New documentary reveals complex glimpse of LGBT Latinos in United States
It’s a film about love, life and leadership among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Latinos in the United States, and yet,
“Orgullo Latino,” aims to capture so much more about the complexity of this community.
“It’s an amazing gift and an honor to take on this project,” says multimedia journalist and film co-producer Carlos Mayorga, of his very first
full-length documentary. “I wanted to counter the stereotype that Latinos are very homophobic – instead, I felt it was my responsibility to
show the leadership spearheading the Latino LGBT movement in the United States.”
The film, which will premiere nationwide Friday night on PBS’ “In the Life” series, explores LGBT Latinos in the United States through a
series of interviews with influential leaders such as Daniel Hernandez, the intern credited with saving Congresswoman Gabriell Gifford’s
life and blogger Andrew Duque, an influential gay, Latino blogger. Their stories, says Mayorga, help shed light on a community that’s often
overlooked by mainstream media.
“There are Latino leaders who continue to work on behalf of the LGBT community who I wanted to highlight because many LGBT Latinos
feel left out of the gay rights movement,” says Mayorga, who graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in
2011. “There are issues like immigration, racism and the fight for social economic justice that just aren’t addressed in mainstream media,
but this 30 minute documentary is hopefully a step in the right direction towards pushing these issues to the national forefront.”
Mayorga and his co-producer Carlos Anaya spent six months working on the film, which they had originally conceived during a series of
casual chats. After successfully pitching the show to producers at “In the Life,” the duo began traveling the country – Tucson, Los Angeles,
New York and Miami – searching for the voices that would together, highlight the realities and emergence of LGBT Latinos in the United
What Mayorga found however, surprised him. “I learned about myself in a way I could have never imagined,” says Mayorga, whose mother’s
family is Swedish and whose father hails from El Salvador. “Through meeting all these people I learned that Latinos are all different, have
different issues, different sensibilities. We’re not all the same and that’s ok – I’m just as Latino as anyone else.”
It’s a lesson that Mayorga hopes viewers will appreciate. In addition to tonight’s film premiere, he and Anaya plan to tour the country in a
series of screenings nationwide in order to bring the film to Latino audiences.
“There’s only 30 minutes to tell the story of LGBT Latinos in the United States,” says Mayorga.
“But I hope through the film and the dialogue that will follow, people will be touched and proud – because we exist and we need to get out
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