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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 9, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 32
SOMOS Seattle honors Joel Aguirre ('La Gorda') with the LGBTQ Latinx Legacy Award 2019
Section One
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SOMOS Seattle honors Joel Aguirre ('La Gorda') with the LGBTQ Latinx Legacy Award 2019

by Juan Fernando Luna - Entre Hermanos

Joel Aguirre is an HIV/AIDS and human rights activist, drag queen performer, radio host, PrEP navigator, research assistant, and much more!

ENGLISH:
Thank you, SOMOS Seattle, for honoring Joel Aguirre ('La Gorda') with the LGBTQ Latinx Legacy Award 2019!

A brief bio about Joel:
Born in Colima, México and raised in the city of Guadalajara, México, Joel Aguirre is also known lovingly by the LGBTQ community as 'La Gorda'. Before moving to Seattle, Joel attended ITESO, Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara. Also in Guadalajara, he invented a theatrical persona known as Gorda Agusto and was active in the rich theatrical scene there. Among many other contributions to the arts community there, he was Coordinador de Espectaculos for Patronato de las Fiestas de Octubre, managing all the artistic stages including the Main Stage with a capacity of over 20,000 people.

Joel was awakened to activism and passion for social justice at the age of 16, inspired by his own father to serve the community. His commitment to social activism was intensified when the AIDS epidemic broke out. He knew that this epidemic was not just affecting the physical body but the whole of society and its attitude toward LGBT and people of color. He had no choice but to get involved in the fight for equality, human rights, and the seemingly endless battle against HIV/AIDS. Joel immediately found, as a member of the LGBTQ community, he was more than ever a target of attacks and that his community was blamed and shamed for this disease.

In 1998, Joel emigrated to Seattle and immediately started to get involved in how to organize and respond to the special challenges of the Latinx community. At the University of Washington, he worked as a Research Assistant in the School of Medicine. With his theatrical and entertainer background and experience earned in Guadalajara's show business and cultural circuits, he quickly became the hottest LGBTQ host and entertainer of 'La Noche Latina' with Entre Hermanos. He has continued using his talents with other groups, such as Somos Seattle, to be able to convey messages and strategies to prevent the spread of HIV, promote testing as prevention, improve the treatment of people living with HIV, and create a true sense of solidarity and community throughout the region.

ESPAÑOL:
Gracias SOMOS Seattle por hacer honor a Joel Aguirre ('La Gorda') con el LGBTQ Latinx Legacy Award 2019 en el Seattle Latinx Pride

Una breve biografía sobre Joel:
Nacido en Colima, México y criado en la ciudad de Guadalajara, Joel Aguirre también es conocido cariñosamente por la comunidad LGBTQ como 'La Gorda'. Antes de mudarse a Seattle, Joel asistió al ITESO, Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara. Allí, inventó un personaje teatral conocida como 'Gorda Agusto' y participó allí activamente en la rica escena teatral. Entre muchas otras contribuciones a la comunidad artística, fue Coordinador de Espectaculos para el Patronato de las Fiestas de Octubre, gestionando todos los trabajos artísticos incluyendo el escenario principal con una capacidad de más de 20,000 personas.

Joel fue despertado al activismo y la pasión por la justicia social a la edad de 16 años, inspirado por su propio padre para servir a la comunidad. Su compromiso con el activismo social se intensificó cuando estalló la epidemia del SIDA. Sabía que esta epidemia no solo afectaba al cuerpo físico sino a toda la sociedad y actitud hacia las personas LGBTQ de color. No tuvo más remedio que involucrarse en la lucha por la igualdad, los derechos humanos y la batalla interminable contra el VIH/SIDA. Joel descubrió de inmediato, como miembro de la comunidad LGBTQ, que era más que nunca un blanco de ataques y que su comunidad era culpada y avergonzada por esta enfermedad.

En 1998, Joel emigró a Seattle e inmediatamente comenzó a involucrarse, organizarse y responder a los desafíos especiales de la comunidad latina. En la Universidad de Washington, trabajó como asistente de investigación en la Facultad de medicina. Con su experiencia teatral artística y la experiencia obtenida en los circuitos culturales y de espectáculos de Guadalajara, se convirtió rápidamente en el mejor presentador y animador LGBTQ de La Noche Latina Seattle con Entre Hermanos. Ha continuado usando sus talentos con otros grupos, como Somos Seattle, para poder transmitir mensajes y estrategias para prevenir la propagación del VIH, promover las pruebas, mejorar el tratamiento de las personas que viven con el VIH y crear un verdadero sentido de solidaridad y comunidad en toda la región. Courtesy of Entre Hermanos

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