Fuera del Closet: Gay Hispanic Immigrants in Dallas

New America Media, Video, Sergio Chapa Posted: Sep 17, 2007

Editor’s Note: Dallas-based journalist Sergio Chapa and photojournalist Ben Torres Jr.’s independent documentary "Fuera del Closet: Gay Hispanic Immigrants in Dallas" explores the way Hispanic immigration is changing the face of gay life in Texas. The film debuted at the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists’ Association’s annual convention in San Diego.

DALLAS, Tex. – Although Dallas is often referred to as the "buckle of the Bible Belt," many gay Hispanic immigrants say they have found tolerance, acceptance and the ability to have their own clubs and bars without problems or harassment.

Hispanics are now the majority in Dallas neighborhoods that were predominately African American or Anglo as little as 10 years ago. The LGBT community is no exception.

Hispanic immigration has transformed Cedar Springs, the city's principal gay district. The once-segregated neighborhood now has a gay Latino club and other spots that appeal to Hispanics. Immigrants have also created a separate gay district of their own in another area of Dallas known as "Little Mexico."

At the same time, transvestite and transexual entertainers are bravely breaking barriers by performing at taquerías and Mexican restaurants for straight audiences across the metroplex.

These entertainers, who have performed in Mexico and California, say they have never performed for so large an audience as they have in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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