In Hulu’s “Love, Victor”, a LGBTQ Latin American teenager in a religious family traces his own path


If television is a mirror, Hulu’s new LGBTQ series, “Love, Victor”, broadcast Wednesday, aims to connect with all those who live and struggle between identities.

“I don’t think anyone is 100% right or 100% wherever you are on the scales,” said actor Michael Cimino, who plays Victor Salazar, the main character. “I have the impression that sexuality is not necessarily fluid. It looks more like a ghost. And so it’s important to know where you are. “

“Love, Victor” follows on from the 2018 film “Love, Simon”, which was the first romantic comedy for gay teens by a major Hollywood studio. But while the original on the big screen focused on the upcoming story of Simon Spier – a white upper-middle-class teenager – Hulu’s series highlights the character of Cimino, a Latin worker from a religious family leaving for their own path to adulthood.

The two stories take place in the same high school in Atlanta, but the film and the series are separated by a few years. And Victor matches Simon with text and email as he navigates the downsides of love, sex and adolescence.

Cimino, who has a mixed Puerto Rican and Italian-German heritage, says growing up between cultures has helped him better understand his character. This also applies to Ana Ortiz, who plays Victor’s mother, Isabel.

“It can be difficult, because sometimes you are not enough for a culture. And you’re not enough for the other culture, “says Ortiz, who is of mixed Puerto Rican and Irish descent. “I’m not white enough for my white friends. I am not Puerto Rican enough for my Puerto Rican friends. So who am i What is my place? And where should I belong? “

In 2015, the Pew Research Center calculated that 6.9% of the American population (more than 22 million people) has multiracial roots. On the show, Victor struggles with competing identities as he explores his LGBTQ sexuality, being Latin and up to his family’s religious expectations – issues that may be familiar to multicultural and multiracial viewers who have struggled with their square.

Crossed identities and beliefs

For Ortiz, the intersection of off-screen identities allows “Love, Victor” and other TV shows to mirror the complex layers of society. She says her screen character dramatizes the tensions of a mother whose conservative religious beliefs stand in the way of her son’s sexual reality.

“The thing I really had to dig out and manage was the religiosity in it,” says Ortiz of Isabel. “I was raised a Catholic. I consider myself Catholic, but I am also a progressive. I constantly struggle between my Catholicism and my beliefs. It’s a tough fight inside myself. “

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Off screen, viewers may still have in mind the news of Monday’s Supreme Court decision to protect LGBTQ rights in the workplace. Two Conservatives – Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts – surprised progressive advocates when they joined their Liberal colleagues to support the decision.

On screen, Ortiz hopes that by showing a conservative Latin American family reconciling with their loved one’s LGBTQ identity, viewers can also see how attitudes toward gays, lesbians and transgender people are changing. society.

Cimino, who believes that sexuality and identity are part of a lifelong journey that calls people to be true to themselves, wants to convey positive messages about change and authenticity to viewers on and off screen.

“Right now, I’m straight,” says Cimino. “I don’t want to put myself in a box and put myself in a position where if I were to become bi or gay in 10 years, I would defend an identity which would be faithful to me. “

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