Unidad: Gay & Lesbian Latinos Unidos
- Minorities, Cultural History, Politics, Social Issues, and Lifestyle
The Gay and Lesbian Latinos Unidos (GLLU) organization was founded in 1981, only a dozen years
after the Stonewall rebellion, and only a year before the HIV/AIDS pandemic began to ravage
LGBTQ communities. GLLU was the greater Los Angeles area’s first major Gay and Lesbian Latine
organization, and the film chronicles events surrounding GLLU at a pivotal time in the history of the
convergent equality, feminist, and civil rights movements that shaped the destinies of GLLU’s
multiple overlapping and intersected communities for decades thereafter. It highlights issues that
continue to impact multi-ethnic and multi-national Queer communities.
- Show treatment
Post Stonewall, Los Angeles saw the rise of many LGBTQ+ people of color organizations such as
Gay & Lesbian Latinos Unidos (GLLU). GLLU’s members fully claimed their rich ethnic, gender,
gender identity, and multi-racial, and multi-geographic heritage, leaving none of it behind.
GLLU filled the void left by its Queer mainstream-focused counterparts, who mostly rallied around
sexual orientation identity, with little attention to the dynamic and mushrooming diversity within its
ranks and the multiple concerns that later shaped both the equality, women’s liberation, and civil
rights movements. Furthermore, with very few exceptions, GLLU’s constituents were also
marginalized by Latino/Chicano social movements and organizations, and were frequently rejected
by their own birth families, having no place of their own to call home.
Believing strongly in being a co-gender organization, GLLU set out to address the specific needs and
concerns of Latina Lesbians in Los Angeles, including the founding of Lesbianas Unidas by lesbian
GLLU board members. The trajectory of this Latin@ Pride movement—a story which has never
been told in film before and also rarely mentioned in history books—left a rich leadership legacy that
has barely been explored, including the founding of state and national organizations. This vibrant
legacy includes multi-gender artists collectives, the largest Latin@ HIV/AIDS provider in the nation,
and the impact that its surviving members—now activist community elders in their early to late
60s—have made in various fields including philanthropy, higher education, the arts, non-profit,
healthcare, and the equality, feminist, and civil rights movements to name a few.
Equally important, GLLU created an energetic synthesis that was revolutionary for its time that
affirmed as well as synergized the multiple identities of being LGBTQ+, Latino, immigrant and
undocumented, political and economic refugees, class and color, Latin American and U.S. Chican@
heritage, and becoming trailblazing pioneers who empowered the blossoming Latino and Queer
movements. The documentary film seeks to recount and reclaim this history, which we consider of a
critical foundational ancestry to today’s progressive movements.
The film features eight original GLLU members, including five women, three men, and non-binary
members. The film also reveals archival material never seen before, currently stored in closets,
garages, and in institutional archives. Because of the nature of its content, this documentary film will
appeal to entities interested in Latin@/Latine/Latinx/Hispanic, LGBTQ, community and social
justice movements intersections, Latina Lesbians shaping a movement, early Queer movement community work, co-gender collaboration (a rarity in the early days of our movements), inter-
generational dialogue, wo/mentorship, and legacy leadership, among other themes and topics, especially those still relevant today.
- Running time
- 40 minutes
- Mario J Novoa ... Producer
- Prod. Co.
- L.A. A Queer History INC. and Film Bliss Studios
- United States
- Years of Production
- Los Angeles, San Francisco, Arizona
- Release year
- Outfest Film Festival
- No distribution
- English, Spanish
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