Gay & Latino

Panel Discussion

When: June 20 @ 3PM to 5PM

Where: Taller Puertorriqueño, 2721 N. 5th St

As part of En Blanco y Negro: Gay & Boricua, an exhibition of the artwork of José Luis Cortés, GALAEI, and Taller Puertorriqueño are pleased to present a panel discussion on important issues affecting the LGBTQ Latino community.

The panel will examine, from different perspectives, their past, and the current and future paths. The topics addressed will include the discussions of the intersectionalities of insider/outsider, invisibility, homophobia, resilience, migration, ethnicity, race, class, and gender, the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the social and political organization of LGBTQ Latinos in the United States and Puerto Rico. This will be a public and open forum.

Panel participants include: José Luis Cortés, artist; Elicia Gonzales, Executive Director of GALAEI; Erika Guadalupe Núñes, artist and community organizer; Emmanuel Coreano, a youth member at GALAEI; Bella,a trans* identifying youth who is passionate about the Queer community; and Louie A. Ortiz from The Gran Varones Project. David Acosta, AIDS activist, writer, cultural worker and current artistic director for Casa de Duende, will moderate the discussion.

This is part of the citywide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Reminder Day demonstrations in Philadelphia. For more information on the celebration go to

For more information on the panel contact Rafael Damast at or by phone at 215-426-3311.

About the panelists
•David Acosta is an AIDS activist, poet writer, cultural worker and the Artistic Director for Casa De Duende. His writings have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. Among the most notable are Mayrea, The Evergreen Chronicles, The Americas Review, American Poetry Confronts the 1990s (Black Tie Press 1990), The Limits of Silence (Asterion Press 1991), Poesida (Ollantay Press, 1995), and Floating Borderlands: Twenty-Five Years of Latin American Poetry in The United States (University of Washington Press, 1998). He will be included in the first anthology of Latino LGBT history in the United States and Puerto Rico to be published by University of Texas Press in September of 2015. He is the recipient of many awards for his long time-work on LGBT civil rights and HIV/AIDS advocacy. He was the founder and Executive Director of the GALAEI Project from 1987-1997. From 1997 to 2015 he was the Coordinator of HIV Prevention Programs for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s AIDS Activities Coordinating Office; he has stepped down in 2015 to focus on community arts and his own writing.

•Valentina also known as Bella, has been a part of Galaei for 4 yrs. She is a trans* identifying youth who is passionate about the Queer community. Bella has numerous dreams and goals – from starting a home for Trans identifying youth to opening a LGBTQ & Ally Charter school in Philadelphia.

•Emmanuel Coreano is a native Philadelphian and published writer. Being a bisexual person of color, he faced many challenges, however with music, writing, and other creative outlets he found himself. Coreano is truly an artistic and creative person.

•José Luis Cortés’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country and as well as in Europe. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, and Out Magazine and many other publications. You can see more of his work at the Visual AIDS Online Registry, and learn more about him at

Cortés is also a founding member of The Archive Project, and was included in the landmark exhibition, The First Ten (1995), which showcased the work of artists living with HIV. Currently he works with urban youth in Puerto Rico, teaching them about art, and how it can become a part of their daily lives. In 2013, Cortés participated in VIAL, an exhibition at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR). The exhibition in Taller Puertorriqueño will be his first in Philadelphia

•Since 2009, Elicia Gonzales has enthusiastically served as Executive Director for GALAEI: A queer Latin@ Social Justice Organization where she leads a team of dedicated, hard-working, and passionate individuals. Gonzales serves on the Board of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA, on the Community Advisory Board for the UPENN Mental Health and AIDS Research Center, and on the Leadership Council for the National Latino AIDS Action Network. She has worked in the social justice field for more than 16 years in various capacities ranging from reproductive justice to queer Latino social justice. Gonzales moved to Philadelphia in 2004 to get a Masters degrees in Social Work and Human Sexuality Education from Widener University. She is originally from Denver, Colorado where all of her beloved family resides.

•Louie A. Ortiz is a facilitator who uses both his passion for working disenfranchised communities to promote team building and organizational development. Over the last 20 years, he has worked with influential nationally recognized agencies and has been a part of HIV prevention and youth development programming in Philadelphia. Ortiz understands first hand the impact of the intersecting oppressions of poverty, homophobia, AIDS phobia and racism. These experiences continue to inspire Ortiz to work with marginalized communities in Philadelphia.

Ortiz is also a published spoken word artist and photographer. His current project, “The Gran Varones” is a documentary and photo essay highlighting the experiences of Latino Gay and Queer* Men in Philadelphia.

•Erika Guadalupe Núñez is a queer artist and activist who works with Migrant Power Movement, National Immigrant Youth Alliance, and Juntos focusing on topics on racial justice and immigrant rights. She came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was a young child and was undocumented until she received her green card in 2013. Most recently, Núñez’s part in the movement involved working on NIYA’s “Bring Them Home” campaign where she helped ease the return of five people who were deported. She was also part of a civil disobedience action that ended a private prison contract between Immigration & Custom’s Enforcement and Montgomery County Correctional Facility. Her other work includes working on ending deportation cases, creating art for rallies and campaigns, and holding workshops for the community. Erika also serves on the board of Juntos and is a member of their LGBT Committee.

This exhibition and cycle was made possible by grants from PECO and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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