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These Bisexual Latinas Are Breaking The Stigma Surrounding the Latinidad And Queerness

It’s Bisexual Awareness Week and we’re proud to celebrate the out and proud Latinas who embrace their sexuality while representing our cultura.

The unfortunate truth is that there is often a stigma in our Latinx communities when it comes to issues of female sexuality and queerness. But, as bisexuals make up more than 50% of the LGBTQ population, we no longer have the time to allow biphobia (and homophobia) in our spaces.  

Instead, let’s celebrate the Latinas who have fully rep their identities and bring us one step closer to a more inclusive and understanding Latinidad.

Here are 11 famous bisexual Latinas who optimize the power of owning our sexualities.

Frida Kahlo

Mexico’s iconic female artist, Frida Kahlo was breaking social and sexual taboos during a time when female sexuality was extremely stifled. Frida was openly bisexual — famously sleeping with the women her husband, Diego Rivera, had affairs with. She also independently carried on long-term relationships with women, including painter Georgia O’Keeffe and legendary cabaret dancer Josephine Baker.

Dolores del Rio

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???????????? Remembering the Legendary Mexican Actress, One of the more important figure of the Mexican Cinema, Dolores Del Rio (1904-1983) ???? Born on August 3 #doloresdelrio ???? Ramona ???? Flying Down To Rio – Carioca ???? Madame Du Barry ???? Flor Silvestre – L'ouragan ???? Journey into Fear – Voyage au pays de la peur ???? Maria Candelaria ???? The Abandoned – Les abandonnés ???? The Fugitive – Dieu est mort ???? She was married to the Irish Art Director-Production Designer Cedric Gibbons & love Stories with the Great Director-actor Orson Welles or the writer Erich Maria Remarque, the last Husband of Paulette Goddard ???? #cedricgibbons #orsonwelles #erichmariaremarque #paulettegoddard ????‍????‍????‍???? Cousin of the Great Mexican Actor Ramon Novarro #ramonnovarro ???? 4 Silver Ariel Awards (Mexican Academy Award) & A Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame #walkoffame #hollywoodwalkoffame #arielawards ???? #greatactress #cinemaicons #screenlegends #oldhollywoodstar #oldhollywoodglamour #goldenagecinema #goldenhollywood #goldencinema #classicfilms #classichollywood #classicfilmsactress #oldhollywoodactress #mexicancinema #cinemamexicain ????

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This Mexican actress, dancer and singer headed to Hollywood, where she became a huge starlet in 1920’s and 1930’s cinema. After her Hollywood career came to an end, she made movies in Mexico during the 40’s and 50’s; becoming the first Latin American actress to reach international audiences during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. Dolores was also a member of Hollywood’s “sewing circles” — a phrase used to describe the underground lifestyle of closeted lesbians and bisexual women during that time.

Michelle Rodriguez

“Lost” and “The Fast And The Furious” actress, Michelle Rodriguez isn’t afraid to speak about her sexual identity. Having frankly discussed sexuality with major media outlets like Latina Magazine and The Advocate, Michelle officially put rumors of her preference to rest when she spoke with Entertainment Weekly. Commenting, “I’ve gone both ways. I do as I please. I’m too f—ing curious to sit here and not try when I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks.”

Stephanie Beatriz

Actress Stephanie Beatriz experienced her own coming out while playing her “Brooklyn 99″ character, Rosa Diaz. As the cop famously came out as bisexual in Season 5 of the comedy, Stephanie also announced to the world that she, too, is bi. “I’m bi and I’m getting married this fall,” Stephanie wrote in a GQ editorial. “This particular person brings out the best in me. This person happens to be a man. I’m still bi.”

Zoe Saldana

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#TBT @peopleenespanol

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Famous for her roles in the “Star Trek,” “Avatar” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchises, Zoe Saldana is completely open about her attraction to both men and women. In a 2016 BET interview, Zoe acknowledged her sexuality, saying, “Up until now I’ve known my life to be with men. I’ve been attracted to the male species, but if one day I wake up and want to be with a woman, I’m going to do that.”

