On Tuesday the Gay and Lesbian Center in Los Angeles will screen a groundbreaking documentary on life as a gay Latino in the City of Angels. Gay Latino L.A. — being released in two parts — is a portrait of three gay Latino men buffeted by the waves of cultural and societal norms.
“Growing up hearing my dad say all this crazy shit about gay people, I’d be like, ‘Damn. It’s wrong,” says Carlos, a 22-year-old gangbanger living in the city’s infamous South Central neighborhood, and one of the gay men whose life is highlighted in the film. “It’s okay to be gay, you know? Who the fuck said it’s wrong to be that? You can be whatever you want in this world.”
The film has rarely been screened before, most notably at Mexico City’s LGBT* film festival, MIX México, where moviegoers showered the film with mountains of praise. Its producers hope to see the film screened at a film festival in the States.
“The message I wanted to communicate to viewers of the film is that it is difficult to have courage when there is so much to fear,” says director Brian Pacheco, himself gay and Latino. “But courage is the only thing we have to make the world a better place for ourselves, our families, friends, brothers and sisters around the world.”
Having not yet seen the film, its trailers and various teasers (available through the film’s website) promise a film that challenges previous notions of Latino community and Latino manhood. Carlos’s story seems most provocative of all. Here we have an individual who is vilified as a Latino and a young man, but is simultaneously victimized as a homosexual.
We can only hope that this weighty documentary is screened in a theater in our own home towns.