DC Gay Pride Parade 2012 – ‘Faces of Pride’ Part 4

Truly the gamut of images of Pride. I was most struck by the young Latino boy marching with ‘Mpoderate! (Empower Yourself!) a gay Latino/a youth group. Talk about an at-risk population – kids who are aliens in their culture in so many ways- coming from a foreign country and/or a home where English is a distant second language, a culture where male/female roles are rigidly defined and deviation is met with anything from disapproval to violence, and a range of religions that fervently discourage homosexuality, and it’s a wonder that many of them make it to their 18th birthday without criminal records, HIV infection, or getting hurt/killed. This is NOT to generalize that the Latino community is monolithically oppressive or that there are no happy healthy well-adjusted gay Latinos in the US. But the kids who use the services of ‘Mpoderate! are the ones who are facing all those kinds of oppressions. If you’re interested in finding out more about ‘Mpoderate and how you can support their services, you can check out the website for La Clinica Del Pueblo – they’re the parent organization.

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