Joy Huerta

The Mexican singer and songwriter who is also Grammy and Latin Grammy winner spoke of the power of love and how it has affected her. She also detailed the fear she experienced when she fell in love with her partner, a woman, seven years ago but how when she came to accept her feelings her world was opened up to all kinds of possibilities including a baby!

“Since I was young, I have seen sexual preferences beyond black and white: two people loving each other with consent for me is love, regardless of gender,” she wrote in both English and Spanish. “And even though I never thought that the love of my life would be a woman, 7 years ago, we met and love took us both by surprise. At first, it was difficult for the two of us to accept that we had reached our destination. But leaving aside the fear and who/what people would say, I opened my heart to embrace my happiness. Today, my wife and I are expecting our first baby, a beautiful and healthy baby girl.”

Gina Rodriguez

Best known for her role as Jane Villanueva in CW fave “Jane the Virgin,” Gina recently pointed out a big difference between herself and her character. When asked about the sexuality of her character by BUST Magazine, the Latina shared that, “Jane is the furthest from bisexual — maybe Gina’s a little closer than Jane is!” She also shared on Twitter, “I don’t need anyone to define their sexuality to me nor do I feel the need to either, I love hearts. Period.”

Naya Rivera

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#VMA throwback…yaaassss

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Though she played out lesbian Santana on the hit series “GLEE,” Naya has claimed her own bi identity in a 2015 episode of “The View” in which she acted as co-host. When host Rosie O’Donnell shared a report stating the statistic that bisexual women are more likely to suffer mental illness, Naya causally responded, “Rosie, no wonder I’m crazy. This just solves it.” While there was controversy over the acknowledgment of being a joke, it was Naya’s way of saying she related to as a bi woman dealing with her own mental illness.

Aubrey Plaza

Famous for her cool deadpan comedy and role in “Parks and Recreation,” Aubrey Plaza is well aware of her sexuality and impressive LGBTQ following. In a 2016 interview with “The Advocate,” the Boricua-americana admitted to her mutual attraction towards women. When asked about being approached by ladies, Aubrey stated, “Girls are into me — that’s no secret. Hey, I’m into them too. I fall in love with girls and guys. I can’t help it.”

Demi Lovato

Though immensely talented singer/songwriter Demi Lovato has yet to use the “bi” word to describe herself, she’s been very open about her attraction to both men and women.

In her YouTube documentary “Simply Complicated,” Demi admitted to using a dating app seeking both guys and girls. “I am open to human connection,” she said, “So whether that’s through a male or a female, it doesn’t matter to me.”

Sara Ramirez

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Guess who’s back….

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Mexican-American singer and actress, Sara Ramirez has been visible on our TVs since her breakthrough role on “Grey’s Anatomy” and, more recently, “Madam Secretary.” But it’s bi-visibility she’s dedicated herself to since coming out as bisexual during 2016’s 40 to None Summit. Sara shared that her public platform has given her the ability to “empower those who are part of these communities that [she’s] a part of.” As such, she has made it her mission to bring awareness to issues impacting bisexuals and the LGBTQ community.

Emma González

Emma González is an amazing woman. This 18-year-old gun violence survivor took the pain of losing her friends during the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and turned it into a platform to advocate for comprehensive gun control. The Cuban-American high school senior has been openly out as bisexual since before she entered the public spotlight — having proudly declared it in her op-ed in Harper’s Bazaar. She has been attacked in the past as a “skinhead lesbian” by a former GOP candidate but Emma’s strong sense of self and her pride in being a bisexual Latina haven’t wavered.

READ: 6 Amazing LGBTQ+ Latinas Battling Stereotypes and Barriers

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In Chile, This School For Transgender Students Allows Kids To Learn In A Safe And Affirming Environment

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In Chile, This School For Transgender Students Allows Kids To Learn In A Safe And Affirming Environment

Bullying and discrimination can make school feel impossible for transgender students. In Chile, many queer youth stop attending class to avoid intimidation, often falling behind or even dropping out. Amaranta Gomez School, an institution for transgender students in Santiago, Chile, is trying to change that.

