Becoming who I am today was never an easy journey. I chose to fight for my right to be me, an openly Queer Brown Chicano, and I have never turned back. Being a queer person of color or QPOC in a conservative Catholic home meant that I never felt much at home growing up. I looked for home in dark and colorful dance clubs late into the morning and in faraway cities, but ultimately I learned that I needed to challenge my family to open up to my queer identity and friends. I challenged my family’s homophobic and heteronormative views, and I resisted pressures to stay silent in difficult situations when I knew my voice was needed the most. Being authentically queer and a visibly Brown person of color means that I choose not to shy away from uncomfortable conversations on recognizing the need for affordable queer & trans housing, mental healthcare services, and good jobs in inclusive workplaces. I hope to ensure that future generations of queer and trans people of color don’t have to face the same issues I have. They deserve better. That’s why I’m running as the first openly Queer Millennial of Color in Fullerton City Council in 2020.
My message to future generations, especially queer and trans youth of color, is that no matter how dark things might be, you are the light. You deserve peace, love, and joy.
Wish you were Queer,
Jose Trinidad Castaneda
Fullerton, CA