“Richard Blanco was made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States,” and now he will serve as the Inaugural poet at the swearing-in ceremony this year, announced the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC) on Wednesday. At 44, Blanco is also the youngest-ever Inaugural poet and the first Hispanic and LGBT person to recite a poem at the swearing-in ceremony.
From the moment Barack Obama burst onto the political scene, the poet Richard Blanco, a son of Cuban exiles, says he felt “a spiritual connection” with the man who would become the nation’s 44th president.
At the Clínica Monseñor Oscar A. Romero in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, Victoria Ortega, 33, focuses on women’s health, HIV prevention, beautification, and safety. As a transgender woman and community organizer, she actively incorporates LGBTQ issues into her community-building in the neighborhood.
Once, when Mexico was the bellybutton of the universe, Isabel Vargas Lizano ran away from home and resolved to make herself into a Mexican singer. This was in the 1930s, when Europe was on fire, the U.S. out of work and Mexico busy giving birth to herself after a revolution.
At 14, Isabel was busy birthing herself, too. Cast off from her Costa Rican kin for being too strange, she would become Mexico’s beloved Chavela Vargas.