Today marks the first day of “National Hispanic Heritage Month,” celebrated each year from September 15th through October 15th.
This is an important month—a time to think of the contributions and history of people who identify as Hispanic in America.
UCP Oregon thinks it’s also important to talk about the intersection of race and disability this month. More than 5.4 million Americans who identity as Hispanic also experience a disability.
The intersection of multiple identities is complicated.
As Roque Gregorio Renteria (an LA-based screenwriter and comedian who uses a wheelchair) says, “There’s often a trade off when multiple identities are present. People want to focus on my Hispanic identity or my identity as a person with a disability and not examine both.”
However, some Hispanic celebrities who experience disabilities have begun to share their experiences and voices. Notable examples include Michelle Rodriguez and Salma Hayek; and singers Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez.