Talk highlights LGBTQ, Latinx communities


Katja Benz, Campus Reporter

As part of the Latino Heritage Month events, the Latino Heritage Month committee presented “Latinidad in the LGBTQA+” on Wednesday, which informed attendees about the ways the two communities can come together.

The event was hosted by Alpha Psi Lambda, Eastern’s Latinx co-ed fraternity, and the Department of Latin American and Latinx Studies. The event was a well attended event, with dozens of students and administrators, such as President Glassman, in attendance. Because all the chairs were taken, some members of the audience even had to sit on the floor.

The presentation listed some of the television shows and movies that include that intersection between being Latinx and being part of the LGBTQA+ community, such as the show Love, Victor, a show that takes place in the same universe as Love, Simon.

Love, Victor follows the story of Victor, a Latinx teenage boy on a path to discovering himself and exploring his sexual orientation who decides to reach out to Simon when things become too hard to manage.

The presentation included a video centered around Latinx drag queens and their lives as well as what it is like being a Latinx person in the LGBTQA+ community. Some interviews were in Spanish and others were in English.

There was also a question and answer session at the end of the presentation. Although audience members did not ask questions at that time, they did come up to the presenter afterwards and asked questions.

Luis Paniagua, a senior graphic design major, gave the presentation. He is a member of the Latino Heritage Month committee and Alpha Psi Lambda. Within Alpha Psi Lambda, he is the associate member educator and secretary.

“I really hope they have more of a learning experience when it comes to Latinx, the term itself, the culture behind it and the identities that go along with it,” Paniagua said. “It’s just more understanding, much more within the communities LGBT and Latino.”

Carlos Amaya, a Spanish professor, was also in attendance at the event. He teaches Spanish and Latin American literature and culture at Eastern.

“I think that it was really informative, so I really liked what they had to say about how they feel and what they expect people to do in order to be a better ally with them,” Amaya said. “So I think the people who are not in the community properly understand the message and they will try to understand and open their minds to this community and try to understand how they feel in society.”

Paniagua said he hopes people are more open to learning about the Latinx community, the LGBTQA+ community and how the two intersect.

“I just really hope that people all learn when it comes to LGBT representation, because as mentioned, I am part of the community,” Paniagua said. “It’s just having a much more deeper understanding of how both can coexist and correlate within each other.”

Paniagua said that he believes Eastern has been doing a good job creating a safe environment for both the Latinx and LGBTQA+ communities, but that there is always room for improvement.

“I believe Eastern has done a great job, as of right now, but there’s always things to improve on as well,” Paniagua said. “We have been working on the culture house, having more safe spaces, more discussions and presentations on this, more faculty involved and having them present when it comes to students speaking out on issues or any topics.”

Pizza was served at the event, and a t-shirt raffle occurred as well. The t-shirt raffle will also happen at later events.

The next event for Latino Heritage Month is called “La Fogata: Bonfire Stories.” It will take place on Oct. 5 from 8 to 9 p.m. at the Newman Catholic Center, located behind Andrews and Lawson residence halls, both of which are located in South Quad.


Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]