"Gaytino: Made in America" hits the big screen

EAST LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KABC) -- "I wrote it originally because in talking to young people, in my particular world, both young Chicanos, young Latinos, and young gay men, they just didn't know our history," said Dan Guerrero, star of Gaytino: Made in America. The one-man, auto-biographical production began as a stage play that toured the country and was recently produced as a film.

"I wanted people to know about my dad, Lalo Guerrero, known as the father of Chicano music. I want to people to know about my boyhood, lifelong friend Carlos Almaraz, renowned visual artist who we lost AIDS in 1989. I wanted people to know about them and their contributions to our culture, and this show was just the way to do it," said Guerrero.

"I performed Gaytino all over the country in venues like the Kennedy Center, and I've done it in tiny one-hundred seat venues. I've done it in lots of colleges and universities," said Guerrero.

"The cool thing is that when I finally was able to shoot two live performances, we filmed it at East L.A. College. I graduated from East L.A. in 1961, and to go back and do the show there was amazing."

"It was always important for me to do the film because I wanted to preserve those stories, also to reach a larger audience," said Guerrero. "So they can learn about Chicano history and to entertain."

"People ask 'what came first the Chicano or the gay?' I mean what flag are you carrying that day? The truth is you're carrying both flags all the time."

"Even though very clearly we're going through a very challenging time in our country right now, there are forces chipping away at our hard won victories. They want to go back to the fifties, when people of color were kept in their place, and gay people were kept in the shadows. But it's still important to remember how far we have come."

Gaytino: Made in America will be screened free of charge on June 30th as part of the City of West Hollywood's One City, One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. Interested parties must RSVP at www.weho.org/pride

For more details, go to: www.gaytino.com

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