Things That Matter

Victoria Cruz Sees Hope For The Future Of LGBTQ+ Rights 50 Years After She Witnessed The Stonewall Riots

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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.

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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.

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Four of her coworkers physically assaulted her, which left her in ruins.

“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.

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“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.”

READ: Zuri Moreno Made Sure The Trans Community In Montana Remained Safe

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

Culture

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

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Puerto Vallarta is one of the favorite Mexican tourist destinations of the LGBT community. There are hotels, bars, nightclubs, beaches, and even drinks specifically for LGBT travelers, and due to the safety and welcoming environment for these guests, it is the first city in Mexico to receive the Gay Travel Approved distinction by GayTravel.com.

But why PV? What made Vallarta Mexico’s top gay destination?

Let’s start back at the beginning.

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In the south of Puerto Vallarta you will find the “Old Town,” also called “The Romantic Zone,” the tourist area favored by expats and foreigners who want to soak up local traditions. The Old Puerto Vallarta is also considered the gay neighborhood since 1980, when the gay community and retired Canadians and Americans bought land and properties in order to create gay-friendly businesses. Today there’s a wide variety of attractions with this focus, including bars, restaurants, stores, nightclubs, and both budget and boutique hotels.

In this zone is nestled the popular beach Playa de los Muertos, which, although not exclusively gay, for the last 20 years has been known as a gay-friendly beach (also called Blue Chairs, because of the many blue chairs placed by a gay resort which bears the same name), mainly in the high season, from November to March.

Why is this pristine beach the LBGT meeting point? Because the gay-friendly beachfront hotels in the area causes—and guarantees—a concentration of LGBT tourists, bringing a multicultural ambience where members of this community will be respected without discrimination. In the morning they can socialize and enjoy the party atmosphere, and in the afternoon walk holding hands under the dazzling sunset, in a romantic atmosphere free of hostility. Such is the high demand for LGBT-friendly vacation spots that the area has been extended to include the green chairs and as far as the north coast, in the elegant Oceano Sapphire Beach Club, owned by gays.

But it’s about more than just the beach.

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Unlike certain countries, laws against homosexuality never existed in Mexico. There is, however, a strong macho culture and religious influence which disapproves it—nonetheless the locals show respect. Under these circumstances, the growing community has led LGBT organizations to work to promote a change of culture in the pursuit of equality. Their work has gotten results: they have achieved recognition of gay rights, and implemented laws against the provocation and incitement of hate or violence against LGBTs, and also to guarantee equality in employment and public accomodation and services. Even more, in 2013 Puerto Vallarta legalized civil union between LGBT couples, followed by same-sex marriage in 2016.

This city organized its first Gay Pride March, and has hosted the Pink & Proud Women’s Party—the equivalent lesbian celebration—for the last four years, with assistance from the local Canadian and American communities. The multiple events in support of the LGBT community have marked out Puerto Vallarta as the “Mexican San Francisco.”

Now, there’s a giant and flourishing LGBTQ tourism industry that welcomes people from around the world.

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For the last 10 years, the number of LGBT visitors has increased in Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco, and in order to meet demand, the number of LGBT-friendly resorts and touristic attractions has also increased. Now three of every 10 hotels in Puerto Vallarta are LGBT-friendly, and most also offer weddings and other symbolic ceremonies.

Bars, nightclubs and other amenities are already focused on this market, and there are also tours—like the Gay VIP Bars Tour—and even drinks—like the Gay Tequila and the Gay Energy Drink—to make these guests feel extra welcome. As a result, Puerto Vallarta now hosts International LGBT Business Expos, with important conferences and events, including fashions shows, beach parties and music festivals to celebrate this booming market.

Puerto Vallarta remains the gateway to Mexico for many LGBTQ travelers.

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Some other cities have recognized the demand, and are now attempting to attract LGBT tourism to their destinations. Puerto Vallarta is not letting it happen: diverse businesses—no matter the sexual preference—are joining forces to create organizations to promote this targeted brand of tourism. The market gives consumers what they want, and they have identified this growing target and will not let it go.

Beyond the marketing, Puerto Vallarta became a platform to support gay rights, and the LGBT community knows it and feels welcome here. What really keeps the LGBT community hitting Puerto Vallarta is the activism, respect, and freedom they find in this beautiful paradise.

Salice Rose’s Ex Is On YouTube Right Now Attacking The Social Media Star Just Days After Announcing Her New Girlfriend

Entertainment

Salice Rose’s Ex Is On YouTube Right Now Attacking The Social Media Star Just Days After Announcing Her New Girlfriend

YouTuber Salice Rose has been notoriously private about her love life… up until last week when she introduced us all to her new bae. The Rose Family has erupted with joy for Salice in finding, if not love, then at least baeship with Brilynn. We’ve never seen another face that Salice has dated.

