Thursday, February 28th, Latin trap artist Bad Bunny was a guest on The Tonight Show to announce his new album release. However, that was not the only announcement Bad Bunny had to make.
A few days prior — February 24th — the island of Puerto Rico was shaken after Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, also known as Alexa, who identified as a transgender woman, was killed. A hate crime, once again, was committed out of ignorance and hate when Alexa used the women’s restroom at a McDonald’s. Alexa was shot several times and left dead. A video of the crime was uploaded on YouTube with the murderers mocking and laughing at Alexa following 10 gunshots that killed her.
This was then reported by the media in Puerto Rico as “A man in a black skirt was murdered” which did not respect or honor the fact that Alexa identified as a woman, not a man in a black skirt. This caused a lot of rage in the LGBTQ+ community all across the U.S, as expected. However, what nobody expected was the support and awareness brought by a well-known ally, Bad Bunny.
While Bad Bunny performed a single from his new album on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” he wore a skirt, dangly earrings, and coat that covered a white shirt with a powerful message. Towards the end of his performance, he opened his coat and clearly showed the message in the white shirt stating they murdered Alexa, not a man wearing a skirt written in Spanish. This caused a lot of attention in the media as he used this opportunity to create attention on the issue while correcting the media on how a to report a real hate crime.
Bad Bunny does have a reputation of being a supportive ally of the LGBTQ+ community through several music videos and supportive Tweets. However, for him to continue showing his support for an issue that is so overlooked, especially for trans women of color, says a lot about him. What we also overlook, is who Bad Bunny is, the music he makes, and the fan base that he has. As a Latin trap/reggaeton artist, his fan base is mainly hetero cisgender people who tend to fall into homophobic machismo culture. Therefore, for him to make it clear that he stands with the LGBTQ+ community is groundbreaking, inspiring, and iconic! He uses his platform to create change and awareness with such a consistent and genuine intention that it has earned him strong respect from the queer Latinx community.
Hopefully this helps change the stigmas in the urban music industry of what moral values an artist should have. All we have to say is thank you Bad Bunny. Now go stream his new album “YHLQMDLG” and support a trap artist who supports us!
About the Author:
Neil Rios Laverde migrated with his family from Colombia when he was 8 years old in search of better opportunities. Neil is now a senior at the University of Central Florida majoring in advertising and public relations. He plans on applying the skills he has learned to bring positive messaging and relationships to the Latinx and LGBT+ communities.
He has worked with LGBT+ organizations in Orlando such as Equality Florida, The Dru Project, and The LGBT Center of Central Florida. Neil also interned abroad for the marketing team of a non-profit in Colombia the summer of 2017. He is currently interning for the marketing team at Moxē, a local advertising and PR agency.