When Clubs Cobra and Chico Co-Owner, Marty Sokol, conceived the idea of creating a podcast that would be an extension of his clubs and provide a voice for Gay Latinos particularly from neighborhoods that were traditionally underrepresented, it didn’t take long for him to choose who he wanted to lead it. Erick Velasco also known as the Homo Homie from the East Side of LA was the perfect face of the brand and truly represented how Chico in Montebello had come about in the first place.
Velasco, an LA Native and a frequent nightclub attendee realized this would be a great thing for the Gay Latino community as well as the LGBTQ+ Latino community overall. He knew he needed a strong co-host with experience in media and pop culture – enter Jose Resendez, a recent Miami transplant who was no stranger to the world of podcasts, social media and how to get a great interview out of a guest. Where Velasco provided that LA flavor from the community, Resendez brought the business expertise.
The two colleagues kicked off season 1 of the successful podcast in October of 2019 and released new episodes through February up until sheltering in place was put in motion.
From episodes ranging from Gay Dads, Fitness, Entertainment, Politics,Transgender and Undocumented issues to even a JLO themed episode, these co-hosts were able to tap into different slices of the Latino LGBTQ+ community and brought the education, laughter and tears along the way.
But when Covid-19 hit, not even these two heroes of our community were immune. Resendez contracted the virus shortly after they had gone on hiatus. What started off to being a 3- month break turned into a 6 month break. He is now fully recovered and back at work gearing up for the rest of the year.
With a break under their belt and a library of a first season podcast episodes currently available to binge, the duo is now ready to launch season 2 and is looking forward to bringing in new faces from the community from all walks of life to further show our diversity. I caught up with the Homo Homies to get a little more insight of what makes them tick and how their identity and passion truly reflects the Latino LGBTQ+ community – a community that doesn’t just follow trends – they SET them.
Los Angeles Blade // Queery Q&A
The Homo Homie Podcast (@TheHomoHomiePodcast)
Host: Erick Velasco (@TheHomoHomie)
Co-Host: Jose Resendez (@TheJoseResendez)
Who’s your LGBTQ hero?
There’s so many to choose from! But during these revolutionary times for social justice, we would have to say Ashlee Marie Preston — a passionate Black transgender woman who’s making her voice heard & who we really hope to have on The Homo Homie Podcast one day! Ashlee advocates for the LGBTQ+ community by using her platform to bring awareness & believes that we can’t heal what we don’t reveal — such as addressing anti-Blackness within our own queer community.
Who’s Your Latino or Latina Hero?
We have to give it up to mami y papi. As proud Latinos we’re raised to honor our ancestors, elders, & parents! They teach us the importance of family, knowing we can count on them to be there for us. They help us understand you can have a lot with so little. They show us how to earn & give respect. To take pride in our heritage & where we come from, to continue to speak Spanish, to recognize the power in being bilingual. (Erick is Mexican, Jose is Guatemalan & Mexican.) And we can’t forget our modern-day Latinx hero, AOC — we love powerful mujeres that are always reppin’ our barrios!
What’s Los Angeles’ best nightspot, past or present?
The Homo Homie Podcast’s first season was all recorded at Club Cobra in North Hollywood, so that was our spot! LA has such a diverse offering when it comes to safe queer spaces — we tend to go where everybody treats you like family & where the atmosphere is off the hook. When it’s safe we say to check out Club Chico in East LA & Trunks in WeHo — we know the staff there, they welcome us with open arms, have great music & good a** dranks!
What non-LGBTQ issue are you most passionate about?
Well, we take into consideration many to be honest. We’re passionate about women’s equality, immigration reform, & fighting for the Black community. We stand by the Black Lives Matter movement & will continue to help amplify Black voices on The Homo Homie Podcast as well. We acknowledge that every issue coincides with LGBTQ+ rights, because where one progresses, we all progress.
What historical outcome would you change?
