The Latinx Drag Queens Spearheading HIV Activism on the Border

We went to a Texas border town battling a major HIV epidemic to meet the activists working to educate people about the virus.
June 22, 2018, 8:54pm

Brownsville, Texas, a border town whose population is 90 percent Latino, is in the throes of a devastating HIV epidemic. Faced with a weak sex education program, stigma against homosexuality, and a low literacy around health, the city’s LGBTQ+ community is grappling with how to address the crisis. But a group of Latinx drag queens is hoping to change that, throwing regular “Drag Out HIV” balls to raise awareness about the virus in an accessible, nontraditional way.


According to Paola Ramos, the host of our new series LATIN-X, it's a critical resource for the city and its Latinx population—a genderless word used to describe anyone in the Latino community who feels like they don't fit into one identity. On the premiere, Ramos went to Brownsville for a firsthand look at how the queens behind Drag Out HIV are taking on the crisis, and to talk with local people who are living with the virus.

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