Orlando Continues To Mourn The Mass Shooting At Gay Club That Killed 49
Getty Images

A Vigil Centers Latinx & Black Queers In The Wake Of Orlando Shooting

Invest in the lives of queer people of color. 

In the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, thousands of people have gathered around the country to pay their respect to fallen queer victims. While mainstream gay organizations like the Human Rights Center and GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) have voiced their solidarity with the queer community in the wake of the tragedy, the discussion of intersection of race and the absence of safe space for Black and Latinx people (who were the majority of the victims) has been absent from the mainstream narrative.

At a Pulse vigil in Rhode Island, on the steps of the State House, speaker Joe Wilson and Vanessa Flores-Maldonado brought up questions of race and privilege in the queer community, criminalization, and the investment in the struggles of queer youth of color.

"Many of the young people in the bar were being outed as a result of being shot at. Being outed as a result of their parents searching for them in both morgues and hospitals. And we have to stop allowing [that] the only way that people of color are being allowed to come out of the closet is after they’re being shot and maimed and abused. This movement is about jailing folks that don’t need to have these sentences for having a bag of weed.“Our issues go far beyond marriage… The gay rights movement needs an autopsy… How do we include black? How do we include Latin folks? How do we include the transgendered community? How do we speak intelligently about people using bathrooms?”

Wilson speaks to the rift that had previously developed within the queer community as a result of gay marriage. While marriage equality was won last year, Black and Latino queer youth are at a high-risk for homelessness, and they are also less likely to come out to their parents than white queers. Transgender Latinx women are often placed in male detention centers, as the protocol is not on self-assessed gender, by physical anatomy, while Black transgender women face high-poverty coupled with unemployment, and both are likely to acquire HIV in record numbers.

"It was towards the end of the speaking program that Vanessa Flores-Maldonado spoke. She politely interrupted the proceedings and asked permission to speak. Flores-Maldonado talked about her discomfort at the idea of a greater police presence at the Pride event this Saturday, police added due to heightened concerns after the Pulse shooting in Orlando.'How am I, a queer person of color, a queer woman of color, supposed to feel safe?' Flores-Maldonado asked, 'We need to remember that Stonewall happened because trans-women of color had enough of police riots.' "

Maldonado's speech alludes to the disconcerting fact that Black and Latinx queers are still routinely harassed by the police. In 2012, it was reported that among transgender Latinx women in Los Angeles County, two-thirds of the women reported that that they were verbally harassed by law enforcement, 21 percent had been physically assaulted by law enforcement, and 24 percent had been sexually assaulted by those on the force. In 2015, it was also reported that Black and Latinx transgender women who experienced domestic violence also experienced further violence at the hands of police. Black and Latinx queers are also likely to be profiled by police for drug dealing and sex work.

If we seek to honor the victims of the Pulse shootings, we must center the lives of Black and Latinx queers while they are living in terms of policy changes, economic equality, the allocation of resources for more safe spaces for queers of color, and continuous community organizing, not only when tragedy strikes.

Read More:: Why Black Queer Activists Engaged in Civil Disobedience at Chicago Gay Pride Parade

From the Web

More on Vibe

In this handout photo provided by One Voice: Somos Live!, Romeo Santos performs onstage at One Voice: Somos Live! A Concert For Disaster Relief at Marlins Park on October 14, 2017 in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Rick Diamond/One Voice: Somos Live!/Getty Images

Romeo Santos Makes History As The First Latino Performer To Headline MetLife Concert

Romeo Santos is making history and his fans have the most to gain from it.

On September 21, Santos will perform at MetLife Stadium making him the first Latin artist to do so. The venue holds up to 80,00 seats, which is more than enough for Santos' fans who will go see the singer perform his recent number one album, Utopia.

The one-day event will be called, UTOPIA the Concert, and Santos, the King of Bachata has already taken to his social media to express his appreciation on being chosen to make history at the stadium.

"I've never performed in such a prestigious venue, not even when I was a part of Aventura or in my solo career," the 37-year-old said in a video posted to his Instagram account about his upcoming concert. The "Odio" singer shouldn't face too much of a challenge in filling up the MetLife stadium seats.

