In The Community
Natalia and Carolina Trejos make up the duo that run “Pinkafé,” a TV show focused on empowering women and Latinas in media.
The sisters are the first duo to have their own TV show airing on Latino Alternative TV (LATV), a bilingual broadcast network that serves as a “direct link to the growing voice of the Latino experience.”
What makes the Trejos’ story even better is that they’re deeply relatable in their quest to create a real sisterhood among women. Their story of resiliency in immigrating from their native Colombia to Ecuador then making their way to the United States is a source of inspiration for aspiring Latinas.
“We want to inspire and empower our viewers with opportunities, educate them with available options when it comes to finding a true passion and doing what they love for a living. We have our 'why' very present and our mission is to make sure our Pinkafesas know theirs as well," Carolina Trejos said when asked about Pinkafé’s goals.
The millennial Latinas began their journey at the helm of Pinkafé first with a blog, that then later developed into an online fashion boutique, and then found its home as a podcast. Once they were offered the opportunity to develop the podcast into a TV show, the sisters were on board full steam ahead. Their experience as Latinas in media enabled them to bring their show to the next level in featuring Latina leaders and entrepreneurs. These conversations work to amplify Latina representation in a media landscape where Latinas are commonly underrepresented and misrepresented.
Photo courtesy of PinkaféPhoto courtesy of Pinkafé
With a mission of working to elevate women’s voices, foster collaboration, and provide commentary on their own experiences, the Trejos’ are making history with Pinkafé. The show covers a wide variety of topics, with the sisters discussing everything from their own journey of creating a platform, to producing their own TV show and podcast, to speaking from their own experiences on the importance of creating boundaries in the workplace with family members, the breadth is as broad as the audience they’re representing.Pinkafé’s 4th season’s can be viewed every Tuesday on LATV. You can also find past episodes of the show here.
Sylvia Rivera is a name you may have heard before, especially around Pride Month. Rivera is best known for her participation in the Stonewall Uprising, but the legacy she left behind for the transgender community in terms of her advocacy is a true testament to the fantastic nature of her work.
Rivera was born in 1951 with her gender assigned male at birth with the name Ray given to her by her Puerto Rican father and Venezuelan mother. Rivera was born in the Bronx to a tough childhood - one so hard that the young Rivera ended up being raised by her grandmother after her father walked out and her mother committed suicide when she was only three years old. Rivera always held an active interest in women’s clothing and makeup and often did not shy away from opportunities to express herself. This made Rivera a target for bullies, which ultimately led to her running away from home at just 11 years old.
Rivera was then exploited sexually to make ends meet for herself, working as an underage sex worker in Times Square. Just one year after being out on the streets, Rivera met another prominent activist and self-proclaimed transvestite and drag queen Marsha P. Johnson, where her point of view broadened. During this time, Rivera became immersed in the plight of Black liberation, poverty, homelessness, and the rights of the transgender community.
In a time when the mainstream LGBTQ+ community was fighting for their rights, the trans members of that community were not welcomed by organizers. Many gay rights organizers, such as those from The Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilities (two of the original gay and lesbian rights groups), discouraged members from “engaging in deviant expressions of gender and sexuality” and had strict dress codes for their rallies in the 1960s.
Johnson and Rivera then formed the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) in 1971. This organization was dedicated to furthering the quality of life of the transgender community, providing housing for those in dire need. Johnson and Rivera worked tirelessly as sex workers at night to pay the rent and provide housing as well as security to transgender street youth and transgender homeless people that they felt were being actively excluded by gay rights groups. Though it was short-lived, they did a lot in those short years until the mid-1970s when STAR House closed.
Photo via NSWP
Her community not only as a woman of color but also as a trans woman of color. 17-year-old Rivera was an avid participant in the Stonewall Uprising, going on record to set the story straight of her role in the protest. Though she didn’t throw the initial Molotov cocktail, she “threw the second one.” In the six days of protests, Rivera never went home, staying behind and advocating for trans rights amidst the chaos.
Though others largely silenced Rivera in her community, she was invited to participate in the 1973 Gay Pride Rally in New York City. The ever-brave Rivera (though not allowed to speak by organizers) grabbed the mic and proclaimed, “I have lost my job, I have lost my apartment for gay liberation, and y’all treat me this way?” Despite being viciously booed off stage at the time, an experience that led her to attempt suicide and subsequent break from the city and activism until Johnson’s death in 1992, Rivera’s speech remains a powerful testament to the contributions and sacrifices she made to the gay rights movement.
Discurso de Sylvia Rivera - Marcha del Orgullo 1973 (Español) www.youtube.com
Rivera passed away in 2002, but in dedicating almost her entire life to the gay rights movement has always served as a monumental figure that worked to change the tide to put the “T” in the LGBTQ+ movement it is known to be today. Without Sylvia Rivera, a lot of the transgender community would not have the progress they have today, making her an immortal icon to all.
This meant that in a world already so unwelcome, Rivera fought to make space for herself and her community not only as a woman of color but also as a trans woman of color.
“Objection” took on a new meaning after the video of Camille Vasquez using the word repeatedly during the Amber Heard defamation trial took the internet by storm. Heard’s attorney, on the other hand, could be seen struggling with how to proceed with questioning after Vazquez’s interjections were sustained by the judge.
The confidence with which Vasquez proceeded in her own cross-examination of Heard left everyone convinced that this woman is a powerhouse who could probably audition for the lead role in “How to Get Away with Murder.”
Vasquez is fascinating to watch which left us (and the rest of the world wide web) with one question: who is Camille Vasquez, anyway?
Part 2 of Amber Heard getting cross examined by Queen Camille. #fyp #amberheardisguilty #johnnydepptiktok #camillevasquez #deppvsheardtrial #johnnydepp
The 37-year-old Colombian attorney is currently a member of the legal team representing Johnny Depp in his $50 million defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard. The highly-televised (and often inadvertently entertaining) trial is now in its final week.
Sexist rumors have been making the rounds that Vasquez may be dating Depp, which have repeatedly been debunked. The recent attention has instead shifted focus from the impressive lawyering Vasquez is doing to cheap headlines that no one is producing of Heard and her lawyer.
Vasquez is alumna of Southwestern Law School ‘10 and University of Southern California ‘06, where she graduated magna cum laude. Vasquez was also named “One to Watch” by The Best Lawyers in America for 2021-2022.
We can only hope to continue to see Vasquez shine as the proceedings continue - we know the internet is certainly wanting more and she’s showing how Latinas get it done.