Diane Guerrero, like her hermanas America Ferrera and Gina Rodriguez, is a key and outspoken figure within the Latinx community. She has worked to bring the reality that many Latinxers within the United States face every day: be it with her character Maritza Ramos from Orange Is The New Black and her Latinx story or her character Crazy Jane from Doom Patrol and her mental health struggles.
Diane also bravely shared her family’s deportation story in her heartbreaking book In the Country We Love: My Family Divided. She also went on to write My Family Divided which was aimed at a younger audience who has dealt with family deportations with the aim of helping them understand what they were experiencing.
Recently, HOLA! USA caught up with Diane at the annual Latinx House event which was co-hosted by TIME'S UP to discuss the current state of the Latino community, where we need to go and how we can get there together. On Saturday, October 12, 2019, TIME’S UP and The Latinx House brought together over 150 individuals in the entertainment industry and allies for its second annual Latinx Heritage Month event.
Can you share what today has meant to you?
Today is so special because what I talk about is that we are not alone as a community, that there are people out there doing work and doing it to support you. But I also address how when you're out there doing the work, you can feel really alone. We lack so many spaces where we can come together and share our beautiful stories and talk about all the work that we're doing and find allyship in each other. This is just the very start, the very beginning of something so beautiful.
That’s so powerful and inspiring.
I'm so inspired by all of these women who are just amazing — I mean, there are astronauts, writers and staff members for important political figures here. There's just so much that we don't know about our people and what they're doing or how we can access them. That's all by design because we don't often have spaces like this and so I'm just excited that today is a reflection of what could be. We just have to stay vigilant and work with each other and continue to offer spaces like this for ourselves.
Social media is great tool that helps bring awareness to different causes, but there's something to be said about human contact.
This has been really great to see. Being able to notes in the front row made me feel so empowered. I had the information in front of me. I had the power to do with it what I wanted. And what I want to do with it is keep it, store it, work on it and apply it to my work and then share it all back to my community.
Looking at this amazing event, what do you hope or what do you look forward to for the future for younger generations who are now coming up?
I hope that people realize, or my community realizes, the beauty in themselves and in us. How powerful we are and that we need to use that power to make real change. I hope that all of these women today look to each other and say, "I am your sister, I am you." For them to use that as a motivator for when they go into a room where they're the only ones, to look back on events like today, moments like today, and say "I have an entire team behind me."
You were all creating a space where everyone can feel that their voice matters just as much as the next person...
That's the message that I'm giving, but I wanted to say that it is something that I'm still working on myself. We'll only change that by continuing these rituals, by continuing on these moments. I met so many people already that have inspired me and have taught me so much. Today was amazing — it's really, really awesome and really special.
In a previous interview with HOLA! USA, you mentioned that every person thinks that their voice doesn't matter because it's just one person, but when we bond together, we are stronger.
Absolutely. I mean, look at how the Querida Familia letter came, how much inspo, how much hope and how much backup did that provide for people who are so freaking scared at the time for all the attacks that happened in our community? To think that's how quick. They happened so fast, we got attention, we got our sisters united.
Interview by Alisandra Puliti