In Latinx culture, music sweeps through as the glue that connects our lives together. Whether it’s a Saturday full of salsa to help pass the hours of cleaning tu casa or that gritty perreo beat you stay in permanent squat position for in a sweaty club, it swallows you up and spits you out in better spirits than before.
In recent years, the Latinx music scene is getting much deserved recognition, ranging from rock, reggaeton, trap, indie, disco, or electronic selvatica music. The beauty of all these genres are the immense differences connected by their latinx/afro-latinx/indigenous roots. Intersectionality is at the forefront of many artists’ motives in today’s music industry in an effort to decolonize from euro-centric standards of normality and to progress as gente libre.
Among this new wave of intersectionality is the ever hushed subject of queerness in traditional Latin culture. Machismo is still heavily rampant in our culture and therefore leads to little or no representation. Many of today’s artists, however, are coming forward to proudly flaunt their queer identities. While this inundation is amazing, there are still many battles to face. Just last month, first openly gay, Puerto Rican trap artist Kevin Fret was murdered, which still has an impending investigation to decide whether or not it was a hate crime.
While many artists may be holding their identities back for safety, allies in the culture are showing their support by using their clout to display the significance of these identities. Bad Bunny’s video for “Caro” is a display of gender-nonconforming queerness set against a modern day Puerto Rico.
Whether a drag queen, super queer, trans/non-binary, or ally, this playlist is a curation to celebrate those who have helped in paving the way for a more inclusive seat at the table.
Spark up, get una chela, y mueve la sintura!
Kenneth Figueroa is a queer Latinx, first generation Peruvian American living in Atlanta. Aside from being a hairstylist, he is also a founding member of "La Choloteca: Ley de Latinx" where he may very well show off his insatiable love for Kumbia queen Karla or lip sync for his life to Shakira."