Things That Matter

She Fled Violence In El Salvador And Passed A Credible Fear Interview But Still Died While Under ICE Custody

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is facing backlash for the preventable death of a Salvadoran trans woman. Johana “Joa” Medina Leon was in ICE custody for six weeks before dying of complications from HIV. Medina Leon’s death is highlighting the growing concern of LGBTQ+ people held in ICE detention centers. Namely, LGBTQ+ activists are demanding that ICE treat trans asylum seekers by their preferred gender to prevent sexual assaults and harassment.

Another trans asylum seeker has died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.

Credit: @NoMoreDeaths / Twitter

Diversidad Sin Fronteras reported that Johana Medina Leon, an asylum seeker from El Salvador, has died in ICE custody. Medina presented herself at the U.S.-Mexico border for political asylum and had been in detention since. The first step to getting political asylum is to present yourself at the U.S. border to border patrol officials. Medina Leon is the second trans woman to die in ICE custody since President Trump changed policies for U.S. immigration officials and asylum seekers.

Medina Leon was in ICE custody for six weeks before she died a preventable death.

Credit: @IEquality / Twitter

According to Refinery29, Medina Leon passed her credible fear interview in mid-May but ICE officials did not parole Medina until she began to complain about chest pains. It was then that she was taken to Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas on May 28. She died on June 1 from complications from HIV.

In their statement, ICE deadnamed Medina Leon erasing her trans identity.

Credit: @rebekahentralgo / Twitter

Deadnaming trans people is the practice of using a trans person’s name given to them at birth. It erases their trans identity and leads to an underreporting of trans murders and hate crimes because of the misgendering.

ICE went further and blamed Medina Leon, and other migrants, for their deaths.

Credit: @RaquelWillis_ / Twitter

“This is yet another unfortunate example of an individual who illegally enters the United States with an untreated, unscreened medical condition,” Corey A. Price, field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in El Paso, said in a statement. “There is a crisis at our southern border with a mass influx of aliens lured by the lies of human smugglers who profit without regard for human life or well-being. Many of these aliens attempt to enter the United States with untreated or unknown diseases, which are not diagnosed until they are examined while in detention.”

Diversidad Sin Fronteras is combatting the narrative from ICE that Medina Leon is to blame for her death and blaming ICE for their lack of care.

“Joa traveled legally in Mexico as well,” reads a post by Diversidad Sin Fronteras. “She patiently waited over a month in Tapachula, Chiapas for her transitory visa. She did nothing wrong. This did not have to happen. #NIUNAMAS #JUSTICEFORLAJOA

Last year, Roxana Hernandez was being held for deportation back to Honduras when she died from complications related to HIV.

Credit: @willripleyCNN / Twitter

ICE officials said that the Honduran woman died of natural causes related to her HIV diagnosis. However, as more people investigated, it is being claimed that she died from abuse and lack of necessary food and healthcare. Medina Leon’s death is stoking fears that more LGBTQ+ migrants will have deadly negligence in the near future.

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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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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Star Denali Serves Disco in Kali Uchis “Telepatía” Video

Latidomusic

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Star Denali Serves Disco in Kali Uchis “Telepatía” Video

Even though she was recently eliminated from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Denali is creating waves online with her lip sync videos. In her latest visual, the Mexican-American drag queen tackles Kali Uchis’ viral hit “Telepatía.”

The “Latina que Patina” made her mark on Drag Race.

Denali, the self-proclaimed “Latina que Patina,” was competing on season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. During her run on the show, she served plenty of moments that paid homage to her Mexican heritage, including a standout lip-sync dressed as Quetzalcoatl.

Denali, who is also of Jewish descent, finished in eighth place. We sadly missed out on a Denali and Valentina crossover moment because of that elimination. While we’re sure there will be an All-Stars placement in her future, she’s keeping her digital presence alive. On Denali’s YouTube channel, she’s done lip sync videos for Britney Spears’ “If U Seek Amy” and the Pussycat Dolls’ “When I Grow Up.”

Denali’s “Telepatía” video is everything.

Recently Denali released a video lip sync of Colombian-American singer Kali Uchis’ “Telepatía.” This is the perfect synergy of queer Latina power as Denali noted in her post. “Super thankful to Kali Uchis and her team at EMI Records for this opportunity!” she wrote. “Having had this song on repeat since it came out and it’s such an honor to promote for more queer Latinx queens.” Uchis is openly bisexual.

In the VHS-like visual, Denali is living her disco fantasy. There are moments that are reminiscent of Studio 54 and other stunning shots of the drag queen at the beach. Shanté, you stay!

Denali is not the only queer artist taking on Kali Uchis’ “Telepatía.” She retweeted the account @imirregulargirl who gives the sensual smash justice as well.

Click here for Latido Music, 24/7 Latin music videos & more

Read: Denali Foxx is Serving Mexicana Representation on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

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