Ten years ago, a group of Latinx activists marched for LGBTQ civil rights and gay marriage but that wasn’t enough for them. They knew they had to continue the fight and continue to garner support for the LGBTQ Latinx community on the east side of Los Angeles.
“We resolved that we really want to “Be WHO we ARE, WHERE we ARE!” And that means increasing community and family support in our own communities,” explained Ari Gutierrez Arambula, president of the Latino Equality Alliance Board.
LEA made a commitment to educate within the local community — education that was in-language and in-culture — to increase support for the LGBTQ marriage initiative and more importantly, to make Latinx communities welcoming and safe for everyone, especially the youth, which is a key difference between LEA and all the other Latinx LGBTQ organizations in Los Angeles.
The Latino Equality Alliance celebrated its 10th anniversary on June 26 and its impact on local LGBTQ youth and families at the 4th Annual Purple Lily Awards where they also awarded local students with scholarships to further their education.
Honorees this year included the cast of STARZ Network’s critically acclaimed series, “Vida,” all who work passionately to create a safer, healthier and brighter future for the LGBTQ community, as well as Los Angeles City Council Member Nury Martinez, community activists Elena I. Popp and Ridge Gonzalez, and community advocate Javier C. Angulo.
“Over the past 10 years, LEA has made tremendous inroads with youth and their families bringing to light LGBTQ structural policy issues in schools and in the community that needed to change,” said LEA’s Executive Director Eddie Martinez.
Arambula addressed the crowd with pride and praise for attendees. “With you tonight, we are acknowledging where we’ve been and how we got here. Where we go next depends on support from our community to continue our efforts to not just survive but thrive as LGBTQ Latinos – OUT, Brown and Proud!”
Congratulations, LEA. Keep up the amazing work, here’s to the next 10 years.