The LEA’s Turning Scared Teens Into Gay Leaders

Alex Medina (left) and Eddie Martinez / Images via ABC7 and the LEA

This LA teen says he’d still be in the closet without the help of the Latino Equality Alliance.

Talking to ABC7, 19-year-old Alex Medina shared his story of coming out and claiming his spot within the Queer and Latinx communities. The teen from South Los Angeles shares that he was afraid to come out because of his parents being very religious. He then sought out the Latino Equality Alliance for advice. They then gave him the courage to come out.

“I came out in 2014 when I was 14 years old to my mother and she was very accepting,” said Alex Medina, who later became a youth reporter with the Boyle Heights Beat. “I had been holding that in and didn’t know how my parents would react.”

After he was helped by LEA, Medina decided to give back to his community. He has since become a reporter and volunteer at LEA. His mother volunteers there too!

“That just makes me very happy to know that she wanted to become more involved and learn how to better raise me as an LGBT son,” said Medina

Alex Medina / Image via the Boyle Heights Beat

But Medina isn’t the only one who’s happy. It seems that the LEA’s mission of supporting the LGBTQ community and their families is living up to its 10-year promise since forming in response to Proposition 8.

“I’m very happy that today we have a space where we bring in youth and families to a safe space,” said LEA founding member and executive producer Eddie Martinez. “To learn about issues, to develop their leadership skills and go back out into the community to make a difference.”

Recently, Medina interviewed Martinez to discuss Mi Centro, the LGBTQ center in Los Angeles where LEA is hosted, and asked Martinez about experiences that made him feel proud or empowered.

“And I told him, ‘It’s about this interview right now,'” said Martinez. “You came in through our youth program, you went to college, and now you’re interviewing me, you’re being a leader, and I think that’s what makes me feel good and proud about the work I do.”

Sources: ABC7

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