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Compañeros: Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Author Jesus Ramirez-Valles explores Latino GBT involvement in the fight against AIDS. Ramirez-Valles will read from Compañeros and discuss his research. Join us for his presentation and discussion!
Thursday May 24th: 7pm
Modern Times Bookstore Collective
2919 24th St @ Alabama
Telling the affecting stories of eighty gay, bisexual, and transgender (GBT) Latino activists and volunteers living in Chicago and San Francisco, Compañeros: Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS closely details how these individuals have been touched or transformed by the AIDS epidemic.
Weaving together activists’ responses to oppression and stigma, their encounters with AIDS, and their experiences as GBTs and Latinos in North America and Latin America, Jesus Ramirez-Valles explores the intersection of civic involvement with ethnic and sexual identity. Even as activists battle multiple sources of oppression, they are able to restore their sense of family connection and self-esteem through the creation of an alternative space in which community members find value in their relationships with one another. In demonstrating the transformative effects of a nurturing community environment for GBT Latinos affected by the AIDS epidemic, Ramirez-Valles illustrates that members find support in one another, as compañeros, in their struggles with homophobia, gender discrimination, racism, poverty, and forced migration.
“Unlike other works, Compañeros succeeds in allowing the activists to speak for themselves and shares with readers an intimate connection to their lives, thoughts, and emotions. The life stories of gay men and transgender women are movingly presented with both passion and clarity, giving a feeling of great respect and admiration for a group who heroically turns oppression into a source of resilience and strength, as well as a solidarity seldom seen in contemporary social movements.”–Rafael M. Díaz, author of Latino Gay Men and HIV: Culture, Sexuality, and Risk Behavior
Jesus Ramirez-Valles is a professor of community health sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago.