psa. if we’re mutuals, we’re automatically friends. u don’t need to say things like “sorry to bother” or “sorry im annoying” bc ur not. ur my friend. u can come to me for anything. u need help? im here. wanna chat? hmu. just wanna gush abt your muse? go for it. we’re friends. ily.
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(yvette santiago, sadie ramos, anthony leon, samantha martinez & louie a. ortiz-fonseca) photo by jose hernandez
two years ago Anthony Leon sat in my office and after discussing the invisibility and erasure of Latino gay men in philly, we dreamt up the gran varones. we called Sean Laughlin (our video editor) into the office and he was like “cool. when do we start shooting?” so with no money, a few iPhones, a flip cam, Sean’s shoddy microphone and Anthony’s car, we set out to document the stories of latino gay men.
photo by jose hernandez
never did i imagine the impact and reach this project would have. i certainly never imagined being presented with the prestigious Vision Aware for Creative Artist of the Year by the Hispanic Choice Awards this past Saturday night.
the community that i have (re)discovered while working on this project has provided healing and hope for my raging heart. it is this love that continues to inspire me to challenge systems of oppression that are committed to reducing our experiences and existence as latino gay men to “hot,” “sexy” and “spicy.”
(louie a. ortiz-fonseca, anthony leon, emmanuel coreano and fran cortes)
to the varones who generously and courageously shared their stories: you are my heroes and i salute you. it is your magic and your light that make this project shine.
to Javier Suarez, Cecilia Ramirez and the entire team at Hispanic Choice awards: thank you for everything! i am humbled and honored.
(samantha martinez, nikki lopez, louie, carlos nunez and david agosto)
to Carlos Nunez: who called me a few months back and said “listen, people better nominate you for this award.” i know you can win it!“ you put it out into the universe.
to galaei: thank you for believing and supporting our project from day one. also, thank you for always providing space (on always short notice lol) for us to film interviews.
to all of the mothers, fathers, grand mothers, grand fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, niece, nephews, neighbors and friends who love & support varones in their life: you help change the narrative that latinos are “more” homophobic than other communities.
to EVERY varòn: you matter right now. not for what you were or what you may be - but for what you are now. you matter right now.
- louie a. ortiz-fonseca
photo by jose hernandez
Affirming a transgender student’s gender by using pronouns that align with their gender identity has been shown to improve mental health outcomes. We’re dedicating today to uplifting the need for normalizing the usage of pronouns and a report on transgender students’ intersectional health disparities. Hit the link below for more information.