Pride Month is celebrated all June, every year. It began after the Stonewall Riots in 1969 and is used as a time of celebration and commemoration for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and all Queer people. People celebrate Pride in different ways but however you celebrate, it’s always a good idea to support queer Latine representation in entertainment. To help you out, here are some shows and people, you can support this year!
Vida (Starz), 2018-2020
First up is a show near and dear to my heart, Vida. It ran for three seasons on Starz before it was unfortunately canceled. Starring Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera, Vida follows two sisters who travel back home to Boyle Heights, Los Angeles after the passing of their mother to take over the family business. It shows beautiful, queer, Latine people being openly themselves and presenting in ways that are healing to watch on screen. While the show is very queer and stars a lesbian lead, it also speaks to gentrification, abusive law enforcement on Latine bodies, estranged parents, and hard interpersonal relationships. There is enough to love about Vida with the colors, the cast, and the content but its creator Tanya Saracho also makes a point to put the women leads, queer or not, in positions of power in their relationships. It’s kinky, it’s queer, it’s heartwarming, and heartbreaking, so buckle in for a beautiful show!
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez
Speaking of beautifully themselves, next up we have Michaela Jaé (MJ) Rodriguez! Born in New Jersey to Black and Puerto Rican parents, she was always a performer, singing every chance she got since childhood. Since her off-Broadway debut in 2011, this trailblazer has been very busy in the entertainment industry. MJ was the star in one of my favorite shows of all time and another great one to watch this Pride, Pose on FX. Pose is a visceral depiction of trans and queer life in New York in the late 80s to early 90s and an homage to the ballroom culture that birthed voguing and still influences pop culture today, like Beyonce’s latest album Renaissance. After her iconic role as Bianca on Pose, Michaela Jaé went on to star next to Maya Rudolph in Apple TV’s Loot, have a role in A Black Lady Sketch Show on HBO, act in the critically acclaimed tick, tick…BOOM, as well as dropping a single (and is working on the album)! She is the first trans woman to win a Golden Globe Award, she is a rockstar on stage as well as in front of the camera, and she has an amazing voice, what can’t she do?! Watch her singing “Suddenly Seymour“ in her Broadway role in Little Shop Of Horrors for an instant serotonin boost.
Smiley (Netflix), 2022-Present
Set in Barcelona, Smiley is a stereotypical messy rom-com but in gay! It is an adaptation of the creator, Guillem Clua’s own play and stars Miki Esparbé and Carlos Cuevas. Alex is a hot, lover-boy bartender and the show lets him indulge! A mistaken voicemail, or fate, brings Bruno, a nerdy architect, into his life and the rest is history. It is a show that highlights the messy romantic lives of people, more specifically gay people, in a light-hearted comedy. There is lesbian representation as well as lots of queer characters, so you can’t go wrong with Smiley! It premiered in 2022 and Netflix has not currently renewed it, which is scary, but they also have not canceled it. Smiley can be watched in Spanish or dubbed in English, but it’s better enjoyed as it was created, in Spanish!
The L Word: Generation Q (Showtime), 2019-2023
This show is a personal favorite! It’s a reboot of a show I grew up watching, The L Word, which was the first time I ever saw lesbian lives being lived out fully and proudly on screen. It allows lesbians to be mothers, to be loudly messy, to be athletes, and to explore their sexuality and humanity while also showing the very real dangers and discrimination they face by being themselves, packaging all that representation into the beautiful show that was The L Word. The original show ran from 2004-2009 but in 2019, it was rebooted with its main cast reprising their roles as well as adding in fresh, new characters and deliciously chaotic storylines. It has queer representation for younger and older generations. It stars Arienne Mandi (Love, Classified), Rosanny Zayas (Echoes), and Freddy Miyares (When They See Us) just to name a few of the Latine actors representing on screen! This reboot, just like its predecessor, shows the reality of queer life; the intimacy and boundaries between queer bodies, the way we are silenced and boxed in, the ambitions queer people go after, the family lives queer people have. It’s steamy hot – the literal first scene of the series is a sex scene. It’s messy – it will have you yelling at your screen because “WHY would she do that?!” And it’s also a representation of what family could mean for queer people. Unfortunately and heartbreakingly, The L Word: Generation Q is no longer available on Showtime, it’s been erased from the apps and any streaming service but some lovely people on the internet have provided ways to watch the show if you can find them. Just be careful which sites you visit!
This wonderful human is most known for his role as the beloved Guillermo de la Cruz in What We Do In The Shadows. His character Guillermo is sweet and hilarious, arguably with the most interesting and dynamic character arc in the show. He also showcases a bigger, queer, brown body being a badass! Guillermo is the “familiar” of Nandor, a demanding and adventurous vampire who Guillermo accidentally and gradually falls in love with. Harvey Guillén’s character takes care of the house and the vampires in it, until he discovers something about his lineage that jeopardizes his relationship with the undead. In addition to his role in What We Do In The Shadows, Harvey Guillén has done a lot of voice acting in animated films and shows like Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight, Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, Human Resources (the Big Mouth spin-off), and even Mickey Mouse Funhouse. Upcoming, he will be in the Latino superhero movie Blue Beetle. He is also establishing himself as a fashion icon, quickly becoming a sight I look forward to on any red carpet. If it includes Harvey Guillén, count me én!
Michael Cimino stars as Victor Salazar in the Latino spin of Love, Simon, which follows Victor through his love life in a high school setting as he moves from Texas to Atlanta, Georgia. Victor is unfortunately forced to come out in his new school, in a new city. This obviously comes with its own challenges and to add on top of all that, he’s Latino. With religion and toxic machismo culture being thrown in his face, Victor has to find a way to be himself. The show follows Victor as he journeys through self-identity, his sexuality, and his relationship with his family who struggle to accept who he is. What’s great about this show is it tackles all these hard-hitting issues without being traumatic or violent. Love, Victor is a great watch for kids figuring themselves out or adults who wish they’d had that freedom in high school. A show that navigates being outed and family acceptance without making you call your therapist? Just click play!
All of these shows and people positively represent the queer Latine community and the freedoms our queer fore-parents fought for during Stonewall. Whether you want something steamy or heartwarming, messy or sweet, each of these options is great to support this Pride Month!