Selena Quintanilla, the Queen of Tejano Music, died tragically 20 years ago today. Yolanda Saldivar, the disgraced former president of her fan club, shot and killed the singer during a motel meeting in 1995. Saldivar's bullets ensure her place among the Mexican pantheon of villains alongside Hernan Cortes and El Cucuy!
Selena's legacy, on the other hand, continues to shine bright long after her untimely death. DeColores Queer OC, a SanTana-based LGBT group, is paying tribute to the slain singer tonight at the Frida Cinema with a film screening and drag queen show including a performance by Selena impersonator Ms. Luna.
"It feels like it was just yesterday," Ms. Luna says of the day the singer died. "As a hardcore Selena fan it's still sad, but at the same time I believe in celebrating someone's life."
She's be hosting tonight's 'Anything for Salinas' tribute. The event name takes it cue from Selena biopic in a scene where two cholos enthusiastically offer to help the singer's stalled tour bus. The movie starring Jennifer Lopez is screening as part of the celebration, but there's more in store.
Contests encourage people to come dressed in their best Selena attire. There's even a prize for best bustier. ("Bustiquela? Es un bra!") Ms. Luna, Southern California's premiere Selena impersonator, is performing a tribute as well with costume changes and medleys planned for the after party.
"Becoming a Selena impersonator is to honor her," the drag queen says. "Luckily, her fans embraced me and my act. I have fun performing." Ms. Luna had the idea of honoring her idol as a teenager a couple years after Selena's death. She's produced full on "Selena Vive" drag shows for two years now.
The good times to be had at the Frida are all for a good cause. 'Anything for Salinas' is a fundraiser with ticket sales and raffle money going to support Gay Straight Alliance groups at local high schools and for the Zoraida Reyes scholarship fund named after the young transgender woman tragically murdered in Anaheim last year.
Selena's musical crossover appeal inspires fans of a new generation, a testament to her staying star power. Twenty years after her death, Selena still matters.
"She's not just the Tejano singer that got killed in 1995," Ms. Luna says. "She's become an icon and left a huge mark in music."
Anything for Salinas at The Frida Cinema, 305 E 4th Street, Santa Ana. 7 p.m. (film starts at 8:30 p.m.) $15. All Ages.
Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and tallest Mexican in OC.