly, certainly, why it’s important is that I’m normalizing something for people so they’re not so afraid of it themselves, maybe. The modeling of that could help somebody else have the courage to do that in the mirror for themselves and to represent black and brown bodies doing that are owning all of the intersectionalities that their lives touch on that can be equally oppressing.”

Ashley Summers

José Salvador Sanchez / mitú

“I am a Pulse survivor and it’s very important to me to make sure that we keep things visible and we keep people in the loop of what’s going on because right now there can be some trickiness into getting things to be properly viewed,” Summers told mitú. “I definitely want to be here for the people who can’t be here. There are a lot of people who don’t have the availability in the world.”

Paulina Montañez-Montes

José Salvador Sanchez / mitú

“I think that the Latinx community is sort of not as visible as a lot of other communities and identities. I try to be as open about being a Latina in all aspects of my life. I want to make sure that people recognize and see that we have a lot of narratives in our lives and we’re not all just one note kind of folks,” Montañez Montes told mitú. “Being everywhere where we’re not seen is important. So, just showing up and building communities with other folks like the Black Lives Matter community and make sure that we are with the Asian-Pacific Islander folks and those who are resisting together. Just showing up and seeing each other’s faces is really important.”

Jose Fevallos

José Salvador Sanchez / mitú

“I’m here to march for all of our rights as a gay man, as a Latino and as an immigrant. [I’m here] just to show to everybody that we are all the same under the same God,” Fevallos, an immigrant from Peru, told mitú. “We have different colors; we have different thoughts, but we all have the same rights: the right to fight for our love and the person that we decide to love and be with. It doesn’t matter if it’s a woman or a man. We just love and love is love.”

Victor Capellan

José Salvador Sanchez / mitú

“I’m visible here today as a queer Latino man because I think it’s important to be out and be visible and be something or someone that someone can look up to and be like, ‘That person is being authentically themselves,'” Capellan told mitú. “I know when I was going through my own personal journey, seeing people who were out made a difference to me, even though I wasn’t. It made me feel more comfortable so if I can be that beacon of hope for anyone else then that’s more than I can ask for.”

Sister PureHeart DarkSoul

José Salvador Sanchez / mitú

“Be who you are no matter what they say. No matter if anybody says that you are too big or too small, too this color or that color. It doesn’t matter. We’re all the same,” PureHeart DarkSoul told mitú.  We all bleed the same color red and it’s just stupid hate and we have to express ourselves and put it out there and ourselves out there as well as the world and the speech. Community. It’s not LGBTQ, it’s all of us. We’re humans. We come out the same way and we go out the same way. In between doesn’t matter. It’s what’s inside that counts.”

Estrella Sanchez

José Salvador Sanchez / mitú

“It’s important to clarify that pride has lost its values and the true meaning of pride. I am a very proud indigenous, trans Latina. I’m Mexican. Right now, pride is more about the money and not about doing the job that began at Stonewall. We have forgotten that we want and need justice,” Sanchez told mitú. “My sisters in the center of the fight are being criminalized simply for being undocumented immigrants and for being Latina and for being transgender and many of them, many of us, came to this country searching for safety and protection that our corrupt governments did not offer. But here, we have people talking openly about the diversity and inclusion needed for LGBTQ people.”

Cristela Solorio Ruiz

José Salvador Sanchez / mitú

“It’s kind of cliché but my existence is resistance There’s a sign out there that says, ‘I march for all those who can’t.’ Forty-nine people were killed last year, murdered in a club for celebrating who they are, who they love,” Solorio Ruiz told mitú. “I stand here with the ability to come and talk and to have the platform. For me, it’s really personal and it’s a lot of burden that I carry because of people in the past and who have paved the way for me to be vocal about certain things.”

Daniel Garzon

José Salvador Sanchez / mitú

“It’s important to recognize that not only do we speak different languages, that we need to be visible as Latinos. Sometimes we get discriminated against just because of the language that we speak or the color of our skin and that shows in every aspect of society,” Garzon told mitú. “So, it’s important that there be a presence of us here and no matter who we are, what skin color, I think it is important to be out and proud as an LGBTQ Latino.”


