Within our Latinx community, there are a handful of names of individuals who have been vocal and stood up for equality and justice. While the list is expansive, we’re highlighting Latinx LGBTQ activists who have opened doors and represent the community. Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca: Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca is the director of LGBTQ Health and Rights at Advocates for Youth. He works to grow the capacity of community-based organizations throughout the country by working with LGBTQ youth. He focuses on the education of HIV prevention and fights for queer and racial justice through his YouTube series, Kikis with Louie. The series features conversations with activists, LGBTQ youth, and celebrities and was created in collaboration with Advocates For Youth. He is also the creator of Gran Varones – a digital project that shines a light on queer pop-culture history and community storytelling.
Jennicet Gutiérrez: Jennicet Gutiérrez is a transgender Latinx from Tuxpan, Jalisco, Mexico who works as a community organizer and advocate for Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, an organization committed to liberating trans, queer, and gender-conforming Latinos. Gutiérrez organizes communities in order to end deportation, incarceration, and criminalization of immigrants and all people of color. In 2015, she interrupted President Obama during one of his speeches demanding to end deportation of LGBT immigrants. “I spoke up because our issues and struggles can no longer be ignored,” she said on her Instagram.
Bamby Salcedo: Bamby Salcedo is a transgender Latinx woman and CEO of TransLatin@ Coalition, a national organization that addresses Latinx transgender issues within the United States. She also created the Center for Violence Prevention and Transgender Wellness which is a multi-service space for trans people in Los Angeles. Salcedo has an extensive resume and in 2016 she was invited to participate in several panels at the White House where she shared a stage with Vice President Biden at The United States of Woman event. On her Instagram, she states, “I will always use my Trans Latin Power to ensure that all peoples get dignity and equity in our society.”
Annie Segarra: Annie Segarra is a Youtuber and activist for the LGBT community and people with disabilities. She is a Latinx queer who was born with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a genetic tissue disorder that affects joints, skin, and symptoms include overly flexible joints. Segarra told In The Know, “creating visibility, and essentially normalizing [things like mobility aids] gets to speak to two very different groups of people – people who are just totally absent from these experiences, and people who have these experiences, but might feel really isolated in them.” Because of this, she created her own hashtag and advocacy campaign called “The Future Is Accessible.”
Julio Salgado: Julio Salgado is the co-founder of DreamersAdrift a Youtube channel telling undocumented stories and the manager for The Center for Cultural Power. He is an undocumented, queer activist and artist who is inspired by the DREAM ACT and the migrant rights movement. His artwork speaks to individuals all across the United States and is displayed at the Oakland Museum and the Smithsonian.
Isa Noyola: Trans activist Isa Noyola is the deputy director at Mijente, a political hub created to organize and build a movement among Latinos. She was formerly the deputy director of the Transgender Law Center and in 2015 she organized the first national trans-anti-violence protest with more than 100 activists, mainly trans women of color. Noyola works closely with transgender women who are released from ICE detention and her mission is to end all deportations and mass incarcerations. When asked about her feelings towards Pride month, Noyola told NBC News said, “it is to understand that we are not free until all of us are free, and trans communities in the LGBT movement have been ignored. We have so much work to do. The fight continues.”