Youth advocates taking part in the 'Kikis with Louie' program.
QLatinx joins together with Advocates for Youth and the MAC AIDS Fund as part of the 'Kiki's with Louie' project, a collaborative video series aimed at reducing HIV and STD infections among youth, with an emphasis on gay, bisexual, and questioning males, and transgender teens of color; This multimedia conversation series highlights various social and cultural issues that impact these communities, and that fuel disparate rates of HIV and STDs in youth.
QLatinx brought together local youth leaders to discuss their work in building queer political power, addressing access barriers to social services, and shining a light on queer youth activism that is changing the social and political landscape.
When discussing the way he approaches intersectional LGBTQ+ and Latinx justice, Membership Coordinator and Community Cocina Program Coordinator, Ishmael Perez shared, "I see our identities as something worth celebrating, and never seeing any of it as shameful. You are, who you are, and you have to be proud of everything that you born with."
Ishmael Perez, of QLatinx, speaking on intersectional LGBTQ+ Latinx activism in Orlando.
Fausto Cardenas, a local LGBTQ+ and political activist, shared that "education about social and political issues is vital to keeping our communities safe." They continued by discussing the importance of pushing back against policies and issues that would seek to divide or disenfranchise our communities, "our sexual orientation, our gender identity, our existence itself is political, and we have to be willing to speak out and fight for our rights...to fight against discrimination."
Local transgender activist and community leader Nikole Parker shared that transgender and gender non-conforming communities continue to live in fear and violence, following Pulse and most recently with the murder of local sister Sasha Garden. When asked how our community can address the issue of safety and inclusion for transgender and gender non-confirming communities, Parker spoke to the importance of acceptance, affirmation, and inclusion of transgender communities.
Nikole Parker speaking about addressing safety for transgender communities in Orlando.
We are thankful and honored to have been able to bring together these incredible youth leaders of color, each who are leading incredible work in the community and highlighting issues that impact LGBTQ+ communities of color in Orlando.
To learn more about their individual work, follow the incredible leaders via social media. Nikole Parker can be found on Facebook at @NicolePx33, Fausto Cardenas can be found on Facebook at @fausto.username, and Ishmael Perez can be found on Instagram at @ishfulthinking.
Youth advocates taking a post-interview selfie with Louie Ortiz, of Advocates for Youth.