To fight for the rights of the Latino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning community by advocating for fairness and equality, and affirming Latino LGBTQ culture.
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ALMA YOUNG LATINO LEADERS FOR CREATING CHANGE SCHOLARSHIP
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Chicago’s Latino Community stands with the LGBTQ Latino Community
This weekend, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community was attacked in Orlando, Florida in what is considered to be the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The shooting occurred at Pulse, a nightclub for the LGBTQ community, during its weekly “Latin” night. Forty-nine individuals died, and an additional 53 were injured. The majority of those victims are LGBTQ Latinos – they were our children, our brothers and sisters, our family. We send our condolences to the families and loved ones of those whose life was cut short during this senseless act.
Even though this weekend’s violent shooting was perhaps the most devastating, it was not an isolated event—violence towards the LGBTQ community is rampant. LGBTQ people are twice as likely to be victims of hate crimes, compared to other marginalized communities. For LGBTQ Latinos who experience racism, homophobia, and transphobia, the violence is far too common. A national report conducted by the Human Rights Campaign and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) found that LGBTQ Latino youth are three times more likely to face harassment and violence than are their non-LGBTQ Latino peers—in their communities, in our communities. The violence directed at members of our community is something we can no longer ignore.
In light of the shooting in Orlando, we must come together, not only to help the LGBTQ Latino community heal, but also to act. Now more than ever, we must commit ourselves to eradicating homophobia and transphobia in our Latino communities. While there has been much progress for the LGBTQ community, such as marriage equality, we must continue to work to ensure that all LGBTQ people are able to live without fear of losing their lives due to intolerance and hate. We need to challenge the anti-LGBTQ sentiments from within our own families and communities. We must remember that LGBTQ Latinos are part of our entire community, and that their love is just as important.
It is also imperative that our laws reflect our values to ensure we build safe communities for everyone. We must hold our elected officials and leaders accountable, rejecting hateful rhetoric that seeks to divide and cause harm. We must pressure them to work on policy that will ensure complete equality and fair treatment for the LGBTQ community as well as legislation that will put an end to this senseless gun violence. We must also be willing to stand in solidarity with other marginalized communities, we cannot allow this tragedy to perpetuate Islamophobia. Now more than ever we need to work and move forward in unison.
The Latino communities in Chicago, and our allies, stand with the Latino and LGBTQ communities in Orlando. We send our sympathy to the LGBTQ Latino community across the country that continues to mourn and begins to heal. We will stand with the LGBTQ community to end homophobia and transphobia once and for all.
View complete read: ALMA Orlando Latino Leaders Statement
ALMA’s statement on the shooting in Orlando, Florida at an LGBT club during it’s weekly Latino Night
This morning, many of us were shocked to learn about the news out of Orlando, Florida. Approximately 50 individuals were killed, and over 50 more were injured in a senseless act of violence, the largest mass shooting in this country’s history. This occurred at what is supposed to be a safe place for members of the LGBTQ community, a place many frequent to be their authentic selves, and escape the everyday homophobia and transphobia. The mass shooting happened at an LGBT club during its weekly Latino night.
We send the victims and their families our condolences and sympathy during this difficult time. We also send the LGBTQ community in Orlando our best thoughts as they mourn, heal, and work towards moving forward.
This tragic event is even more difficult to understand considering that June is Pride Month. Yet, it is clear that in spite of all the legal victories in recent years, more work rests ahead of us.
While this is surely one of the most tragic events in our recent history, it represents the continued violence towards the LGBTQ community, in particular for LGBTQ people of color. Last year, over 20 trans women of color were murdered in acts of hate crime; and those numbers continue to grow this year. While for many of us in LGBTQ community, our sense of safety has been shattered because of the Orlando shooting. We must remain vigilant, we must remain united, and we must continue to work together with our allies to continue our progress.
Today we mourn. Tomorrow we heal.
ALMA Chicago’s Youth Advisory Board host second annual “On The Table”
The Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) joined thousands of Chicagoland residents on Tuesday, May 10, to discuss how they can help unite the place they call home. In today’s society, this act of coming together has never been as crucial as it is presently. On the Table, organized by The Chicago Community Trust, connects people and communities of diverse perspectives and backgrounds. They believe that “[t]alking–and listening–to our neighbors is an important first step toward creating a more unified Chicagoland region. What you do matters. And when we come together as a community to learn from and with each other, we have the power to impact both neighborhoods and lives.”
Our last year’s ALMA Young Latino Leaders for Creating Change Scholarship recipient, Roberto Mendez, facilitated a great conversation, at Nightcap Cafe in Pilsen, about gentrification and how it affects our Latino and LGBTQ+ communities. The youth from YAB and invited guest discussed the different components of gentrification varying from economic, political, and communal contributions to the issue. Also addressed were the perceived positive and negative aspects on gentrification. Some possible ideas for creating awareness and change that were discussed by the group were systemic changes through government process and educating both people who move into communities, on cultural humility, and residents who may not be aware of how to prevent displacement or take advantage of the changing community’s resources.
Click here to view PDF.
Reyna Ortiz, Mona Noriega, Rick Garcia, Julio Rogriguez, and Emmanuel Garcia