LandishaBeauty: Discussing the LGBTQ & the Afro-Latina identity

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“I drive to represent anyone like me, anyone who has ever felt not accepted or felt like an outcast because of who they are, or how they dress, or who they choose to love. And I also strive to show not only people like me but everyone that it’s okay to be different and it’s okay to be a boy and wear dresses and wear makeup, and show that it’s okay to love who ever you want to.”

– LandishaBeauty –

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How do you embrace your Afro-Latinidad and how does that manifest in your public identity?

I embrace my Afro-Latinidad by embracing both my Latino and african roots, if that makes sense. Being Puerto Rican I know that we have African ancestors and African roots within the Puerto Rican culture, so I try to embrace that whether it be through clothing, hairstyles, or really just educating myself and others about the Afro-Latino culture.

   Does LandishaBeauty represent your alter ego, like Beyonces Sasha Fierce or is this an extension of who you really are?

“Landisha” was actually a nickname I had in high school, I really don’t remember how I obtained that nickname or who gave it to me lol. In a way I would say it’s more of an extension of who I am, it used to be an alter-ego and kind of a new personality I would adopt when I didn’t want to be Lando anymore and feel more confident in myself. And over the years I learned to merge the two together and prove to myself that I don’t need an alter-ego to feel confident and fearless.

 

   Where are you situated within the LGBTQ community? Were you always in this position? Did you ever struggle for acceptance?  

In the LGBTQ community I am a gay male, but I am a gender non-conforming man being that I do wear makeup and wigs, and wear womens clothes. Growing up I always been feminine but forced myself to hide it because of people telling me to “man up”. And for a while I put my femininity on the back burner so to speak out of fear of not being accepted by friends and family. It wasn’t into my senior year in high school when I started wearing makeup and started doing my hair and wearing feminine clothing, because I just wanted to be me, the real me, and by doing that I liberated myself from my fears and to my surprise got an huge amount of support from my friends and most of my family.

Does your role as MUA influence that acceptance in anyway?

I wouldn’t really consider myself a MUA, I would say I’m a makeup enthusiast lol. I do think in a way it influenced my acceptance, because people started asking me to do their makeup and asked for makeup and hair tips.

How do you use your platform to represent the Afro-Latina & LGBTQ community?

I use my platform to represent the Afro-Latina and LGBTQ community by showing that you can be yourself, and you don’t need anyone’s approval and to live your life the way you want to. And I hope that makes sense lol.

 

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Do you believe LGBTQ is accepted in the Latino/ Minority community? If not what are ways we can improve this matter?

To me, I feel like the idea of being a gay person is accepted, but not so much gay love. And I feel that whether it’s the Latino community, the African-American community, or any other race, really needs to be more accepting of the LGBTQ community. Of course we have tons of allies, but I do think that we still need more love and support from any community, especially when it certain countries it’s illegal to be homosexual and illegal to love who you love.

There’s been conversation about gender pronouns within the LGBTQ community. How do you engage in this conversation and where do you identify?

I know for some people, gender pronouns can be a little confusing. It may take a while for someone to get used to calling a female by “he/ him/ sir” or calling a male by “she, her, miss”, but I feel gender pronouns are important for that persons identity. I identify as a gay, gender non-conforming man, but I do answer to “he, him, her, she”.

  How has the Orlando night club shooting affected you and what are ways we spread love and acceptance?

 I remember when the Pulse nightclub shooting happened, I was at work and everyone was talking about this man that walked into a nightclub and opened fire. That’s all I knew at the moment. It wasn’t until my best-friend had picked me up from work and told me about what really happened. For a good while and even till this day, I am a little weary about going out because places like a nightclub, especially a gay nightclub is supposed to be a safe haven for the LGBT community to go to and have fun and feel safe and enjoy good music.

I often have to tell myself that you can’t go on living your day to day life in fear that something like that can happen to you. And I feel like we need to spread the message of acceptance by just letting whom ever it may be know that they matter, and that they are loved and accepted. Many young gay boys and girls get kicked out of their house or shunned by their parents just because their gay, and we need to embrace those kids and let them know that no matter what, they truly do matter and that they have a whole community of people hat love and accept them for who they are.

What was your personal coming out story? Any advice for those who are in that current stage?

I jokingly say that I have multiple coming out stories, but I actually came out when I was 14 years old. I first came out to my friends and then my family. Of course my friends accepted me with open arms, but I would say it was a little harder on my family. They felt that I was too young to be gay or understand these feelings I had. But as time went on they accepted me for me and filled me with love. To anyone coming out or thinking of coming out, I would say to take your time, come out on your own merits and just don’t be afraid to be yourself. At first it may be tough, but after a while you’re going to feel so liberated and free and it’s the best feeling in the world.

As a proud Boricua, Afro-Latina, LGBTQ Advocate, Makeup Enthusiast what can we expect from LandishaBeauty?  

Well I would say to expect more great content on my YouTube channel (shameless plug lol), and I would also say to expect me not only further educating myself but also educating my audience on my Afro-Latina heritage and my life as a happy gay man.

This platform is the voice for the underrepresented and we hope to empower individuals to share their story because their voices matters. #IAmEnough wants everyone who scrolls upon this site to feel welcomed, embraced, celebrated, accepted and loved. LandishaBeauty and this platform has the same end goal is to bring awareness to the LGBTQ community and accept it more in the minority communities. 

Jenay Wright, Creator of #IAmEnough 

 

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