Speaker examines LGBTQ+, Latino identity

By: Alaina Tepper, Staff Writer

University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Julio Capó, a former journalist and author of the book “Welcome to Fairyland,” spoke about the intersection of queer and Latino politics in Miami during the Cold War era Wednesday as part of a lecture series held in conjunction with LGBT History Month.

Delivered as part of the Herbert Andrews Lecture on New Directions in History, which honors the memory of a former Towson professor who died in August, Capó’s lecture focused on a “history traditionally outside the margins.”

“I’m Latino and I’m queer,” Capó said during his talk.

Andrews’ son Tim sent a message to be read before the lecture commemorating his father’s life.

Capó began his lecture by connecting the topic to a the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando earlier this year. By discussing queer and Latinx politics, he hopes to further the conversation about the shooting.

“I don’t think we can understand the Pulse massacre without talking about the displacement of Puerto Ricans,” Capó said.

His lecture covered historical events that are often ignored in traditional history classes, including the anti-LGBTQ+ “Save Our Children” coalition and the Mariel boatlift, the mass emigration of Cubans to the United States in 1980. He discussed how the different groups affected overlap and showed how Cold War politics affect our current political scene.

His overarching point was how many factors go into, and result from, U.S. politics.

“The United States does not exist in a vacuum,” Capó said. “There are a lot of global implications and a lot of global influences that we need to understand any moment in history.”

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