Last night the Latino GLBT History Project honored civil rights activist César Chávez with a reception marking the anniversary of his death. The focus was on his many accomplishments, but also focused on his acceptance and advocacy of the LGBT rights movement when it was still very unpopular to do so.
His granddaughter, Christine Chávez, was the keynote speaker, and she spoke of how both her grandfather and she came to support gay rights:
It was in San Francisco that Harvey Milk really went to bat for the United Farm Workers on so many of our different boycotts . . . and it turn my grandfather did the same for many LGBT issues.
She goes on to quote Mark Grossman, her grandfather's former press secretary:
Chávez came to San Francisco for a labor rally and went to a gay pride parade. They recognized him and said, "I'm surprised to see you here." And Chávez replied back, "Why would you be surprised?" He would say, "How can you be for equal rights for your own people if you're not for equal rights for other people?"
Check out a clip from her speech below.
The Latino GLBT History Project also used the event to announce the schedule for DC Latino Pride 2012.
According to Oskar Moran, co-chair of the 6th Annual DC Latino Pride:
This year's theme is "History, Celebration, Diversity and Identity." New components this year include multi-day event activities. Health is an emphasis with HIV screening taking place during May 30th and June 7th events. The faith service is new, as well as the all-night official Latino Pride Dance Party.
The list of events are:
Sunday, May 20 - DC Latino Pride Royal Coronation and Dance Party at Cobalt, 10:00 p.m. to 2 a.m. $5 donation request at the door. 21yrs and up.
Wednesday, May 30 - Community resource fair, panel discussion on LGBT employment discrimination, and a historical exhibit at the Human Rights Campaign Equality Forum, 7:00 to 9 p.m. Free to the public.
Sunday, June 3 - An ecumenical bilingual Catholic-Episcopal service at St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish Dupont Circle, with Rev. Dr. Joseph Palacios. 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 7 - A night of high-impact cultural performances and an all-night Latino Pride Dance Party at Town Danceboutique, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. $5 per person. 18yrs and up.