NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – For more than two years Eder Díaz has been sharing the stories of Latinos within the LGBTQ+ community. He’s the host of the “De Pueblo, Católico￼ y Gay” in English the title translates to “from a small town, catholic and gay.”
Díaz says “there’s just a lot of work to be done within the community but also within the Latinx community.”
He says this is why this project is so important to him. The Spanish language podcast launched in May, 2018 and through stories and interviews, it explores gender and sexual identity and how it intersects with faith, culture, and tradition.
The podcast recently shifted to all virtual interviews due to the COVID-19 pandemic, giving Díaz the opportunity to interview people from all over the world. It was Díaz’s own experience that inspired the podcast. As a former altar boy, he says coming out to his family was a tough decision, especially when it came to his father.
“When I came out to him we were on a road trip. I had my luggage in the back of the car cause I thought if he doesn’t, you know, try to physically harm me, he’s for sure not going to want to be associated with me. So, I was ready to move out and I was ready to leave him,” said Díaz.
But his experience took an unexpected turn, his father’s response blew him away.
Díaz says his father “paused for a second, there was a silence and he said, 'You know, I don’t understand it completely. I know it exists I’ve seen it, I’ve heard of it, but I’m going to do my best to educate myself to be able to understand you.' And then he said, 'If ever you hear something from me that hurts you, just understand that it comes from ignorance and it doesn’t come from my heart.'”
Díaz said the response was perfect and helped him get through that moment.
But he knows that’s not always the case, which is why he not only started the podcast, but also was an advisor for the book, Sale Arcoíris Latinx, ￼which in English is titled The Latinx Rainbow Comes Out. It's a bilingual collection of stories from Latinx LGBTQ+ individuals in both English and Spanish.
Díaz says “I want people to not have to live in silence and I want our families to understand that for LGBTQ+ individuals, family is still very important, we want to be a part of the family.”
He says that understanding starts with having a conversation, a conversation he’s hoping to inspire through his podcast.