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Top U.S. GLBT Latinos—And None from Chicago
2003-02-01

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Tentaciones Magazine, a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) Latina/o bilingual publication, released a list containing 'the 16 most influential LGBT Latina/o people and organizations that shaped last year's issues and events.'

OK, there was ONE from the Midwest ( Juana Vega from Milwaukee ) , and NONE from Chicago.

To help them out: Rick Garcia, Tico Valle, David Munar, Achy Obejas, Mona Noriega, Evette Cardona, Julio Rodriguez, Robert Castillo, Tony Alvarado, Carlos Correa, Juanita Crespo, Raven Rodriguez ... need we go on ....

Once again, the people who live on the coasts don't see much happening beyond their world—most people picked are from New York, California or Florida. A summary:

The AGUILAS in San Francisco ( after Gwen Araujo's murder took place in Newark, Calif., AGUILAS' board of directors and staff quickly mobilized the community ) .

Marta Alvarado, Washington, D.C., a Salvadoran Latina lesbian, is the Community Mobilization Manager for the National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization ( LLEG�" ) .

Adelina Anthony and Coral Lopez of L.A.: MY LUCHA ( Minds Yearning Lives United thru Community History & Arte ) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of educational and artistic programs.

Ron Saul Brenesky of Miami became one of the most notable faces on Miami TV after Miami AcciÃ"n Positiva and other grassroots organizations formed Unity Coalition, an effort to defeat Miami-Dade's discriminatory ordinance against LGBT people.

Marta Donayre, of San Francisco, is a Brazilian lesbian who works at the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) where she oversees immigration programs and focuses on helping people of color.

Andrés Duque of New York is the Director of Mano a Mano, a coalition of several LGBT organizations in New York.

Latin Pride Foundation of L.A.

Ema Moreno of Seattle is the executive director of Entre Hermanos, the most visible LGBT Latina/o organization in the Pacific Northwest.

Carmen Murguía of Milwaukee: When Chicana lesbian Juana Vega was murdered in 2001, Milwaukee, Wisc., her friend Carmen along with many other LGBT Latin/o activists in the area, mobilized the community to ask for justice. In 2002, Munguía was the leader behind the creation of the Juana Vega Resources Center.

Oscar De La O, LA, is executive director of Bienestar Human Services, the largest LGBT center of resources for Latinos in Southern California.

Odalys Nanín, LA, of Cuban descent, is the co-founder of Macha Theatre Co. Mujeres ( Women ) Advancing, Culture, History & Art is a non-profit organization that was formed in 2000 to promote Latina, women of color and lesbian art and culture through the dramatic arts.

Monica Palacios, LA, celebrated 20 years in 2002 as one of the leading Latina lesbian performers. Her show 'Queer Soul' consisted of her work in retrospective.

Roland Palencia, LA, was honored by the Latin Pride Foundation in 2002 as one of the most distinguished leaders in the community. The same week, he also received an award by the National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization ( LLEG�" ) in their Building Bridges Awards ceremony. Palencia has been the force behind the Latina/o Lesbian & Gay Access Network ( LG PLAN ) , a social group for Latina/o professionals in the Los Angeles area.

Mariía Román, LA, is one of the most visible transgender activists in the LGBT Latina community. She is also the Puerto Rican transgender activist who led the community in Los Angeles in a press conference and vigil after Gwen Araujo's murder. Román has also been a voice for raising HIV and AIDS awareness in her community.

Luisa RondÃ"n, Miami, is a Dominican Republican lesbian who has been one of the pillars in the formation of Unity Coalition.

TONGUES of LA has been a positive and influential force for Latina lesbians.

So they do all sound great. But how about expanding the list from 16 to, say, 25 to include a few more states in the list?


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