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Chicago's Latino Community stands with the LGBTQ Latino Community
From a press release
2016-06-15

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This weekend, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) community was attacked in Orlando, Florida in what is considered to be the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The shooting occurred at Pulse, a nightclub for the LGBTQ community, during its weekly "Latin" night. Forty-nine individuals died, and an additional 53 were injured. The majority of those victims are LGBTQ Latinos — they were our children, our brothers and sisters, our family. We send our condolences to the families and loved ones of those whose life was cut short during this senseless act.

Even though this weekend's violent shooting was perhaps the most devastating, it was not an isolated event—violence towards the LGBTQ community is rampant. LGBTQ people are twice as likely to be victims of hate crimes, compared to other marginalized communities. For LGBTQ Latinos who experience racism, homophobia, and transphobia, the violence is far too common. A national report conducted by the Human Rights Campaign and League of United Latin American Citizens ( LULAC ) found that LGBTQ Latino youth are three times more likely to face harassment and violence than are their non-LGBTQ Latino peers—in their communities, in our communities. The violence directed at members of our community is something we can no longer ignore.

In light of the shooting in Orlando, we must come together, not only to help the LGBTQ Latino community heal, but also to act. Now more than ever, we must commit ourselves to eradicating homophobia and transphobia in our Latino communities. While there has been much progress for the LGBTQ community, such as marriage equality, we must continue to work to ensure that all LGBTQ people are able to live without fear of losing their lives due to intolerance and hate. We need to challenge the anti-LGBTQ sentiments from within our own families and communities. We must remember that LGBTQ Latinos are part of our entire community, and that their love is just as important.

It is also imperative that our laws reflect our values to ensure we build safe communities for everyone. We must hold our elected officials and leaders accountable, rejecting hateful rhetoric that seeks to divide and cause harm. We must pressure them to work on policy that will ensure complete equality and fair treatment for the LGBTQ community as well as legislation that will put an end to this senseless gun violence. We must also be willing to stand in solidarity with other marginalized communities, we cannot allow this tragedy to perpetuate Islamophobia. Now more than ever we need to work and move forward in unison.

The Latino communities in Chicago, and our allies, stand with the Latino and LGBTQ communities in Orlando. We send our sympathy to the LGBTQ Latino community across the country that continues to mourn and begins to heal. We will stand with the LGBTQ community to end homophobia and transphobia once and for all.

Eduardo Aguayo

United Latin@ Pride

Oswaldo Alvarez

Program Developer, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership

Erick Amaya

Chair, Queer Prom, HIV Counselor, CALOR

Honorable Jaime Andrade

State Representative, 40th District, Illinois House of Representatives

Sandra Aponte

Program Officer, The Chicago Community Trust

Omar Aquino

Nominee for State Senate, 2nd District, Illinois State Senate

Dr. Jorge Argueta

Director, Avance, Inc., Treasurer, Northwest Suburban Alliance Against Domestic Violence, Cook County State Attorney's Office LGBTQ Advisory Council

Evette Cardona

Vice President of Programs, Polk Bros. Foundation

Tonantzin L. Carmona

Director, Office of New Americans, Mayor's Office, City of Chicago

Kara Carrell

United Latin@ Pride

Jessica Carrillo

Executive Director, Youth Service Project, United Latin@ Pride

Rodrigo Carrillo

Board Secretary, ALMA

Robert Castillo

Community Leader

Martin R. Castro

Chairman, Castro Synergies, U.S Commission on Civil Rights

Kristin Chernawsky

Executive Director. Erie Neighborhood House

Oscar Chacon

Executive Director, Alianza Americas

Honorable William Delgado

State Senator, 2nd District, Illinois State Senate

Evelyn Diaz

President, Heartland Alliance

Antonio Elizondo

Youth Activist, Co-Founder, Vives Q

Ricardo Estrada

President and CEO, Metropolitan Family Services

Alfredo Flores

Mpowerment Facilitator, CALOR

Sol Flores

Executive Director, La Casa Norte

Emmanuel Garcia

Founder, Vives Q, National Steering Committee Member Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement

Rick Garcia

LGBTQ Community Leader

David Gauna

Youth Activist

Erik Elias Glenn

Executive Director, Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus

Liliana Gomez

Family Support Worker, Howard Area Community Center

Alicia Gonzalez

Executive Director, Chicago Run

Allen Govea

Teacher, Chicago Public Schools

Adolfo Hernandez

Deputy Director, Public Engagement, Mayor's Office, City of Chicago

Carlos Hernandez Falcon

Executive Director, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance

Juanita Irizarry

Community Leader

Alma Izquierdo

LGBTQ Community Leader

Marco Jacome

Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare Alternative Systems, Inc. (H.A.S.)

Daniel Loftus

CEO, PODER

Daniel Lopez

Psychotherapist/Clinical Supervisor

Honorable Raymond Lopez

Alderman, 15th Ward, Chicago City Council

Agustin R. Maldonado

Board Member, Youth Service Project

Honorable Roberto Maldonado

Alderman, 26th Ward, Chicago City Council

Kenny Martin-Ocasio

Vice President, Association of Latino/as Motivating Action

Constantina Mizis

CEO, The Latino Alzheimer's & Memory Disorders Alliance

Juan Morado Jr.

Communications Secretary, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois

Honorable Joe Moreno

Alderman, 1st Ward, Chicago City Council

Patricia Mota

President, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement

David Ernesto Munar

President & CEO, Howard Brown Health

Jose M. Muñoz

Vice President, The Resurrection Project

Mona Noriega

Chair, Commissioner, Chicago Commission on Human Relations

Katya Nuques

Executive Director, Enlace Chicago

Karari Olvera

United Latin@ Pride

Cristina Pacione-Zayas

Co-Chair, The Puerto Rican Agenda

Andre Perez

Director, America in Transition

David Tlateollin Pesqueira

Program Officer, McCormick Foundation

Maria Pesqueira

President & CEO, Mujeres Latinas en Accion

Sylvia Puente

Executive Director, Latino Policy Forum

Dulce M. Quintero

Orgullo en AcciÃ"n

Edgar Ramirez

President & CEO, Chicago Commons

Honorable Carlos Ramirez-Rosa

Alderman, 35th Ward, Chicago City Council

Orlando Reyes

Board Member

Association of Latino/as Motivating Action

Teresa Reyes

Associate, Birrierias Ocotlan

Jose Rico

Senior Vice President, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago

Amalia Rioja

Community Member

Alma Rodriguez

Program Officer, The Chicago Community Trust

Julio Rodriguez

President, Association of Latino/as Motivating Action

Luis Roman

Advocacy Chair, Association of Latino/as Motivating Action

Roberto M. Romero-Perez

Attorney

Jackie Rosa

Senior Program Officer, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago

Anel Ruiz

Community Leader

Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Esq.

Executive Director, PASO — West Suburban Action Project

Carlos Samaniego

Community Leader

Roberto Sanabria

Member, Board of Directors, Puerto Rican Cultural Center of Chicago

Sofia G. Sarabia

QYES, Amigas Unidas En La Fe, Familia Latinas Unidas

Pedro Serrano

United Latin@ Pride

Alfonos Treviño Jr

President, Illinois Alumni Association, Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Carlos Tortolero

President & Founder National Museum of Mexican Art

Alicia Tellez Vega

Youth Ministry, Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality of Lincoln United Methodist Church

Maritxa Vidal

Chapter President TransLatin@ Coalition — Chicago

Honorable Gilberto Villegas

Alderman, 36th Ward, Chicago City Council,

Joseph Wirtz

Community Member


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