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Gabby Rivera. Photo: YouTube / TED
Gabby Rivera. Photo: YouTube / TED

Gabby Rivera: “I felt baptized in the glory of queerness and community”

The Puerto Rican writer reacted to her original video in the It Gets Better Project with the wisdom and strength that comes with 10 years of perspective.

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Last week, it was announced the Latin queer superhero América Chávez would be brought to life on the big screen by Xochitl Gomez. Now, her creator, Gabby Rivera, is in the spotlight as she recently reacted to her original appearance on the It Gets Better Project 10 years ago.

In short, it was a reaction full of resilience and encouragement for the new generations of Latinx creators. 

It Gets Better is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth around the world. To that end, among other efforts, the organization launched a multimedia campaign featuring interviews that reached millions of people. 

In September, they celebrated 10 years of the initiative and contacted some of the original interviewees to comment on their video with a new perspective.

Rivera's interview was published on Friday, Dec. 18, and highlights her evolution into a promising script writer at Marvel Comics and author of Juliet Takes a Breath. Born in the Bronx, the Puerto Rican is responsible for bringing life and personality to one of the new generation superheroes at the House of Ideas, America Chavez. Along with Ms. Marvel, Chavez has been expanding the fields of Latin American LGTBQ+ representation in recent years.

The writer's follow-up interview and reaction becomes intimate and emotional at different point. First and foremost, a lot has happened to Rivera in 10 years, and the security she's gained in a decade of success and intense work is reflected. 

Secondly, as the daughter of deeply-religious parents, she can now say that she has won over her mother in the LGBTQ-rights arena, and she has become a fervent advocate for gay rights. 

Rivera also openly acknowledges that in the first recording she speaks viscerally to the camera because she was going through a difficult time and had lost loved ones. In looking back, she affirms that nothing improves, but one becomes stronger. 

Not only does one become stronger over 10 years, but more hopeful. 

Now, she does believe that things can improve as exemplified by her relationship with her mother, which was twisted when she came out as lesbian. 

The host also persisted in delving into wounds that are mutual, especially the suicidal tribulations they both suffered in their youth, to the point that both become emotional.

Without forgetting the pain of the time, they express gratitude to have survived and continue living with small moments of renewal. 

“Chicago was also the place where my best friend, Christina, who passed away in my late twenties, where she thrived as a lesbian, Puerto Rican woman. I felt her spirit there. And when I saw this 100+ group of trans people, dykes, non binary folks, Black and Brown people, my vision of what a beautiful world looks like sitting out there in front of me... I just felt so moved in my heart. I felt so healed. I felt so glad that I was still alive. That I had never taken myself out. That I had never let the sadness or the aches, the tremendous feelings of grief and loss be the things that take me out. […] In that moment, I felt baptized in the glory of queerness and community.”

 

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