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"My parents were deported." An Op-Ed by Orange is the New Black Actress Diane Guerrero

In “Orange Is the New Black,” I play Maritza Ramos, a tough Latina from the ‘hood. In “Jane the Virgin,” I play Lina, Jane’s best friend and a funny know-it-all who is quick to offer advice.

I love both parts, but they’re fiction. My real story is this: I am the citizen daughter of immigrant parents who were deported when I was 14. My older brother was also deported.

My parents came here from Colombia during a time of great instability there. Escaping a dire economic situation at home, they moved to New Jersey, where they had friends and family, seeking a better life, and then moved to Boston after I was born.

Throughout my childhood I watched my parents try to become legal but to no avail. They lost their money to people they believed to be attorneys, but who ultimately never helped. That meant my childhood was haunted by the fear that they would be deported. If I didn’t see anyone when I walked in the door after school, I panicked.

And then one day, my fears were realized. I came home from school to an empty house. Lights were on and dinner had been started, but my family wasn’t there. Neighbors broke the news that my parents had been taken away by immigration officers, and just like that, my stable family life was over.

Not a single person at any level of government took any note of me. No one checked to see if I had a place to live or food to eat, and at 14, I found myself basically on my own.

While awaiting deportation proceedings, my parents remained in detention near Boston, so I could visit them. They would have liked to fight deportation, but without a lawyer and an immigration system that rarely gives judges the discretion to allow families to stay together, they never had a chance. Finally, they agreed for me to continue my education at Boston Arts Academy, a performing arts high school, and the parents of friends graciously took me in.

I was lucky to have good friends, but I had a rocky existence. I was always insecure about being a nuisance and losing my invitation to stay. I worked a variety of jobs in retail and at coffee shops all through high school. And, though I was surrounded by people who cared about me, part of me ached with every accomplishment, because my parents weren’t there to share my joy. Read More

Epicly Later’d – Ed Templeton, Part Five

In part five, we take a look at Ed’s life as an artist. From being coaxed out of hoarding his early paintings in Huntington Beach to confronting the homophobia of the 90s New York skate scene and finally finding success with his Teenage Smokers series, Ed’s art career has been defined in much the same way as his skate career—Ed just does Ed until people get it.

W a t c h

rainy days.

pour a cup of tea, take a nice book and just sink.

i. the boy who blocked his own shot // brand new ii. skinny love // birdy iii. therapy // all time low iv. mardy bum // arctic monkeys v. jesus christ // brand new vi. islands // the xx vii. people help the people // birdy viii. let her go // passenger ix. remembering sunday // all time low x. sofa // ed sheeran xi. walking disaster // sum 41

listen here

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Today is the world premier of the the first GoldieBlox cartoon!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGeJzIX0oCI

Lynn Wang & I directed, wrote, animated, and composited it with Andrea Fernandez & Trevor Spencer providing art direction, design and layout. Also a huge thanks to them and Megan Lacera for co-writing and doing story for this episode along with Debbie Sterling and Beau Lewis. Our Beautiful backgrounds were painted by Angelo Vilar and the awesome soundtrack was done by Nick Keller. A full list of credits is available in the YouTube description.

The cartoon is featured in a FREE APP called GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine, available now on iTunes where you can animate and make your own movies using photos, stamps and a bunch of slick drawing tools. If you have kids or little cousins or nieces/nephews I’d recommend it. I already got to play around with it and it’s really easy to use and you can make some super funny stuff. And if you’re really digging it, you can actually print out your animations and use them in the real-life GoldieBlox Zoetrope toy available on their website. It works crazy well and is really awesome to see in real life.

Also Goldie is voiced by Emily Haines!! Emily Haines of Metric?? WHAAAAT!??! Yes. That Emily Haines.

You can also check out more sweet stuff at Bloxtown.com (it’s really cute)and Goldieblox.com. Thanks for watching guys!!! :D