According to a 2013 report by the UCLA Williams Institute, an estimated 1.4 million Latino adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. While research has shown that a majority of Latinos support same-sex marriage, norms and beliefs and support for the gay community vary widely among the Latino population. To support and enhance the lives of the Latinx LGBT+ community in the Madison area and beyond, a new initiative called Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ of Dane County was recently created.
Orgullo Latinx LGBT+’s mission is to build a safe, ethnically equitable and racial social justice place for the Latinx LGBT+ community in Dane County where the LGBT+ community can thrive. This initiative’s vision consists in engaging the community to cultivate a safe environment for the LGBT+ Latinx community.
The group will focus on educating, sharing resources, and promoting the community on LGBT issues. Organizers say they started the group when they realized there was a need for cultural understanding on a larger scale. A press conference was held on Aug. 11 to let the community know more about the new initiative at the UNIDOS location on Fish Hatchery Rd.
“Madison, what do you really have for us as a Latinx community … and especially with LGBT+? We don’t have anything,” stated Christian Real, coordinator of Outreach. “We don’t have a place where we can be safe. So, I think what this organization is trying to do is to make sure that these things happen.”
The core values of Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ are:
◆ Education – creating awareness about the barriers that enhance the struggles of the LGBT+ Latinx community in Dane County.
◆ Outreach – developing culturally educational materials to disseminate information about the LGBT+ Latinx community and share resources.
◆ Social justice – engaging the community at large to cultivate a place of equality, respect, and dignity.
◆ Advocacy – fostering empowerment and ensuring that our LGBT+ community rights are respected and honored.
◆ Community engagement- strengthening partnerships with allies, families and community groups.
This past Sunday, August 21, Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ participated in the annual Outreach Pride Parade in downtown Madison marking the first activity of the year for the group.
UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence will serve as fiscal agent for Orgullo Latinx LGBT+, which will be hosted at the UNIDOS’ location. Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ has the support and guidance of UNIDOS Executive Director Veronica Lazo.