Last year, SF Weekly ran a cover story called “Cuéntamelo: An Oral History of Queer Latin Immigrants in San Francisco” by Juliana Delgado Lopera. That story, which grew into a book, was born out of a tradition; for years, Delgado Lopera has watched the show Caso Cerrado with Adela, a queer tenant of the Mission District, whom Delgado Lopera refers to as her “adopted mom.” The meetings naturally led to the sharing of life stories: Adela spoke of someone being jailed in Cuba for wearing makeup and of the hardships of making a life in the Tenderloin. They discussed the possibility of Delgado Lopera writing Adela's memoir, but nothing coalesced until they had the idea to collect testimonials from other queer Latin@s. Gradually, Adela's apartment began to fill with people and their stories, and Delgado Lopera listened. “The queer world that has emerged in front of me every day through story feels invisible to the public eye,” she says in the introduction to her new book, ¡Cuéntamelo!. “LGBT history rarely includes Latin@s… It is even more rare for immigrant, Spanish-speaking queers to be part of this dialogue.” With the help of the Queer Cultural Center and Galería de la Raza, Delgado Lopera has worked with designer/illustrator Laura Cerón Melo to publish a collection of these stories, which will be launched with readings, performances, and a panel as part of the National Queer Arts Festival.
Thu., June 19, 6:30 p.m., 2014