Then, one of Salice’s exes launched a YouTube channel of her own to explicitly talk about her relationship with Salice. In the video, Chas vents all her frustrations with the relationship and publicly airs out her side of the story. According to Chas, Salice was verbally and emotionally abusive, didn’t want her to have friends, and even donated her father’s ashes to Goodwill after one day’s notice to remove her stuff from Salice’s apartment.

Chas F’s channel already has 47k subscribers, and all her videos are about Salice Rose.

Credit: Chas F / YouTube

She created the channel about a week ago, just after Salice introduced her followers to her new girlfriend, Brilynn. According to Chas, it was hard to watch the video because just two weeks prior, they were “in each other’s phones” and talking about marriage, but Salice wanted to focus on her music.

Salice Rose has responded with a nearly hour and a half long retaliation video.

Credit: @salicerose / Instagram

“A message to my ex: I hope lying on my name all over social media made you happy,” Salice tweeted. “I hope you got all the fame you wanted. Because of YOU I’m in waves of depression. You spoke, my turn.”

In the video, she goes point by point to respond to each of Chas’s allegations.

Credit: Salice Rose / YouTube

Salice actually made the point of writing down each point that Chas made and tells her fans that the video would be the first and the last time she talks about that relationship again. 

Chas’ story is that Salice didn’t let her have any other jobs because she didn’t want her to be too far from her. Salice’s side, corroborated by her friends commenting in the background, is that Chas quit all her jobs of her own volition. According to Salice, she would absolutely tell her to “come home,” but didn’t expect her to actually quit her jobs.

According to Chas, Salice had the idea to hire her and their relationship started to fall apart from there.

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Chas shared that she had a feeling that taking the job would take away time from their relationship. They were spending all day together, and Salice takes her job very seriously. According to Chas, that made it difficult to spend time together without tension. Chas also said that she wasn’t getting paid enough to support anything other than her car bills. They started fighting, and Chas says that she didn’t have the opportunity to make any new friends.

The Rose Family is largely very sus of Chas’ accusations.

Credit: @ashliagius_ / Twitter

Chas said that she asked Salice to take on more responsibilities because she felt degraded by being paid to pick up dog poop. Salice had two dogs and Chas also had two dogs. According to Chas, the moment that she talked about getting other jobs, Salice started to treat her with disrespect and gaslit her.

Salice Rose opened her retaliation video by calling several Goodwills to ask if they accept human remains. They all said ‘no.’

Credit: @SaliceRose / Twitter

Chas says that Salice was going to mail her stuff out to Florida after they separated. Chas said she was calling and leaving voicemails to a mutual friend to arrange for Chas’s dad’s stuff to be mailed back to Florida. Through tears, Chas shares that two months after she moved out, she received an email with the subject line, “Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property” on June 7th.

One fan did some deep diving on Chas’ Instagram back to the day after that email, June 8th.

Credit: @nvmexme / Twitter

“I saw your ex’s vids and for a sec she made me think that you were the bad guy here,” tweeted @nvmexme. “But i mean everyone make mistakes yk? Anyways i kinda stalked her ig account and noticed that the same day say said that her things were going to be ‘donated’ Which was on june 8.”

Salice shared the email with her fans which clearly states that she gave Chas a month and a day from the receipt of the email to reclaim her property, which had already been in her apartment for two months.

There has been an outpour of support for Salice Rose after she responded to her ex-girlfriend’s video.

Credit: @salice_roseee / Twitter

Salice laid out her counterargument in an hour and twenty-minute video and went point by point off of Chas F’s video. She made a real point of taking on Chas F’s statement that Salice didn’t want her to have friends. As Salice lays out, she values friendships and argues that it is better for the relationship if both people have friends to hang out with outside of the relationship.

In other news, Salice’s debut R&B track became an overnight bop.

Salice has been teasing an entrance into a music career, and fans are shooketh that it’s actually here. Salice’s new bae, Brilynn commented, “Congratulations babe.”

Relationships are messy, but “Lullaby” is as smooth as can be.

Fans already can’t get enough of her new song.

Some are calling it the new summer bop. It does seem like fans have long been waiting for something like this from Salice Rose and they are letting everyone know that they need to check out this new song.

Watch Salice Rose’s response to her ex-girlfriend’s videos below!

READ: Salice Rose Just Awkwardly Introduced Us To Her Girlfriend And It’s Obviously Love

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