“I hate hearing people say that Puerto Ricans have lost the will to fight. They say this and don’t want to understand why. Across the island, in the Puerto Rican psyche, we have become conditioned to be docile. We have become conditioned to silence any challenge to US power. Because we did fight! And every time, we were slandered, jailed, tortured and killed. That generational trauma is with us.
And what’s worse for our young people is that our history is not taught to us. I never learned about the nationalist movement, the movement for independence until I went to university.
But there are those who are fighting. Those towns who are home to the uprisings - Jayuya, Utuado - those are our pockets of hope. And our siblings of the diaspora - they have been coming back and joining us in a revival.
But they don’t show you this.
They don’t want you to see this.
Puerto Rico’s Puerto Rican New England Summit September 17, 2016
I made a sign for an event to reclaim spaces and heal in the wake of the Orlando Shooting.
I am Puerto Rican, and gay.
The event resonated with me on a deep level and I’m still working through things. Through community and discussion I’m trying to find the strength to persevere and flourish. I want to add my voice to help not only the LGBT+ community, but also the Latino community stand strong in the face of that tragedy.
Pride in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A great day. Some times you don’t realize how much these spaces are needed until they’re there, or taken away. The last picture is a monument made to honor the victims of the Pulse Nightclub, in the newly named Gay Pride Plaza. During the march they said: “We will continue to march for as many years that are necessary”(in Spanish), and that’s true. We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going anywhere.