The Queer Latinx Community
National Hispanic Heritage Month is from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. During Hispanic Heritage Month the U.S “honors the cultures, traditions and contributions of Hispanics and Latin Americans who live or have lived in what is now the United States of America,” according to the USDA.
“Older generations identify with the terms Hispanic, Latino, or Chicano, younger people in the US are leaning toward the term Latinx to make language more inclusive and break away from gendered forms,” according to Grammarly. “Latinx is a new gender-neutral term that is inclusive of male, female, and LGBTQIA+ people of Latin American descent.”
At UVU, the Multicultural Student Services claims “to serve students from ethnically diverse, as well as historically underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds.” This goes along with UVU’s motto A Place for You. “We are committed to creating spaces of not only inclusion and diversity, but equity and justice and ensuring that our students, staff, and faculty know that UVU welcomes and incorporates their voices and lived experiences into our campus community.”
A part of the Multicultural Student Service, LGBT Student Services, is “designed for students who are seeking LGBTQIA*-related services, support, and opportunities for personal growth, safety, and a sense of belonging.”
LGBT Student Services include one-on-one advising and support, student support discussion groups, activity and educational programming, student leadership development and referrals for other services.
“As Latinos, we need to help the LGBT community realize the importance of the Latino community,” wrote Luis Román, a Uniting American Fellow at Lambda Legal in their article The Untold History of LGBT Latino Activism. “And we need to showcase to the Latino community the significance of its LGBT members.”
“Because of the sacrifices LGBT Latino activists made in the past, I am now able to boldly claim my queer Chicano immigrant identity,” said Román. “I no longer have to fear rejection, but rather focus on how I can transcend that acceptance into action.”
Dr. Leandra Hernandez, a communication faculty member at UVU, said that it is important for queer Hispanics to have support, but its hard to come by because of the generational norms. In Hispanic communities there is not enough space to talk about being in the LGBTQ+ community; “they try to be supportive, but don’t know how,” according to Hernandez.
Hernandez expresses that there needs to be more support for queer latinos because, “Hey, Latinos are queer too.” That can be done by making and finding space for queer Latinos to express themselves.
More resources can be found at the Utah Pride Center.