Exploring the Arco Iris: The LGBT Experience in the Americas
October 11, 2014 Leave a comment
WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, September 26th Peace Corps staff, RPCVs, and community members celebrated Hispanic Heritage month with the event “Exploring the Arco Iris: The LGBT Experience in the Americas” which featured a panel discussion. The event was hosted by HALO (Peace Corps’ Hispanic Association for Leadership and Opportunity)and Spectrum (Peace Corps’ LGBTQA Employee Resource Group) in participation with the Human Rights Campaign and the Latino GLBT History Project.
Panelists included Manuel Colón, RPCV Paraguay 2010-2012, and New Volunteer Coordinator for the LGBT RPCV Association (joined via teleconference), Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, Director of Latino and Catholic Initiatives at HRC, Alexa Elizabeth Rodriguez, Founder of Mi Nueva Familia – a working group for people living with HIV and transgender women in El Salvador, and David M. Pérez, President of the Latino GLBT History Project. Full profiles can be found HERE. Panelists introduced their unique experiences being Queer and Hispanic, exploring the nuanced perspective of where and when their identities intersect, diverge, and, at times, conflict.
The panel discussion was guided by Daniel Hinkle, Co-President of Spectrum, and Alicia Barrera, President of HALO. The group conversation focused on a variety of topics including, but not limited to, the major challenges facing the LGBT community in Latin America, specific challenges to the success and advancement of the transgender community, and the role Peace Corps Volunteers can play in advancing the rights of LGBT communities in countries we serve.
The event concluded with questions and comments from the audience regarding their interest in the steps any and every person can take to actively work to advance the Hispanic Queer community. Panelists were also available for additional conversation and networking.