Longtime LGBTQ activists Ginger Valdez and Julio Rodriguez were the featured interview guests at the innovative Q Hub summer series of events sponsored by Project Vida at Blanco and Negro Restaurant, 4043 W. 26th St.
LGBTQ youth and adults gathered in Little Village on Chicago's Southwest Side for history, poetry, food and voguing. Emmanuel Garcia conducted the interviews.
In the 1990s, Valdez was Chicago's first Latino transgender woman paid to do HIV/AIDS outreach in the city, for Minority Outreach Intervention project. She also has a long career performing in pageants, and will be celebrating her 64th birthday this September. Originally from Puerto Rico, she discussed her long road to acceptance and fulfillment. Valdez also proudly noted that she has also legally changed her name to Lisa Cruz.
Rodriguez, co-founder of Association of Latino Men for Action (ALMA), spoke emotionally of life with his family, living on his own at age 15, and creating a life for himself through great struggle. He also said ALMA will be changing to be inclusive of women, transgender, and all LGBTQs of Latino/a heritage, and that their new focus is on immigration justice issues.
LGBTQ youth were the hosts of the event, so they helped create the program. Project VIDA provided HIV testing on site.
There will be one more program this summer at the same location, Sept. 3, starting at 6 p.m., with food beverages and entertainment.
Videos by Tracy Baim
1. Precious Davis at Project Vida Aug. 6, 2013 Part 1
2. Julio Rodriguez interview with Project Vida Aug. 6, 2013, Part 1 of interview
3. Julio Rodriguez interview with Project Vida Aug. 6, 2013, Part 2 of interview
4. Ginger Valdez interviewed at Project Vida Aug. 6, 2013, Part 1 of interview
5. Ginger Valdez at Project Vida's Q Hub Aug. 6, 2013, Part 2 of interview
6. Ginger Valdez and Julio Rodriguez at Project Vida Aug. 6, 2013, Question session