When I heard about this important work to spearheaded by our local Latinx LGBTQ community, to preserve history and celebrated, I was excited to learn more.

Here, Rico Rodriguez, Teacher and Storyteller, explains the work being done and the events being planned.

Why is it important:

The LGBTQ Latinx communities have played an important role in Toronto since their arrival. But there has been no concerted effort to gather documentation of these experiences via exhibitions or events. There is even very little about these communities in the CLGA records, though every Latinx LGBTQ member we have spoken to, have their own records in boxes in their closets. There is a need to remedy this. It is time for these materials and documents and photos to literally “come out” and see the light of day!

More about the project:

The Project Escondidos No More! intends to collect documents, news articles, newsletters, artifacts and photos of our experiences in Toronto and curate and put on a month-long exhibition at the 519. In the fall of 2017 a community gathering (Fiesta de Coleccion) took place with members of the community to collect the material (video documented). On Opening Night March 8, 2018 at the 519 Church Community Centre there will be speeches, a pane discussion and drag performances. Then on March 24, 2018 at the 519 there will be a “Noche del Recuerdo” (Retro Night) that will be the culminating Gala event, with performances by Latinx Drag Queen and Kings who were there at the beginning when we arrived on the scene. A vigil of remembrance and celebration of Latinx community members who have departed us will take place on that evening as well.

The ultimate goal:

The ultimate goal of the project is to donate all the materials (documents, news articles, newsletters, artifacts, photos, videos) to the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Archives CLGA Eventually a digital exhibition of the materials can be created.

 

Who can be involved:

The intention is to involve as many LGBTQ Latinx members in all the events and gatherings so that they can contribute with materials, artifacts and stories and their talents. We are forming a wide range and diverse Collective to gather the materials for the exhibition and to organize the events. We are intending to involve and invite and find as many LBTQ Latinx members from the old and current days to come together to dialogue, enjoy, remember and celebrate. However, we are also intending on involving, inviting and including all our important allies from the mainstream and other equity seeking communities who have supported us throughout.

Needless to say, through social media and other mediums we are going to involve, include and invite everyone who would like to be part of any of the events to participate with their comments, technical support, expertise and presence.

Show @ Great Hall 519 Church Community Centre
Saturday March 24, 8 pm
Some of Toronto’s best loved Latinx or Latinoas Drag Queens and Kings will come together to offer a vintage and recent drag show extravaganza.

Exhibition @ 519 Church Community Centre
March 8 – April 8
Opening Night Thursday March 8, 7 pm

Other events:

Noche de Recuerdos @ El Convento Rico
Main Show 11pm
$5 Donation at door

About the Author

Antoine has on numerous occasions that everything he does is "a love letter to the LGBTQ community". and he truly loves this community. A 29 years' media and marketing leader, Antoine is the publisher of theBUZZ, The Pink Pages Directory, PinkPlayMags, and a magazine for Durham Region families The Local Biz Magazine, and is the host of talk show "On the Couch". On his off time he is usually involved in community organizations and causes.