"Gay Lay Latino Los Angeles: Coming Of Age" - Three young Latino men come of age in Los Angeles, struggling with their sexuality, identity, and place in the world.
The film follows the stories of three young men:
Alex is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who is trying to make a life for himself in Los Angeles.
Brian is a Salvadoran activist who is struggling with his sexuality and his family's expectations.
Carlos is a Mexican American from South Central Los Angeles who is trying to escape gang life.
As the film progresses, the three men come to terms with their sexuality and identity. They also learn to embrace their culture and heritage. The film is a powerful and moving story of coming of age in the modern world. The film is interlaced with powerful visuals around Los Angeles, representing the film's themes of identity, culture, and spirituality, taking a deeper dive into the fluid and graceful, and beauty and strength of the Latino community. The film is a powerful and moving story of coming of age in the modern world. It is a story of hope, resilience, and the power of the human spirit.
"This braided documentary presents the frank, compelling testimonials of three Latino twenty-somethings from different backgrounds and charts their self-discovery and growth over a two-year period. Alex is an artsy undocuqueer Mexican whose hopes for an education and a better life in the U.S. are compromised by his undocumented status. Brian is a Salvadoran who—though educated at UC Berkeley—lacks confidence to enter the workplace even as he yearns to better the world through engaged activism. And Carlos is a Chicano homeboy from South LA whose party lifestyle is self-destructive compensation for not being able to fully come out of the closet. Menendez nests these three testimonials within imagery of an Indigenous tradition that asserts that the search for identity among gay Latinos will lead to the recovery of a rich, neglected history specific to the region.
In episodic turns, Alex, Brian, and Carlos demonstrate the dynamic reality of being gay and Latino in LA through their shared experience of negotiating their sexual orientation with their religious upbringing, being abandoned by their families, hiding behind subcultural shields of machismo, and fighting for human rights in an unjust and homophobic society. Through a snapshot of individual lives, Gay Latino Los Angeles reveals the rites of passage that young gays face in their inspiring journey to self-acceptance."
— Dr. Michael Guillen, Frameline San Francisco’s International Film Festival
(2012) Official Selection of: OUTFEST Fusion 2014, Latin@ Queer Arts & Film 2014, Reel Rasquache 2013, Frameline 37, Sunscreen Film West, Seattle Film Festival, Southwest GLBT, Mix Mexico, QFilms, The Mexican Festival of the Americas.