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The World’s First LGBTQ Mariachi

Sunday, November 11, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephen Stuempfle
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The World’s First LGBTQ Mariachi
By Daniel Sheehy
Folklife, November 7, 2018


What social power does music have? Where does that power come from?


Mariachi musicians Carlos Samaniego and Natalia Melendez found out the hard way—first through discrimination, ridicule, and professional blackballing among their musician peers, then via the challenging path of advocating for the acceptance of gay, lesbian, and transgender people in the mariachi world.

Both Carlos and Natalia are Mexican Americans from the east side of Los Angeles, and both were immersed in mariachi music at a young age through family and community life. 


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Folklife is the digital magazine of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage.




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