The man grinned and pointed at himself, realization setting in: Samaniego was serenading him, not the woman. Theirs is a music genre dominated by machismo, by straight men in flashy charro suits and sombreros singing songs of love and lust about women. Mariachi Arcoiris, Samaniego says, is out to challenge that. Melendez, who was assigned male at birth and transitioned a few years ago, has been playing violin since she was 8. The two met as teens in an after-school mariachi band.
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Mariachi musicians Carlos Samaniego and Natalia Melendez found out the hard way—first through discrimination, ridicule and professional blackballing among their musician peers, then via the challenging path of advocating for the acceptance of gay, lesbian and transgender people in the mariachi world. Both Samaniego and Melendez are Mexican Americans from the east side of Los Angeles, and both were immersed in mariachi music at a young age through family and community life. Samaniego, bespectacled and clear-spoken, is a court translator by profession and the grandson of a mariachi. Melendez, every hair in place, expresses herself in a smooth, emphatic way. From that moment on, Sobrino was her role model. Samaniego and Melendez would study mariachi music in public school programs.
How the First LGBTQ Mariachi Became an Outlet for Advocacy
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This is a gay porn website and contains explicit sexual material of really cute men having hardcore gay sex. Do not continue past this point if you are not of legal age in your location, or viewing sexual material is illegal in your country or if viewing gay sexual material may offend you. This photoset is taken in tropical Budapest by staff photographer Eliot.