Photo credit advocatesforyouth.org
A lot of people think spilling tea or chismoseando is often done aimlessly, but that’s not always it. This is the case in the Youtube series named Kikis with Louie , which was created in collaboration with Advocates for Youth and MAC AIDS Fund. The program is hosted by the Director of LGBTQ Health and Rights at Advocates for Youth Louie Ortiz-Fonseca. His main focus in the series is to tackle various issues that currently affect the LGBTQ youth such as sexuality, health, relationships, and more.
The way Ortiz-Fonseca does this is by having kikis with his guests. A “kiki” is a word adapted from queer lingo. This word basically represents a safe space where people can have meaningful and non-judgmental conversations discussing the issues at hand. Another way of understanding the concept of a kiki is by seeing it as woke spilling tea, but with a positive purpose. In order to make these kikis more interesting, these episodes include open conversations with athletes, artists, and activists.
“The goal of the series is to equip LGBTQ young people with information, and make sure they know that they are deserving of safe, happy, and healthy lives,” Ortiz-Fonseca told Paper Magazine.
Ortiz- Fonseca hopes that he can encourage the LGBTQ teens and others to lead a healthier life and have a more positive perception of themselves after watching the web-series.
Since Louie Ortiz-Fonseca had been working on HIV activism for over 20 years in his hometown, Philadelphia, he understood the significance of a program like this. In fact, Kikis with Louie was influenced by his own story.
“It was a queer youth program that really saved my life as a 16-year-old high school dropout with no clear direction,” Ortiz-Fonseca expressed the importance of this series to LGBTQ Nation.
These types of conversations are especially important for the youth of today. Unfortunately, the current administration has created a tense environment for the LGBTQ community and they’re not hiding it. Once this current administration took office, everything that had to do with LGBTQ rights was removed from all official websites of the United States. This may have ignited the increased violence and intolerance towards the LGBTQ community that has become rather prominent since 2016. Such unwelcomed behavior towards the LGBTQ youth may be linked to recent studies revealing that the LGBTQ youth is twice as likely to have thoughts of suicide. Rather than allowing anyone become another statistic, Kikis with Louie tries to empower its viewers with educational information that can be deemed as necessary to understand themselves and the community.
Kikis with Louie has a wide range of episodes to choose from. I watched a few of them and was instantly impacted by how concise Ortiz-Fonseca and his guests are in whatever topic that is at hand. One of the episodes of this woke web-series that really caught my attention was the one with Reggie Bullock.
Reggie Bullock is an NBA player who plays for the Detroit Pistons. Bullock is now an avid ally for the queer people, especially for the trans community. However, his advocacy was prompted from an unfortunate scenario — the wrongful passing of his sister.
As per this episode of Kikis with Louie, his sister, a black trans woman named Mia Henderson, was murdered in July of 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to this tragic event occurring, Bullock admits that he wasn’t really as involved with the LGBTQ community as he is now. Unfortunately, there were a lot of things he didn’t understand, but he quickly realized that education was key to a more tolerant world.
“I ended up getting Kevin tatted on my hand right when she passed away, not knowing because I wasn’t educated enough that was pretty much a dead name to her. This is a person I thought I knew, and the life I thought she lived, when it actually wasn’t,” Bullock said to Ortiz-Fonseca during their segment. “She wanted to be recognized as Mia Henderson, which is a street name that she picked up and that was the real life she was living. Then, I got Mia Henderson tatted on my leg.”
This episode is so significant because there’s still a lot of misinformation and lack of education in the subject of transgender individuals.
Transgender youth are often faced with rejection from their family and friends, high levels of anxiety, and sense of hopelessness all because people find it hard to accept them. Sadly, a national study showed that the trans youth are 40% more likely to attempt suicide. This can be directly linked to people not taking the time to properly educate themselves. I really don’t understand why anyone would want to remain ignorant. Aside from that daunting fact, trans youth are having to fear for their lives because trans-related hate crimes have also increased. This is particularly true for trans people of color.
Truly, every episode provides necessary information the LGBTQ youth and everyone for that matter should learn.
Another impactful episode was one where Ortiz-Fonseca spoke with his guests about what to do if a cop pulls you over. The reality is that it’s getting progressively harder for the youth to feel safe around cops nowadays, especially for people of color.Now, add queer or trans to the equation, and the danger is multiplied. As heartbreaking as that sounds, it is something that needs to be discussed. Thankfully, Kikis with Louie doesn’t shy away from these complicated subject matters.
I would’ve loved to have something like this when I was growing up. But it was also difficult back then, especially since I attended a catholic school. You can only imagine the oppressive narrative the school’s administration tried to shove down my throat for many years and how that made me feel about myself. If this would have been available back then, I would have probably felt more comfortable with my identity at an earlier stage of my life. See, ten years ago or so, information like this wasn’t readily accessible. I had to figure things out on my own, which was a risk on its own.
I promise you that these kikis will truly enlighten you and prepare you for a world that sometimes can be too unforgiving. Understanding about your health, relationships, and how to be conscious of others in the community is never a bad idea. Remember, it’s always better to be overly educated about something, especially if it pertains to your overall well-being and the well-being of those around you.
You can catch Kikis with Louie on Youtube for as long as the internet remains relevant to our society (which I feel will be for many years to come).