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Companeros Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS by Jesus Ramirez-Valles

Companeros Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS

Part of the Latinos in Chicago and Midwest Series


Companeros Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS by Jesus Ramirez-Valles

Telling the affecting stories of eighty gay, bisexual, and transgender (GBT) Latino activists and volunteers living in Chicago and San Francisco, Compa\u00f1eros: Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS closely details how these individuals have been touched or transformed by the AIDS epidemic. Weaving together activists' responses to oppression and stigma, their encounters with AIDS, and their experiences as GBTs and Latinos in North America and Latin America, Jesus Ramirez-Valles explores the intersection of civic involvement with ethnic and sexual identity. Even as activists battle multiple sources of oppression, they are able to restore their sense of family connection and self-esteem through the creation of an alternative space in which community members find value in their relationships with one another. In demonstrating the transformative effects of a nurturing community environment for GBT Latinos affected by the AIDS epidemic, Ramirez-Valles illustrates that members find support in one another, as compa\u00f1eros, in their struggles with homophobia, gender discrimination, racism, poverty, and forced migration.


In this lucid and compelling book, Ramirez-Valles argues that community involvement, in this case related to the HIV epidemic, creates social change while simultaneously nourishing the self of those involved. The argument is sustained through the voices of eight Latino gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals who engaged in community activism to combat the HIV epidemic. Their experiences are masterfully presented in order to foster the overall aim of the book. -Contemporary Sociology

About the Author

Jesus Ramirez-Valles is a professor of community health sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th October 2011


Jesus Ramirez-Valles

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University of Illinois Press


192 pages


Gay & Lesbian studies



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