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Miss & Mr. Safe Latino 2017!

Filed Under: Annual Event, Education, Family, Featured, Health, LGBT

For 25 years, Miss & Mr. Safe Latino (MMSL) has captivated its audience with performances rich in tradition, culture, talent, emotion, and pride. Each year, Bay Area members of the Latino/a LGBTQ community participate on stage in one of three different categories: Miss Transgender (TG) Safe Latina, Miss Safe Latina and Mr. Safe Latino. After participating in rigorous auditions and rehearsals focused on health education and talent, contestants are selected by IFR staff to perform in MMSL.

Educational workshops are a key component of the event, as the winners represent the Latino/a LGBTQ community and IFR for one year after taking the crown and title of Miss or Mr. Safe Latino. MMSL continues to successfully provide a safe space for queer Latinos to participate in educating their community about safe sex practices, while expressing their talents and creativity through vivid performances. From stunning reproductions of the acclaimed Lion King Musical to performances of Amy Winehouse and Juan Gabriel, the talents of contestants is matched only by their passion and dedication.

Participants are awarded points by a panel of community judges on fantasy presentation, informational session on HIV and LGBTQ health, and artistic talent. For Paola Espinoza, Miss TG 2016, winning the crown was a personal achievement that brought joy and meaning to her life. After losing MMSL in 2015, Paola reapplied in 2016, dedicating time and energy to developing her act. She chose to reenact a drama from her life focused on her transition from male to female. The powerful and heartfelt performance won over the judges, and she walked away with the crown and title of Miss TG 2016. Paola says winning represented a validation of her personal struggles, and was ecstatic by the audience support.

During her year as Miss TG, Paola has contributed to the LGBTQ community by participating in the SF Pride Parade, Folsom Street Fair, Castro Street Fair, and the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day as a spokesperson for IFR and her community. Her participation and outreach efforts have encouraged other Latino/a LGBTQ members to reach out to IFR for programs and services. Paola has replicated her performance at different events benefitting local non-profit organizations that work with queer Latinos/as. She has also been a dedicated volunteer with Mission Neighborhood Center for the past three months.

Similarly, participating in MMSL was a valuable experience for Agustín Martinez, Mr. Safe Latino 2014. As his talent, Agustín delivered a culturally rich performance of the late, bestselling Mexican artist of all time, Juan Gabriel. For Agustín, winning the MMSL title was symbolized of overcoming the challenges that exist when you are queer and Latino. As a gay Latino man, the opportunity to freely perform is generally unheard in the LGBTQ community as queer of color are often relegated to the sidelines. Agustín noted that he most enjoyed the opportunity to educate the community on HIV prevention and other LGBTQ health issues.

This year, MMSL will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2017 during Pride week. The event takes place at Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter Street (at Mason) at 7 pm in beautiful San Francisco. IFR invites you to join our annual event that is guaranteed to be filled with talent, personality, and fun. Tickets are just $12 and generally sell out, so get yours soon! Guests are invited to arrive by 6 pm to participate in our critically acclaimed red carpet where members of the community and past participants gather to forever capture their support for the Latino LGBTQ community through photos.

Click here to purchase your tickets.

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