HRC San Antonio Steering Committee Member Ricardo Ramirez Shares His Story To Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month – Human Rights Campaign

However, I quickly found out I was not just a gay man. I was a Latino gay cisgender man with an accent. I didn’t quite fit within the community. I was different. I needed to explain how I came to the U.S., why I had an accent when I was a U.S. citizen, why Puerto Ricans have their flags everywhere, how Puerto Rico isn’t the same as Cuba, why I speak with my hands, explain why I am so loud, and many other non-sensical questions about my culture and identity.

As a Puerto Rican, I have lived my entire life understanding my voice is the only tool I have to make myself seen and heard. With my experience, I knew that the only way to make a change was to join a group that would see me for who I am and have the same passion as I do to make change in policy. I first became involved with the Human Rights Campaign after being invited to volunteer at an event. I started to know more about the community and the organization. I became more involved and joined the San Antonio Steering Committee as a diversity and inclusion co-chair.

Being part of HRC gave me the opportunity to have a voice at the table. I have always understood that I am a minority and part of a minority group. Even when surrounded by a Latino community, my culture was missing. I was missing the traditions I knew only other Boricuas would understand. I had to do something to introduce my culture to the HRC San Antonio community in order for it to understand me more. I started to request music at events and made traditional dishes for potlucks, using them as a mechanism to open conversations.

Being part of HRC’s San Antonio Steering Committee has allowed me to celebrate who I am and celebrate my culture, during and beyond Latinx Heritage Month. We all can and must continue to find ways of celebrating our LGBTQ+ Latinx community, such as support our community by visiting LGBTQIA+ small businesses. Most importantly, we must celebrate and recognize our achievements and contributions to history.

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