Aura Quiroz has a clear mission in her life: to demystify the perceived monoculture of Latinidad. The Venezuelan producer has dedicated the last 14 years to broaden the perspective of what it means to be Latina and Venezuelan.
Born and raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela, Aura Quiroz began working in the entertainment industry at sixteen. As an exile from Venezuela, she has witnessed firsthand the dilution of Latino identities in the U.S. media.
In fact, Quiroz fully understands the need to be genuine and intentional with the content that represents us, as U.S. media sees an increase in the conversion of bilingual content.
In her work as a producer, this Venezuelan has emphasized bringing marginalized voices to the forefront and having them express their own complexities and beauty.
Today, Aura Quiroz is the lead producer of LATV’s flagship program, “The Q Agenda,” the first queer Latinx talk show in the U.S. “The Q Agenda” broadcast currently airs in more than 53 million homes nationwide and has been recognized by the Blade and Critics Choice Awards.
Quiroz is also the production director for the entire LATV network, being the mastermind behind several shows such as “Cultura Shock,” “Shades of Beauty,” and “Get it Girl.”
BELatina had the honor of speaking with Aura about her career and the importance of fair representation of the queer Latinx community. This is what she had to say:
What are the most frequent obstacles to producing content for and by Latinos, especially members of the LGBTQ+ community?
As someone who comes from Latin America, where English is not our first language, I will say one of the obstacles in producing content in the United States is the language barrier.
Even with a bilingual audience, the percentage of English versus Spanish is constantly contested to ensure that those who are not bilingual can still follow along.
Essentially we are serving three audiences: bilingual, English-speaking only, and Spanish speaking only.
As the younger generation of creators is juggling this same question, I would tell them not to get intimidated to choose one side of their identity over another. [I’d tell them] to let their content flow naturally as if they’re talking to their friends. People are global and follow along better than we give them credit for.
Working specifically with the LGBTQ+ community has been one of the biggest successes I’ve ever had. Being an ally fills me with joy and, most importantly, gives meaning to my work.
However, the amount of work that needs to be done is nowhere near over.
One of the greatest obstacles in producing LGBTQ+ content is the lack of education and information, especially as an ally [with an] outside perspective, but also in between the spectrum and overall tolerance.
Even more so, LGBTQ+ representation in Latin America is behind that of the United States, so there’s a higher need to provide.
The United States is a pioneer of queer content (even when we feel it’s lacking), but that stresses the need to be even more intentional with the content we put out because it all matters.
How do you hope Latinos can change the visual narratives around our identity?
As one of the guests on “The Q Agenda” said: “Media is America’s religion, and they believe what they see.” I hope Latinos in power and the newer generations can change the narrative of how we are perceived in the United States. We are a huge community with many backgrounds, flavors, and stories. Yet, we always get compressed to the same stereotypes. We need to create new ways to express who we are and the many versions we [have]. Education, media, creativity, and curiosity will help us change that old narrative and get close to our real identity as a community part of this big country.
What are your current projects?
As a creative soul, I always crave to create new outlets to express myself. My latest and most current project is a podcast with two of my dearest friends, Beatriz Hernandez and Anakaren Lopez, where we discuss life from our three different lenses. It is a fun, deep, and intense conversation between friends, unfiltered and raw, having the east coast, west coast, and immigrant perspectives on dating, life, and work. It’ll be a woman’s platform to connect and create community, which is what we always need!
I’m also working on the fabulous 8th season of “The Q Agenda,” the 2nd season of “Cultura Shock,” and the new season of “Get it Girl.” All these shows air on LATV and are the representation I hope to see out there in the world. My team and I make sure we curate the content that resonates with our experiences, talking from our own personal perspectives and keeping it real.
Anything else you would like to add?
I came to this country without really knowing what I was doing. Like many immigrant stories, I started from scratch, working in retail for cash, trying to find the opportunity to prove myself and get out of that cycle, and I did.
From the other side, I’ll tell everyone: keep fighting, keep pushing through, because the opportunity will come [when least expected], and you need to be ready. Believe in yourself, and don’t let other people intimidate you, no matter their power.
Something I didn’t know before is that no matter what your status in this country is, we have rights, and we have other people fighting for our rights. We need to honor it and not let anyone walk over us! We are in a country of opportunities, and things will fall into place if you do the work.