The Director of LGBTQ Health and Rights at Advocates for Youth, Louie Ortiz-Fonseca, is now the host a new YouTube series. The program, Kikis With Louie, seeks to chronicle social and culture issues of importance to LGBTQ youth of color.
Louie Ortiz-Fonseca has been part of HIV activism for more than 20 years, working on HIV prevention and youth development throughout Philadelphia, and his interest in hosting the show came out of his background and his own family.
“It was a queer youth program that really saved my life as a 16 year old high school dropout with no clear direction,” Ortiz-Fonseca told LGBTQ Nation.
“Now that I have a son who’s 16 and loves YouTube, where he gets most of his content — definitely all of his music. And when this idea was presented, it just seemed like a great way to expand the discussion around the queer experience, around body autonomy and storytelling,” added Ortiz-Fonseca. “I do that in the digital spaces, like Twitter and Tumblr, but I had never thought of put it on YouTube. So when this was presented, I was like, ‘Yes, let’s do this.'”
The first episode features MJ Rodriguez, one of the starts of FX’s Pose in a light yet revealing discussion on the value of the show and the importance of highlighting black trans history in popular media.
Ortiz-Fonseca praised “what she brought to the conversation around honoring or recognizing trans history” as a highlight. “We talked about the music in Pose and how she hopes that this continues to grow, that there’s more shows like Pose, and more opportunities for queer and trans artists.”
Upcoming episodes will include Reggie Bullock of the Detroit Pistons on the murder of his transgender sister, Mia; model Laith Ashley; and singer-songwriter Shamir.
“I hope that these stories can live forever, and I hope they connect with other LGBTQ young people,” said Ortiz-Fonseca. “As a parent and an adult, I hope that when adults watch this, that they see that these kinds of conversations can happen with young people, and that they can learn how to have these kinds of conversations.”
Kikis with Louie is collaboration between Advocates For Youth, the CDC Foundation, and MAC AIDS Fund.
You can watch the first episode below.