Ep 3: Amigas Latinas - Latina, Queer and Together

"What Does it Mean to Be Latina and Lesbian?"

Episode Release Date: 3/1/2022

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Amigas Latinas anniversary picnic from the late 1990s

Founded in 1995, Amigas Latinas was a volunteer-run organization that specifically served the LBTQ Latina community through monthly discussion groups, support groups, workshops, educational training, public programs, and events. The group advocated to ensure that legislators, funders, and other not-for-profit organizations consider the intersection of issues faced by LBTQ Latinas, who often struggled within Latina/o communities and within larger LBTQ organizations.

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Co-founders Mona Noriega and Evette Cardona

“For a lot of women that was a really powerful thing - and almost too powerful. To walk into a room with 40 Latina lesbians owning their sexuality, celebrating their sexuality”

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"Noches de Pasion - A Night of Sweet, Seduction, and Sexiness to Benefit Amigas Latinas"

The group also hosted a large number of additonal events including salsa nights, a softball team, workshops, and a variety of other groups to address the needs of Chicago’s LBTQ Latina community.

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Photo of items inside Amigas Latinas archival collection at Gerber/Hart - including a softball uniform

“This is about exploring our multiple identities in a safe space”

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Amigas Latinas Chicago Pride Parade float

“It’s nothing short of magic – the possibilities that Amigas has provided me”

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Amigas Latinas at Chicago Dyke March, late 2010s.  Zaida Sanabia (at right in red), helped create the Amiguitas youth group.

This episode includes a long-form interview with founders Mona Noriega and Evette Cardona as well as the voices of other members of this incredible community group.

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Co-founders Mona Noriega and Evette Cardona

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Amigas Latinas logo and brochure

“It’s more than just being proud – I’m really happy that I was a part of it and that I still feel connected to the community”

Want to learn more?