Unity Equals Power for LGBT Latinos

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February 7, 2013
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For over a decade, Lambda Legal's Latino outreach project, Proyecto Igualdad, has been bridging the language gap for LGBT Latinos in the U.S. by providing information in Spanish about LGBT rights and by engaging Latino communities about LGBT and HIV equality.

This year, we continued these efforts by sponsoring and helping to organize the first ever Unión=Fuerza, a day-long convening about LGBT activism in Latino communities, as part of this year’s Creating Change. Creating Change is the largest LGBT conference in the country, organized annually by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The goal of Unión=Fuerza was to bring together diverse groups of LGBT Latinos and allies from across the country and from different walks of life, to foster relationships, and to build our capacity to advance LGBT Latino activism, all in a bilingual supportive space. By all measures, we did just that, with close to 150 people attending, from all over the U.S., from Alaska to Puerto Rico.

Bilingual, LGBT-affirming gatherings are hard to come by for U.S. Latino activists, and participants were ecstatic at the opportunity afforded by Unión=Fuerza. Participants were able to network, strategize and update each other about the most pressing issues in Latino LGBT communities, including immigration reform, family acceptance and transgender rights. We at Lambda Legal were able to share many of our Spanish-language resources for LGBT and HIV-affected Latinos.

Unión=Fuerza means “unity equals power,” and this convening was definitely a team effort. We are grateful to the Task Force and the many endorsing organizations that supported Unión=Fuerza, as well as the wonderful group of planning committee volunteers who helped organize the day’s event and promotional and recruitment efforts. We would like to especially thank Unión=Fuerza co-convener David Perez with the national Latino organization League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and Washington, DC's Latino GLBT History Project.

With Unión=Fuerza, Lambda Legal’s Proyecto Igualdad continues its commitment to strengthen Latino LGBT activism around the country and to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of all LGBT Latinos.