Jose would say the tragic loss of Selena Quintanilla, however we would definitely change the outcome of our last presidential election. We’d take back that day real quick! We highly encourage all of our podcast listeners to help us vote Donald Trump out of the White House this year. Remember to register to vote now & help us make history together!
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment in your opinion?
Probably the JLo & Shakira halftime show at the Super Bowl — we didn’t know it back then but it was pretty much the closing ceremony for the end of the world at this point! But in all seriousness we want to highlight the moment Britney Spears shaved her head, especially now that the #FreeBritney movement has gone mainstream — the light that has been shed on mental health & human legal rights due to her conservatorship is invaluable. Another memorable pop culture moment is when Ricky Martin came out as a proud gay man, that was big for Latinos around the world!
Who in the Media or Journalism field do you admire?
We admire Anderson Cooper. Always has his facts straight (no pun intended), knows how to gauge a conversation, is not afraid to call out a guest & has been a voice of reasoning lately for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Did we mention he’s super sexy with that silver hair? Anderson has been an influential LGBTQ+ staple in our community & has represented us so well in the media industry.
On what do you insist?
Testing! Voting! We insist on many things. Getting tested for HIV/STI & knowing your status is responsible, we insist you reach out to your local resources for help such as the LGBT Center, Reach LA, & Out of The Closet locations. We insist that you do your part in voting & educating yourself on all the candidates — this year is so important for POC. Also, we insist you subscribe to our podcast to learn more about ways to get involved, be active in your community, whether via social media or by physically volunteering, it takes a village!
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
Erick’s book would be called “A Jack of All Trades & Master of None” because he has so many tricks up his sleeve & is such a curious type of person that loves to continue to always learn in life! Jose’s book would be titled “Amigas y Rivales” after an iconic Mexican soap opera or maybe “Mean Girls” — do we see a pattern here? Feels like our lives are shaped by the people around us, from friends & family to non-supporters alike.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
We’re both big on energy for sure! Erick is more spiritual, believes in the after life, the supernatural, the paranormal & loves watching Ghost Adventures. Jose is more of a science guy, has to see it to believe it! Either way, it’s fascinating to know that we are not the only ones here…right?
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
To stop and really analyze the way they try to get their points across to others. There’s always more than one way & they must take the time & patience to put themselves in that person’s shoes In order for them to understand.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
We both immediately said a million dollars, ha! Erick will walk across hot coals for family, it shows strength & courage for them. Jose says for world peace, period.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
Probably when people seem to think all gays went to beauty school in the womb & can do hair/makeup. Gays in media & entertainment are usually portrayed as the hairstylist, the makeup artist, the fashion designer, the flamboyant vanity person, which there’s nothing wrong with being that person, but the reality is that gay men hold it down in boardrooms, sports fields, military, on stage & in classrooms — we’re everywhere!
What’s your favorite LGBTQ+ movie?
For Erick it has to be Quinceanera — watching it was the first time we saw urban gay Latin representation that really hit home with cultural roots; nothing is better than a movie that you can relate too & actually see yourself in. Jose can’t decide between The Bird Cage & Moonlight — both taking place in Miami where he moved to LA from.
Who’s your favorite female pop star?
Right now it has to be Cardi B, okurrrrr! An artist that truly defines making it from the bottom to the top. She’s unapologetically herself no matter what, isn’t afraid to speak her mind, has broken barriers, created chart topping hits, is a proud Afro Latina & is literally bringing back Pu**y Power.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
For some reason this always ties back to money! Learning at a young age what it is to establish credit, how to invest into real-estate, understanding stocks, & probably avoiding student loans if possible. There’s many scholarships out there to help aid in financing your education, especially when it comes to diversity & inclusion.
Why Los Angeles?
LA is a place you can always call home — it’s a place with vast cultural diversity. For Erick, born & raised in LA has shaped him to be the man he is today. After living in Texas & Florida, Jose now calls LA home, a place he hopes to continue establishing himself as an entertainment communications pro in the US Latin market. The Homo Homies hope to run into you all in LA soon!