In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight!
Not going to lie, Grand Hotel wasn’t the kind of show I thought I would be getting the queer representation that I desperately need, that we all need. Blame it on living in a world where my stories were not important or given the time of day in my favorite show. But here we are with Yoli, a queer Latina that is making me feel seen, understood, and like I’m worth a damn. And that is only but a drop in the reasons why she matters to me.
Yoli matters because she’s Latina like me. She looks like me. She sounds like me. She’s like the women I grew up with, am still surrounded by to this day, and who I’m proud to be a family with. Seeing her makes me feel acknowledged. Like I can connect with her journey, her woes, and everything in between because our backgrounds come from a rich and unique Latinx upbringing.
Yoli matters because she’s queer like me. The distinction matters and I’m over the moon that the Grand Hotel writers thought of this importance. I don’t care for the binary. I fall in love with people and not their genders. And using queer legitimizes in the Latinx community that I am real, that I matter, and that I’m not going through some phase.
Yoli matters because she’s gordita like me. I was never the flacita of the family. I was the “sightly fluffy” one. The one who was down to eat with the food of all kinds but hated when I got side eyed because I wasn’t skinny like my cousins. Which, you want me to eat the food and be proud of my heritage but also be skinny? Sorry not sorry, pero I can’t do both and I’m ok with that. And when I look at Yoli I see a woman that is the same.
Yoli matters because she’s a sign of change. She joins the ranks of One Day at a Time’s Elena and Vida’s Emma as heralds of growth when it comes to the kind of Latinas we see on TV. We can love who we want to love and that simple fact isn’t a deciding factor to cut our stories from the content we consume. If anything, I see Yoli being celebrated on Grand Hotel. I see her story being included, emphasized, and explored.
I see Yoli and in turn I see myself. And I’m proud of what I see.
Grand Hotel airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)