Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with People CHICA's LatinXcellence series, spotlighting the incredible people who are changing the world through their work and activism. Today we focus on Puerto Rican singer, songwriter, and activist Bad Bunny, who uses his platform to speak out about injustice against the LGBTQ+ community.

Por Alma Sacasa
Septiembre 18, 2020
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Credit: Getty Images

Here at People CHICA we celebrate our Latinidad 365 days a year, but during Hispanic Heritage Month, we go extra hard. Established in 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month (also known as Latino Heritage Month or Latinx Heritage Month) recognizes the generations of Latinos who have positively influenced and enhanced our society. All month long, we'll be celebrating with a series called #LatinXcellence, highlighting people who are making a difference in Latino culture today through their art, work, and activism. 

Bad Bunny has long been topping the charts with songs like "Callaita," "Safaera," and "Chambea," but more recently, the Latin trap star has also made headlines for his outspoken support of the LGBTQ+ community and his criticism of Puerto Rican officials. In March, he dressed in drag for the "Yo Perreo Sola" video, and in "Caro," he got his nails done while watching a fashion show, before transforming into a female version of himself played by model Jazmyne Joy.

"I did it to show support to those who need it," he said of "Yo Perreo Sola" in a Rolling Stone interview. "I may not be gay, but I'm a human who cares." During his February performance of "Ignorantes" with Sech on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he paid homage to Alexa Negrón Luciano, a homeless trans woman who was brutally murdered in Puerto Rico. He took the stage in an oversized pink blazer, a black satin skirt, and a custom T-shirt that read, "They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt."

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"Now that we are in quarantine, 108 cases of gender-based violence [have been reported] in Puerto Rico," he continued in Rolling Stone. "As a human being, violence against women affects me. So I am going to do what is within my reach to [work] against that. … My message shouldn’t be a feminist message. It's a universal message."

While some have criticized Bad Bunny for appropriating LGBTQ+ culture, others have praised him for using his platform to speak out for those with less representation in media. "The truth is, he has become an icon for the Latin queer community," fellow Puerto Rican artist Ricky Martin has said. "He resonates with a generation that is, at the moment, discovering who they really are. It is very refreshing to witness in an industry known for its machismo."

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Bad Bunny has also been vocal about injustices occurring on his home island of Puerto Rico. He joined massive street protests to demand the resignation of former Governor Ricardo Rosselló in 2019, and has criticized Governor Wanda Vázquez for how she has handled the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters on the island.

He recently took a break from social media, but returned to encourage his fans to vote in the upcoming election. "Young people, you have until September 14 to get your electoral identification card to be able to vote Nov. 3," he wrote, along with a photo of his own electoral identification card. "We are in a crucial moment in the history of our country and now more than ever, we have the power to change the course of Puerto Rico."