Queridos hermanos y hermanas,
What a year 2016 has been. I just completed an entire year of being part of an amazing brotherhood of Latino men – the Latino Community Foundation’s San Francisco Men’s Giving Circle. It has been a privilege and honor to be surrounded by such talented, compassionate and strong men who care deeply about their communities and heritage. I am always uplifted by their spirit when we meet. Together, we awarded over $35,000 to Latino based nonprofits that work in and around northern California to strengthen their communities.
While it has been a very rewarding experience in getting to know these men and helping mi gente this past year, I must admit I am still cycling through various emotions as I imagine what our nation will look like in a presidential administration where bigotry, sexism, homophobia and racism are accepted. As a Latino, as LGBT, and feminist, I feel victimized as I wake up each day and learn about hate crimes taking place across the country. My (our) hope for continued progress has been hijacked.
But as fighters, we don’t do victim well. We will need to collectively channel this victimization into power, and I for one recognize the power we have as Latinos. We are a people with tremendous assets, resilience and unyielding hope for a better future. That is why I have renewed my commitment to the mi gente and the Latino Community Foundation proudly joining the newly formed Latinx LGBTQ Giving Circle and I call upon many of the LGBTQ Latinos in the California to join me.
While it may feel as though dark times loom ahead, my faith in humanity is restored by the collective care and compassion we have for our communities. I look forward to working with my fellow LGBT Latinos in preserving our LGBT rights, funding LGBT health initiatives and outreach, advancing trans rights, protecting immigrant rights and so much more. Furthermore, I look forward to bringing our LGBT causes to the larger Latino community and working in solidarity with the many other Latino Giving Circles.