Happy Birthday to Rodrigo Reyes

Rodrigo Reyes was a journalist and social activist during the enlightening and tumultuous 60s and 70s in San Francisco, California.  His parents were migrant farm workers from Mexico and he was born September 24, 1945 in Weslaco, Texas.  Reyes was one of the founders of the Gay Latino Alliance (GALA), which became an important organization in addressing racism in the gay movement and homophobia in the Latino community.  In 1981, he authored the article “Latino Gays: Coming Out and Coming Home” which was published in the national Latino Nuestro magazine, inspiring a nationwide discussion on the issue of acceptance in the Hispanic American community.

Happy Birthday to Jose Feliciano, Award Winning Musician

If you’re sufficiently ‘mature’ (read, old enough) your first introduction as a norteamericano to Latino music may have been the Christmas carol “Felize Navidade” by Puerto Rican singer Jose Feliciano.  Born in Puerto Rico on September 10, 1945, Feliciano was a trail blazer for Latinx music.  In 1968, he won Grammy awards for best new artist and best contemporary male pop vocal performance for an original version of “Light My Fire”, which he performed with a smoldering Latin rhythm.  Visually impaired since birth, Feliciano was a master of the acoustic guitar, and a virtuoso of the bass, banjo, mandolin, and various keyboard instruments.  Felize cumpleaños, Jose!