Posts tagged Latina
It’s been quite a week, full of events and opportunities to meet new friends, acquaintances, allies, and – why not?! – possible love interests. Last night, United Latino Pride closed its first ever Chicago Queer Latin@ Pride Week with the annual Queer Latin@ Picnic sponsored by Orgullo en Acción and then later in the evening with a night of partying and dancing at After Dark. A fitting way to end a stellar week of events that highlight our unique Queer Latin@ experiences.
But what made it such a fitting end? Well, as activists, we often are forced to give up our social life for all the work that needs to get done, much to the chagrin of our friends, families, and loved ones. Every member of the United Latino Pride coalition has contributed their own time, money, and energy to ensure this week was a success. But not everything should be all work and no fun. Food, music, and yes, alcohol have a certain je ne sais quoi that allows even the most uptight among us, to let loose and celebrate.
Yes, a lot needs to get done to ensure that one day we may all be treated with dignity in this society that currently looks down upon us because of our language, our culture, our gender, and our sexuality. But, it does us all a lot of good to get together with friends, family, and loved ones and celebrate the life and love that we currently have. It reminds us all exactly why it is we are fighting for justice. It’s not just for ourselves, it’s for those we love most as well.
I can’t help but be a bit sad as I write this. I regret not being able to go to as many events as I had anticipated. However, I am also excited for next year. Who knows what is in store for us all. Let’s hope it’s bigger and better! A very big thank you goes out to all the members of United Latino Pride and all the organizations and sponsors for the events. Without all your tireless effort, we wouldn’t have had any of this. You are our real orgullo! ¡Hasta el próximo año!
I like to think I’m pretty well-connected. I have, after all, been working (legally) in non-profits since I was 16. I have spoken on behalf on LGBTQ Immigrants at the May Day March in 2007. I’ve been on air at Homofrequencia with the amazing Tania Unzueta (@ilehlainat) twice. Not to mention that I’ve performed at various Latin@ events while studying at UIC. If anything, I’d say I’m very well-connected.
Then I went to last nights event. It was the kick-off party for the first ever Chicago Queer Latin@ Pride Week at 2nd Floor Gallery in Pilsen. I had decided to go because I wanted to support fellow San Antonio artist Ana Fernández (yes, I am aware I’m not actually San Antonian, but I’m San Antonian adjacent). Upon arriving, I realized I didn’t know anyone! How is this possible? Had my year and a half in absentia in San Antonio really affected my network that much? I was starting to feel pretty pathetic. However, as time went on (and that refreshing vodka pink lemonade started to sink in) I began to work the room a bit. Or maybe I should say, the room worked me; I am after all, a bit of a pasivo
During one of the conversations with Vivian González & Lisa Martínez (co-founders of the soon to be launched Lesbian online publication The L Stop), I realized something. This is exactly why we need a Queer Latin@ Pride week. If someone like me, who [once] thought of himself as well-connected, isn’t at all, then what about everyone else? I probably have seen many of the amazing people at this event before. The problem is where did I see them. I most likely saw them, and they me, at a club or at Market Days. We probably didn’t give each other a second thought. Just another brown face in the mix.
But we need to give each other a second thought. We are the fastest growing ethnic group in the nation. Our voice, while always important, is becoming louder. And the talent is already here. I was very impressed with the work everyone is doing. But few people, outside of our small network (as I added all my new “friends” this morning on Facebook, I was surprised to discover we already have 16 mutual friends; go figure!), know of all that is going on. Queer Latin@ Pride week will allow us space where we can meet new friends and talk to many of the amazing leaders in our community. We are more than just potential make-out partners at Circuit or small talk recipients at Spin on Dollar Drink nights. We are potential business partners and collaborators. Possible allies and advocates in the struggles we are all mutually fighting for. After last night, I’m more excited than ever for this week. ¡Qué viva el Orgullo! Bring on the pink lemonade!