In 2014 he sold out two Yankee Stadium shows, the stadium holds over 50,000 people; during his Golden Tour he sold out New York's Madison Square Garden three times. His draw power is undeniably huge, so tickets may be hard to come by once they go on sale.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

21 De Septiembre #UT🌍PIATheConcert #MetLife. ¡Pendiente a mis redes para la fecha de la preventa!

A post shared by Romeo Santos (@romeosantos) on May 20, 2019 at 11:41am PDT

Fans can expect Santos to perform hits from his Utopia album, which includes records with fellow Dominican singers Frank Reyes, Anthony Santos, Monchy & Alexandria, and his former group Aventura.

Ticket information is not yet available but is to be expected soon.

Continue Reading

Gang Member May Testify Against Defendants In 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz' Murder Trial

A member of the Trinitarios gang who witnessed the fatal stabbing of Bronx teenager Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz may take the stand against five defendants this week.

The first of two murder trials for the killing of Junior Guzman-Feliz began earlier this month, NBC4 New York reports. Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago (24), Jonaiki Martinez Estrella (24), Jose Muniz (21) and Manuel Rivera (18) and Elvin Garcia (23) were given second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of weapon charges for the June 2018 stabbing of the 15-year-old.

It was previously reported that the leader of the Trinitarios gang assisted the police with information about the defendant but it isn't known if he is the same witness who will testify this week.

A total of eleven women and one man make up the jury. During the first few days of the trial, the courtroom watched three clips from the harrowing incident that showed Guzman-Feliz before and after the attack. The teen was reportedly stabbed by the defendants in a case of mistaken identity.

One of the clips was never seen by the public and showed the attackers dragging Junior out of the grocery story with the teen fighting back as the gang yielded machete and knives. Later in the trial, jurors were shown 13 different angles and the six locations of the group looking for the teen.

As family members sobbed in the court, prosecutors claimed that Junior's murder was premeditated given the weapons used. But defense attorneys deemed most of Junior's wounds as "superficial" and noted how the cut to his throat was the cause of his death. They also claimed four of the defendants did not intend to kill Junior. The defense rilled up the court, including Junior's family.

"Why would they need those weapons if they're not trying to kill someone?" sister-in-law Ione Guierrez told ABC7. "I need somebody to explain that to me." Junior's father was later escorted out of the courtroom for using profanity as the defendants reportedly laughed during the trial. "These guys are sitting there, just looking at us, just literally laughing," supporter Ilene Mariez told reporters. "The family got really really upset, and the father, towards the end, he was so upset he was using profanity," Mariez added. "So they pulled him from the courtroom."

Defense attorneys cross-examined witnesses like a woman who saw what happened from her apartment window. The witness said Junior motioned for her to call the police. After heading outside to help the teen, she said in disturbing detail his last word was "water."

A total of 14 people are facing jail time for Junior's death. The other nine suspects who are accused of taking part in other aspects of the assault will have a pretrial hearing dated for June 17.

Junior's passing sent waves around the country as clips were seen on social media. A number of celebrities took part in the #JusticeforJunior movement like Carmelo Anthony, Cardi B, Lala Anthony, Rihanna and Wesley Snipes. The street where Junior died was changed from Bathgate Avenue to Lesandro Junior Guzman Way. He was also honored by the NYPD with a scholarship created in his name. The teen was a member of the NYPD's Explores Program and had an interest in becoming a police officer.

"He was one of the good kids in the Bronx," his mother said at the time of his death. "He has never been in any fight, never, in 15 years. He was innocent. He never grew up on the streets. He was with me all the time."

If found guilty, the five defendants will face life in prison.

Continue Reading
Cardi B attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Cardi B's Fans Are Creeping Her Out With Comments About Her Family

Cardi B loves her fans, but she's making one thing clear to them: her family is off limits. During one of her popular Instagram live sessions, Cardi revealed that she frequently talks to her fan pages but that recently they've been crossing a few lines and talking "hella crazy" about her family, especially her sister Hennessy Carolina.

Before getting into it, the "Please Me" artist made it clear that she's incredibly thankful for her fans and that she goes out of her way to respond to their comments and like their pictures, they just have to leave her family alone.

"I am so thankful that I have people who love me, that follow up with my life, always supporting me, always supporting my music, my looks and everything," she said during the live.

"But it's like bro, no, you cannot talk about my sister. I would go to jail for my sister, I would die for my sister, I would take a bullet for my sister. So nobody could talk about my sister. I could be best friends with somebody for 100 years. Once they say something slick about my sister, you’re getting cut the f*** off, period.”

Cardi warned the Bardi Gang that hands would be thrown, regardless of whether they're a fan of hers or not, over her sister.

Continue Reading

Top Stories