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FUERZAfest at El Barrio

The fourth installment of FUERZAfest New York returned to Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center in El Barrio this month with a focus on celebrating and honoring the pioneers and heroes of the Latinx LGBTQ community. This year’s theme, “Honor the Past, Defend the Future,” recognized Latinx leaders who were at the forefront of the LGBTQ equality movement fighting for change, inclusion, and acceptance.

“These are dangerous and frightening times for the LGBTQ family and especially for members of the Latinx LGBTQ community,” said Hispanic Federation Executive Vice President Frankie Miranda. “We hear the rhetoric in Washington and we see the increase in hate crimes directed at people because of their sexual orientation and we know we have to fight back. Part of that fight is telling our communities’ stories, honoring those who came before, and raising awareness of the central role played by LGBTQ people in the development of the Latinx community.”

From May 8th to May 19th, FUERZAfest in El Barrio brought together large audiences to celebrate the Latino LGBTQ community and its allies through a multi-disciplinary festival that included dance, art exhibits, cinema, a theater competition, networking receptions and workshop discussions on critical issues of the day.

FUERZAfest was extra special this year because of the active support and involvement we received from our friends at AARP. FUERZAfest film screenings were free to the public thanks to AARP’s generous support. The films and luncheons explored the themes of caregiving, disrupting aging through self reinvention, intergenerational partnerships, salud, dinero and amor. For more information about AARP’s LGBT resources go to

“AARP is thrilled to support FUERZAfest and introduce the growing tools and resources we have to offer the Latinx LGBTQ community,” said Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, AARP Senior Advisor & National LGBT Liasion.” At AARP our growing commitment to LGBTQ older adults can be measured by what we say and what we do.”

“We created FUERZAfest in the aftermath of the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando because we recognized the value of art to counter hate but also to heal,” said Mario Colon, FUERZAfest’s creative and managing director. “Fighting hate and healing our communities are as important today as they were in the aftermath of that terrible act of violence in Orlando.”

For more information on FUERZAfest, please visit