Monday, May 10, 2010

Cinco de Mayo Celebration at the LGBT Center

Ramon Ramirez, William Romero, Jorge Chamorro and Ericka Guzman from Amor Sin Fronteras

Children and their families joined Latina and Latino activists
and friends to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center on May 8. The holiday is a commemoration of the victory of Mexican forces over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, and it is an important milestone in the Mexican independence movement. The event was hosted by the LGBT Center, and its charming representative Joseph Peralta greeted guests and made introductions around the Rainbow Room. Peralta sings and dances with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and he made the co-hosts from Our Family Coalition feel welcome.

Joseph Peralta from the San Francisco LGBT Community Center

The event was co-sponsored by COLAGE and the San Francisco Department of Children Youth and Their Families' Community Conveners program. Delessio Market & Bakery joined Barefoot Wine & Bubbly to make the party a culinary success.

Ramon Ramirez, William Romero, Jorge Chamorro and Ericka Guzman from Amor Sin Fronteras were at the party handing out promotional flyers for their Latino Pride party to be held in Dolores Park in September. It is always a wonderful event. One year Mexican folkloric dancers were invited to the park and took a quick look at the celebrants and proceeded to pair off as same-sex couples. The men even placed bandanas behind each other’s necks to pull each other closer as they danced, and the audience wildly applauded.

Rudy Lopez, Contrandres and Erick Arguello from Aguilas

Rudy Lopez, Contrandres, and Erick Arguello from Aguilas, the support group for gay and bi Latino men, had a promotional table, and vivacious Erin Smith served at the Barefoot Wine table. Smith bartended at the recent Maitri Bliss party and Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation events, and she mentioned that Barefoot has served at the last 15 Academy of Friends galas. And Barefoot Wine has generously helped out at San Francisco LGBT Pride events for 20 years.

Erin Smith from Barefoot Wines

Sultry TJ Johnson, who said that he is “kinda gay,” spoke about his years with Dance Safe, an organization that tests party drugs for crystal meth outside of dance clubs, peer counsels youth about safer sex and dangerous drugs, and hands out culturally sensitive informational pamphlets.

The intuitive DJ knew exactly which Latin music would draw little girls onto the dance floor, and Jesi, Cecilia, Sofia and Diego from the Montesinos family enjoyed the tunes, buffet, and soft drinks. It was a memorable party that originated with a battle and Mexican pride and evolved into a celebration of Latino LGBT pride.

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