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Cristela Guerra

A current Senior Arts and Culture Reporter at WBUR and Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Cristela Guerra previously served as a reporter for the Boston Globe and the News-Press. The daughter of pediatrician and nurse Cristela was born in Panama City and joined her parents in Anaheim, CA, Queen, NY, and Fort Lauderdale, FL. She is a 2003 graduate of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School and a 2007 graduate of Florida International University. Cristela moved to Lynn in 2018, where she currently lives. She resides in the building formerly housing Fran’s Place, where she produced a WBUR radio story in 2019. Her interview discusses diaspora issues, her attachment to her grandmother’s home in Panama, and her parents’ negotiation with American culture. She talks about her struggle to come out to her evangelical parents and find her voice as a spiritual queer person. She expresses sympathy for people bullied as “queer” and explains how others have chosen to take ownership of the term.

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Cristela Guerra

Duration

1:08:59

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I lived in three states before age seven.

Cristela Guerra

I brought my partner to meet my cousins.

Cristela Guerra

I was a super, super spiritual kid.

Cristela Guerra

My queerness is inherently political.

Cristela Guerra

I knew then that God didn't hate me.

Cristela Guerra

I now go by she and they.

Cristela Guerra

My dad took it hard.

Cristela Guerra

I learned about justice, equity, diversity, and exclusion.

Cristela Guerra

I covered gay marriage arriving to Florida.

Cristela Guerra

A trans woman was shot and set afire.

Cristela Guerra

I covered race and identity in Boston.

Cristela Guerra

Former patrons wanted their "Cheers" back.

Cristela Guerra

It's really sad to lose all the gay clubs.

Cristela Guerra

"Queer" is an inclusive umbrella term.

Cristela Guerra

Visiting Panama felt like returning home.

Cristela Guerra

My whole family is deeply religious.

Cristela Guerra

We thought we were condemned to be alone.

Cristela Guerra

I considered an ex-gay ministry.

Cristela Guerra

I started delving into queerness.

Cristela Guerra

I struggled with coming out.

Cristela Guerra

I found my way to journalism.

Cristela Guerra

My shame and guilt were strong.

Cristela Guerra

I covered the first, queer youth support center.

Cristela Guerra

I hid my queerness and my Panamanian heritage.

Cristela Guerra

My apartment building used to be Fran's.

Cristela Guerra

Latino night at Fran's evolved slowly.

Cristela Guerra

I'm nervous about the future.

Cristela Guerra

It's a more abundant way of viewing identity.

Cristela Guerra

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