Interview conducted by: Sabrina Cabrera Rivera

We, at MIJA, know that everything has been hectic in the last few months. In this interview, we are discussing the Black Lives Matter movement, Pride Month, Covid-19, and everything else that is occuring in our everyday life. We had the opportunity to talk with a black Latinx woman, who is part of the LGBTQ community, to discuss with us about these matters. The person being interviewed has asked to remain anonymous. 

 


Why do you celebrate Pride? 

  • I celebrate Pride because, at least to me, it is a chance for me to be able to express myself without concerns. I guess it is kind of like a moment to shine. The LGBT community is able to shine a little more than they would normally do on a day to day basis. That is why I celebrate it, it is the only time where I feel like myself and where I am surrounded by people, who support me and love me for who I am.

Do you think that Pride Month has been pushed back because of everything going on with BLM? 

  • No, I don’t think that. I firmly believe that we should always celebrate pride because as we know, yesterday was the anniversary of the Stonewall riots and one of the key figures, Martha P. Johnson, a black transexual woman, took part in the riots. I believe that we all share that oppression and instead of dividing the communities, we should unify to fight the common enemy. I full heartedly believed that this is the best moment for the Black Lives Matter Movement. Between these two communities there is endless support. It is the unity of it that I love.

As a black latina woman, what are your thoughts about the current events that art partaking within the Black Lives Matter movement?

  • I fully support everything with the Black Lives Matter movement. I don’t want to say that it was about time. I am aware that they have been protesting about these killings and that they have been fighting injustice for a long time but just I am super glad that people are more aware.  Although I do wish that this was noticed sooner, I am glad this is being noticed now. I fully support it. At this point, if anyone were to tell me that ‘All Lives Matter’ then I would just state that ‘All lives matter won’t apply until black lives matter.’

What do you feel about the term ‘All Lives Matter’?

  • All lives can't matter until black lives do, honestly, like it is what we have seen in social media. Like if there are five houses and one is burning. Of course all of the houses matter to a certain extent but the one that needs attention is the one that is currently on fire. While the BLM is focused on the African American community, it’s driving force is for equality. It isn’t a demand for superiority. We simply want that equality of race. All Lives Matter is just used to silence the BLM protestors because they choose to ignore the children in cages or disappearing under ICE’s watch. They fail to acknowledge the LGBTQ by trying to take our rights away. They fail the women who wish for abortion. If all lives really mattered then why aren’t we focusing on these issues as well. It is an excuse to silence us when we say black lives matter. 

 

What are your thoughts of how society views people who are biracial, bicultural, or bisexual?

  • There is actually a lot of hate and discrimination within the LGBTQ communtiy for bisexuals. We often get comments like, “Just pick a side. Why are you so greedy?” I believe that if we are all, people within the LGBTQ, are about community then why is there such a division within this community? Bisexual people tend to be attacked by both straight people and gay people because of ther belief on picking a side. As someone who is also biracial, the sentiment is pretty much the same. We get hated on by either side because we are either not American enough, not Black enough or Hispanic enough. Being a black latinx bisexual woman you get to see all different sides and not feel like your fully accepted in any of them. There is just such a large discrimination against those who are biracial or bisexual. I hope that in the future there is a change.

 

    How do you feel about all of these things happening at once while we are in the middle of a pandemic with Covid-19?

  • It is a lot to take in.As you know this year has been terrible starting with Covid and then the unfortunate murder of George Floyd. It is a lot. Especially for Gen Z but at the same time, people want to believe that BLM and Pride month will cause the Pandemic to get worse. Which isn’t true. A lot of the protestors are taking extra precautions to stop the spread while still being able to make a difference. Honestly it is just another attempt to shut people up from talking about the important issues. We took our extra precautions and looked at the results. 

Can you tell us about how you are able to manage your mental health during this time?

  • I tend to describe it as moving to another place. The whole culture is different. I wouldn’t call it a culture shock but I don’t know what else I could use to phrase it. We have to get accustomed to a new way of living. Wearing a mask. Making sure to gloves on. We have to make more of an effort than before to ensure that we don’t get sick. I started off in denial about wearing a mask all the time. I had to keep reminding myself that this was my new normal until one day I just got so used to it that officially was ingrained into my everyday life. I was surprised how quickly it became normal.

How has this affected your work life?

  • I am actually in the military. In regards to Covid, I am very happy that my job has taken so many precautions. Some of us are able to work remotely while others are able to go on base a few days in the week to get their work done. Always actively avoiding any cross contamination. In regards to the BLM movement, while the military is excellent on somethings, they were a little too late to state what a soldier can and cannot do. I felt they should have addressed that sooner because I bet there are many people, myself included, that would have loved to be able to protest about the injustices that black people deal with everyday but they can’t because they might be in a situation where this could affect their military career or their lives. Even if they later became a regular civilian. 

Are you hopeful for this potential change with the BLM movement?

  • Most definitely. It is already changing for the better. These protests were able to defund the police in Minneapolis and we are finally getting the government’s attention.  This will keep going until we are able to receive a more permanent change that would better affect our future generations. 

Much like this young woman, and many others out there, MIJA hopes for a more permanent and positive outcome within our society. Let’s be better together!

julio 14, 2020 — Sabrina Cabrera Rivera

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