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9ES.5 Latinos Unidos Newsletter, April 1, 1977
This document reflects the double bind that has faced many LGBTQ people of color: rejection from their families and communities because of their sexual difference, and rejection from a white-dominated gay culture because of racism. Latinos Unidos was an organization that existed in Los Angeles during the 1970s to strengthen the sense of community for Latinx LGBTQ people. This was the first issue of a newsletter that they published to help keep people informed about their events.
Similar to Source 3 (“Black & Gay”), this document reflects the double bind that has faced many LGBTQ people of color: rejection from their families and communities because of their sexual difference, and rejection from a white-dominated gay culture because of racism. Latinos Unidos was an organization that existed in Los Angeles during the 1970s to strengthen the sense of community for Latinx LGBTQ people. This was the first issue of a newsletter that they published to help keep people informed about their events. Notice that their events include fun get-togethers as well as more serious fundraisers for political causes and activities. People who grow up LGBTQ often feel lonely and isolated from one another, and social events such as the Baile Tropical help forge a stronger sense of community and allow more participation in political events.
For many Latinx LGBTQ youth, the Catholic Church, a strong sense of family, and “machismo” attitudes play prominent cultural roles in shaping their concepts of sexual identity. These factors can exacerbate the loneliness that is so common among gay youth. This document can provide an opportunity to discuss with students the unique ways that people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds come to terms with being LGBTQ and the unique difficulties or challenges each group faces. Note the use of phrases “unique problems” they want to “convey … to the community at large,” hinting at such issues, and wishing to address them in public ways. Also note that a portion of the newsletter was written in Spanish; teachers can discuss the significance of this with students. To help contextualize the document, teachers may want to draw connections between this organization and Chicano student activism of the late 1960s, especially the student walk-outs in East Los Angeles. These events helped politicize young Chicanos, and some of this energy would have spilled over into LGBTQ activism during the 1970s. This was a common pattern during the era. Many gay activists in the 1970s had been previously involved with anti-war, New Left, or other organizations. Teachers may also want to note that one member of the organization is a prominent student leader at Cal State University, Los Angeles, a reminder that college campuses and college students played central roles in social activism during the 1960s and 1970s.
April 1, 1977 First Edition A Monthly Newsletter
WHAT IS LATINOS UNIDOS?
Latinos Unidos is a service and social action club founded to help meet the diversified needs and interest of our Gay Latin Sisters and Brothers. Our main purposes are to develop an awareness of our unique problems, to convey this to the community at large, and to insure a positive understanding of our cultural background and sexual orientation. Our organization is open to all people sympathetic to our cause.
Presents its first anniversary dance
Date: Sat, April 23, 1977
Place: Larchmont Hall
118 N. Larchmont
Disco and Salsa
[Includes map of the cross streets]
*Order ticket by calling 664-2479 Everyone Welcome!!
What’s Happening (Que Pasa?)
1. At our Monday February 21stbusiness meeting, we elected: Chairperson- Gil Verdugo, Secretary –Phil Starr, Treasurer-Tony Guevara
2. At our Monday March 21stbusiness meeting we formed the following committees: (feel free to join one) – Newsletter, Publicity and Art, Education, Fundraising, Translation, Clinic
3. To bring everyone up to date on fundraising, we earned nearly $110 on our car wash and garage sale. We are still collecting newspaper and aluminum cans. Please bring your paper and cans to our Monday night meetings.
4. Thank you to Mike and all the folks at the BEER CAN for their continued support!