READ: Here’s Why An Undocumented Trans Latina Helped Create The LGBTQ Pride March Of Our Lifetime

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The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Entertainment

The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Photo via Getty

On Thursday, the cast of “Glee” paid tribute to Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Media Awards. Rivera was a once-in-a-lifetime talent the touched so many lives personally and through the screen while she was alive. But perhaps none of Naya’s roles were as impactful as Santana Lopez was.

This year, GLAAD decided to take time to honor the impact Naya Rivera had on LGBTQ representation onscreen.

During a time when LGBTQ represenation onscreen was rare, Santana Lopez was groundbreaking for being both queer and Latina. Santana went from a shut-off closeted cheerleader to an out-and-proud lesbian woman. This was a story arc many queer kids had never seen before.

Demi Lovato introduced the cast of “Glee” with a touching speech. She described how honored she was (and still is) to have played Santana’s girlfriend, Dani, on the show.

“I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year,” Lovato said. “A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me: losing my friend Naya Rivera. I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on ‘Glee.’”

“The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls — like I was at the time,” she went on. “And her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Then, dozens of former “Glee” cast members gathered via Zoom to pay tribute to Naya Rivera.

The tribute featured former “Glee” actors like Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, and Kevin McHale. There were also many others.

“Naya would be honored to receive this recognition,” read the statement. “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said ‘I feel great about it!'”

“This year marks the tenth anniversary that Naya’s character, Santana Lopez, came out on ‘Glee’,” said Dot-Marie Jones, who played Coach Beast on the Fox series.

“Santana basically got disowned by her family. And as alot of us know, that’s a feeling too many LGBTQ kids know too well,” continued Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel.

The loving tribute then ended with a written statement from Naya Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire, who couldn’t make it to the call.

“Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community. Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice.

“She continued: “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

“Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice,” the message read, in part. “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

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Selena Gomez Tells Senate to Pass Equality Act, Credits Gay Community with Launching Her Music Career

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Tells Senate to Pass Equality Act, Credits Gay Community with Launching Her Music Career

After the Equality Act was recently passed in the House, Selena Gomez is now telling the Senate to pass the bill that would give added federal protections to the LGBTQ+ community. The Mexican-American pop star also talked about her history with the gay community and how they helped support her music career.

The Equality Act would extend protections from the Civil Rights Act to the LGBTQ+ community.

The Equality Act was first introduced in 2015. The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity when it came to employment, housing, education, and other public and federal accommodations. In 2019, the Senate under President Donald Trump refused to vote on the bill.

The Equality Act recently passed through the House and now Gomez wants the Senate to pass it as well.

In February, the Equality Act was reintroduced to the House of Representatives. The bill passed through the House for a second time on Feb. 25. In a recent interview with the Recording Academy, the institution that hosts the Grammy Awards, Gomez is telling the Senate to vote on the bill this time and pass it through.

“We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years, but we have so much further to go,” Gomez said about the progress of LGBTQ+ rights in the country. “The Senate must pass the Equality Act. It’s absurd that this is even being debated in 2021.”

Gomez says the gay community helped support her 2009 breakthrough hit “Naturally.”

While Gomez was promoting her Latin music EP Revelación, she also revisited a few of her past hits. In 2009, she launched her music career with her band The Scene. Later that year, Gomez got her first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her breakthrough smash “Naturally.” While talking about her relationship with the gay community, she says they were the first ones to show that song love.

“Earlier you mentioned my song ‘Naturally’ and I remember when it was released, it truly started getting played in the gay bars before anywhere else,” she said. “I would hear from older friends that they heard when they went out. I was so jealous that I was too young to be out and dancing to it with everyone. The LGBTQ+ community has been there for me and I don’t take them for granted.”

The Equality Act is waiting to be debated by the Senate. This is Gomez’s first time speaking in support of the bill. Last year, she launched the Black Equality Fund to support groups like the Movement for Black Lives.  In March, she also asked for the Senate to pass the People Act.

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Read: Selena Gomez and Myke Towers’ “Dámelo To’” is Everything: Listen to the ‘Revelación’ Standout

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