LGBTQ+ lives are in constant danger as governments worldwide look to silence voices and target the rights of these communities. From Brazil’s political censorship to the possible overturn of same-sex marriage in the U.S., LGBTQ+ communities face discrimination all over the world. Against this reality, many Latines have found their power and made an impact despite the obstacles that work against them.
From a fitness instructor who’s opened up dialogue on fertility to an actor that’s unapologetically provided more representation on-screen, these names — handpicked by our staff — are ones within the LGBTQ+ communities that are building momentum and have captured our attention. As we look to the second half of 2022 and close out Pride Month, we predict these names will undoubtedly impact the industries they’ve embraced and the entire world. See our selection, below.
Vico Ortiz, a proud non-binary Latine actor and activist plays Jim on Our Flag Means Death. The HBO show has grown in viral popularity thanks to TikTok —and among the chatter is Ortiz’s character, a quiet badass with knives involved. While the show is relatively new, the Puerto Rican star is already making a powerful impact with their role. “[They] are creating the kind of content and community in 2022 that they wish they had when they were younger,” said Lyra Hale, Trending News Editor. “As a non-binary actor on ‘Our Flag Means Death,’ they have opened doors to understanding our complex identities. They are also avid fans of being oneself, finding your place in this world, and representation on TV that reflects the everchanging world we live in.”
Emerging as a household name, Jess King’s star has risen under the pandemic-era success story of fitness empire Peloton. The fitness instructor — who is of Chilean descent — has built a fanbase with her enthusiasm and charisma that goes beyond her classes. This year, she courageously opened up about her pregnancy journey and fertility treatments — creating more dialogue around fertility options in LGBTQ+ communities. “It’s one thing to inspire people through their fitness journey, but using your platform to have important conversations that could change lives is another thing,” said Thatiana Diaz, Remezcla’s Editor-in-Chief. “Opening up more dialogue in communties that are targets to be silenced is a level of courage that deserves recognition.”
Jovan is a graphic artist and illustrator, also well known as a DJ and nightlife organizer who throws a queer perreo party in Mexico City. Bruja Prieta is the musical project of Jovan — and our Creative Director Alan Lopez has felt their impact in LGBTQ+ communities within their city. They recently produced a DJ set for VIVASNOSQUEREMOS, an initiative of support/COVID relief for the trans community in Mexico City and opened for Arca. “They’re one of the few people of color in the Mexican club scene that has an impactful voice in representing their community,” said Lopez.
Maria Batlle is an activist and multimedia journalist who’s work is rooted in fighting for the rights of marginalized communities. “Aside from being an advocate for disability rights in the Dominican Republic, Maria is also becoming a force in the LBGTQ+ community,” said Joel Moya, Remezcla’s Director of Artists & Label Relations.
Baggio Ardon is a Mexican-Salvadorian graphic designer that continues to grow a following on TikTok with their cultural, food, and identity content. From an educational explainer on Dia de Muertos to a look at El Salvadorian food, the artist gives us an intentional look at both of the cultures that make up his identity. They’re also not afraid to touch on important, yet controversial, topics within the community like the use of Latine/Latinx. With the rapid growth of TikTok, it’s only a matter of time before Baggio becomes a household name for many Latines. “You watch one video, and you’ll find yourself scrolling on his account for hours,” says Thatiana Diaz. “Baggio’s content shows us what more people are discovering: Latinidad is not a monolith and our cultures are so incredibly diverse.”