Founded by the Selenna Foundation, an organization in the South American country protecting trans rights, in 2017, the school offers youth between the ages of six and 17 courses on math, science, history and English as well as workshops on art and photography. About 22 students attend the school, with an additional six expected to join soon. They are assigned to one of two classrooms based on their age.

“I’m happy here because there are many other kids just like me,” Alexis, a 6-year-old student who was bullied at his previous school, told the Associated Press.

A 2016 report by UNESCO said that in Latin America, school violence against students based on sexual orientation or gender identity harms “the development of the affected people, school coexistence, academic performance and, consequently, their permanence in school.”

Teachers at Amaranta Gomez, which was named after muxe activist and anthropologist Amanranta Gónez Regalado, work pro bono. In its first year, all school expenses were paid the Selenna Foundation’s president Evelyn Silva’s and the institution’s coordinator Ximena Maturana’s personal savings.

Starting in March, families will have to pay about $7 a month for their child to attend.

“We try to reduce the costs to the minimum (for families) so that they don’t say that (kids) are not attending because they don’t have pencils, and it becomes a reason to leave school,” Silva said.

Even with limited funds, the foundation has created a summer school program that offers dance and additional workshops to about 20 children, including some who do not attend Amaranta Gomez.

The school, the first of its kind in Latin America, is creating a safe space where children can learn, feel affirmed and have community.

“I feel free and happy here,” said Felipe, 15. “The environment is very good. Everyone who arrives is simply accepted.”

Read: Latinx Kindergarten Teacher Pens Bilingual Children’s Book To Teach Youth About Gender-Neutral Pronouns

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Autopsy Report Shows Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez Was Physically Abused During ICE Detention Before She Died

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Autopsy Report Shows Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez Was Physically Abused During ICE Detention Before She Died

The news is currently filled with images and stories of the current migrant refugee caravan that is Tijuana, but another migration took place earlier this year, which gives an important look at the consequences of not providing humanitarian aid to those seeking asylum.  Earlier this year we reported on the death of Roxsana Hernandez Rodriguez, a 33-year-old Honduran trans woman, who was seeking asylum with a caravan traveling to the U.S.

The caravan had been traveling since April, by foot, from Central America to the U.S. border. In May, Rodriguez — also known as Roxana Hernandez — was captured by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and died about two weeks after being detained. At the time ICE released a statement saying that Rodriguez died from symptoms of pneumonia, dehydration, and complications associated with HIV. But now we know Rodriguez experienced much more than just symptoms from an illness.

A newly released autopsy report revealed  Rodriguez had been beaten inside a detention unit for transgender women.

Rodriguez died on May 25 at the Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque but had been detained on May 13 and held at the the transgender unit at Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, New Mexico. According to the Daily Beast, it’s unclear when the abuse took place because Rodriguez was transferred to a local hospital just one day after being detained at the Cibola County Correctional Center. She remained in intensive care until she died.

Forensic pathologist Kris Sperry released a report that said Rodriguez had visible marks on her body that showed she had been abused including “deep bruising on her rib cage and deep contusions on her back, which were ‘indicative of blows, and/or kicks, and possible strikes with a blunt object,'” the Washington Post reports. Sperry’s findings comes from the second autopsy conducted on Rodriguez.

“According to observations of other detainees who were with Ms. Hernández Rodriguez, the diarrhea and vomiting episodes persisted over multiple days with no medical evaluation or treatment, until she was gravely ill,” Sperry wrote. Sperry also concluded that Hernandez had “thin bruises” on her back and sides, and “extensive hemorrhaging” on both her wrists. He said these markings are “typical of handcuff injuries.”

The Transgender Law Center has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her family.

When Rodriguez first began walking with the caravan earlier this year, she said that she was fleeing because of violence she faced in her home country along with discrimination as a transgender woman.

Her reasoning is much like the LGBT group that is also seeking asylum but remain in Tijuana.

READ: LGBTQ Refugee Group Separates From Caravan And Are First To Arrive At the U.S./Mexico Border

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