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El Canto del Colibrí (The Song of the Hummingbird)

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by the Somos Familia Events Team
Somos Familia is an intergenerational community-based organization, and fiscal project of Our Family Coalition, that builds support for Latino LGBTQ youth in families and communities.

IMG_2281aWhen two moms of LGBTQ children from Somos Familia spoke to large Catholic congregation in 2008, we realized that our stories of family acceptance touch hearts and open minds. Since then, our stories have since traveled to schools, homes, and countless other community settings.

We share our stories as much as possible, because we know that family and community acceptance save lives and make life better. A recent survey revealed that family acceptance is the top problem facing Latino LGBTQ youth. Less than half of LGBTQ Latino youth say they have an adult in their family they can confide in if they feel worried or sad, compared to 81 percent of their non-LGBTQ Latino peers.

Somos Familia released Tres Gotas de Agua (Three Drops of Water), a short documentary featuring three Latina immigrant moms who love their LGBTQ children, in 2011. Their stories have since touched thousands of people in many parts of the world. Magdy Angel-Hurtado, a Somos Familia leader, says “The film Tres Gotas captured aspects of my own coming-out story and gave me hope and possibilities for my family. I could see the personal connection my mother was making when we watched it together.”

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While audiences expressed great appreciation for the moms in Tres Gotas, many asked “Where are the Dads?” In response, the film-makers embarked on their next venture: a film with Latino immigrant fathers of LGBTQ children. Since 2012, Marco Castro-Bojorquez, José Alfaro and Katie Cruz have dedicated their time and energies to making the film, titled El Canto del Colibrí (The Song of the Hummingbird), a reality.   

Much like the seldom-heard song of the hummingbird, the voices of Latino fathers are rarely heard in addressing LGBTQ issues. Magdy Angel-Hurtado says “It is often the mothers who support their children first. A film discussing the journey of acceptance of Latino fathers for their LGBTQ children is critical to encourage Latino fathers to begin these important conversations.” The film-makers cast a broad net and travelled to five different U.S. cities to film families. They encouraged the fathers to speak frankly about issues of immigration, faith, marriage equality, machismo, culture, and the process of their LGBTQ children coming out.

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El Canto del Colibrí was filmed in Spanish and will have English subtitles. At Somos Familia, we believe that the film will build bridges of hope and solidarity among our Latino fathers, their families, and communities. Jorge Hernandez, who appears in the film alongside his father, says “I was able to see my dad challenge himself and his own perceptions around sexuality. It made me realize that I am extremely fortunate to have the support that I have from my parents. A lot of my queer friends can’t even have a conversation with their parents without getting into an argument, but my dad was down to being filmed, which for me was a whole other level of support!”

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One motive behind the film is to challenge stereotypes. Director Marco Castro-Bojorquez says, “I wanted to dismantle the racist idea that Latino men are homophobic by nature and show that unconditional love changes hearts and minds in families and communities. These stories show that the resiliency of our LGBTQ children is stronger than any cultural biases and labels. When there is work on the relationship between father and child, Latino immigrant men are capable of being transformed.”

Somos Familia is thrilled to host the first-ever community screening of El Canto del Colibrí (see event details below). We are inviting families and other community members to come together experience the film, join in dialogue, and celebrate this groundbreaking achievement.

The event is hosted by Somos Familia and co-sponsored by Our Family Coalition, Brown Boi Project, Gay Straight Alliance Network, TRUCHA/Casa CHE at La Clinica de la Raza, the Oakland Public Library, Street Level Health Project, BAYCAT, and supported by grants from The California Endowment and Akonadi Foundation.

Event Details:
El Canto del Colibrí (Song of the Hummingbird): Community Screening, Dialogue & Celebration
Saturday, April 25th
81st Avenue Community Library, Oakland
1021 81st Avenue
Lunch will be served.

See Somos Familia’s Facebook Page for event information and updates.