Local 'UndocuQueer' Speaks on Identity and Equality in New Huffpo Series

With the enactment of Seth's Law addressing anti-gay bullying in schools earlier this month, the Huffington Post is running a series of testimonial stories from those involved in the Youth Empowered to Act (YETA) campaign with an Editor's note recounting the the debacle that was the "Mr. Fullerton" Pageant at Fullerton High School and the activism that responded to it.

This week, Tony Ortuno, a member of YETA, Orange County DREAM Team (OCDT) and DeColores Queer Orange County tells of his personal journey starting with immigrating from Guerrero, Mexico being fed only soup by his mother along the way to the summer day years ago when he nervously came out to her as gay. 

He begins his piece writing, "I am queer, undocumented, a community activist, an immigrant, a person of color, a recent college graduate, and a loving son and brother. Every single one of these identities has sustained my dedication to continue the work toward an inclusive society for all people."

Ortuno continues along that theme telling of how being in the company of his fellow local DREAMers helped him finish school while developing as an organizer. Declaring his undocumented status came first long before doing the same as queer.

"I am constantly fed with negative images and rhetoric surrounding both communities," he writes. "The most painful comments come when homophobic or xenophobic comments come from within our own communities. We cannot ignore the connections between one another." That understanding of the intersecting points of oppression is what directly propels him towards a vision of an inclusive society.

Or in other words, a world where many worlds fit...

DeColores Queer Orange County presents its 4th annual community conference "Queer in My Own Way: Owning Our Joteria in Orange County" at El Centro Cultural de Mexico, 313 N Birch Street, Santa Ana. Aug. 4, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. FREE!

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