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Gay Latinos No Longer Hide Their Pride


Aired 4/19/09

San Diego's gay pride celebration heads south of the border to Tijuana this Saturday night. Organizers of the Latino themed party say it fills a void for many gay Latino men. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Jamie Awad owns Club Papi Productions that throws gay Latino-themed parties.

He says a few years ago, he was moved to tears by a partygoer's story.

Awad: He was like, I have such a hard life with my family, they don't know. At work, it’s not OK for him to be out. And my family, if they ever found out, they would kick me out of the house. So, when he could come and sort of let his hair down, it was a huge relief for him.

Awad says until about 10 years ago, there was no Spanish music at gay pride events in the U.S. He says now, Latino culture is not just integrated into pride, but the music and dancing is a crowd favorite.

Awad says many well known Latina musicians have been instrumental in helping dismantle gay stereotypes in Latino communities on both sides of the border.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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