Bailón returns from making copies of QUIP's flyers and decides to put on some music. A song by Christina Aguilera and Pitbull blares from iPod speakers and the QUIPsters start dancing.

Bailón says the organization's main goals of the day are recruiting, expanding its database of supporters, and promoting the drag show. "Here we are, trying to put a face to the undocumented struggle," he says.

By 6 p.m., the QUIPsters start to pack up. A Shakira song plays in the background.

Around 3.5 percent of people in the United States identify as LGBT. That number is the equivalent of 9 million people. Of those, at least 267,000 are undocumented immigrants. About 70 percent of them are Hispanic, according to UCLA's Williams Institute, a national think tank at UCLA Law School that focuses much of its research on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Jerssay Arredondo joined the organization last year as members prepared for the drag show. He was going to Scottsdale Community College as a dance major and helped choreograph the performance.

QUIP has helped him much more than he can put into words, he says. Arredondo came out to his parents during an organization's event that featured a panel discussion on the process of coming out twice. He has not looked back since.

"You always have to balance the two hats," he says. "Some spaces I can only be undocumented. Some spaces I can only be queer. We need to start infiltrating the spaces and we need to start talking about these issues."

Elicia Gonzales, the executive director of GALAEI, an organization in Philadelphia that focuses on Latino and queer issues and HIV prevention, says it's common for LGBT Hispanics to feel like they have a dual identity.

"Even though it's 2014 now, if I walk into a room full of LGBT people, I might be the only Latina there," she says. "Conversely, if I walk into a room of Latinos, I might be the only openly queer person there. Society doesn't necessarily recognize that a person is all of these things simultaneously, and you can't separate them out."

Almost 25 years after its foundation, GALAEI remains one of the only organizations that responds to the intersections of identity of gay Latinos.

Last year, the organization did a survey of 100 Latinos that resulted in a campaign called Positivo. The survey found that Latinos are far more affirming of people who are gay or HIV-positive than is popularly believed, Gonzales says.

"We're not saying [discrimination] doesn't exist in the Latino community, but by and large, Latinos are all about familia, and we found that people are way more accepting than it's being told," she says.


There is still, undeniably, a long way to go in order to achieve equality on both fronts. The QUIPsters are ready to try. With the overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act and 17 states, as of now, issuing same-sex marriage licenses, the fight seems to be on the right path.

QUIP's goals for the future include the passage of comprehensive immigration reform and legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act, which seeks to stop deportations in bi-national same-sex marriages.

In 2013, the U.S. Senate approved S 744, a bipartisan immigration reform bill that sought to establish the Registered Provisional Immigrant Program. Under this bill, DREAMers' path to citizenship would be accelerated, as they would be able to apply for lawful permanent residency after five years in the RPI Program, according to the Immigration Policy Center.

The bill, which in the House was renamed HB 15 and eliminated the border security amendment that called for militarization, seems to be on hold for the foreseeable future.

Bailón is not deterred. "We will continue fighting," he says. "We will pass immigration reform, and we will legalize same-sex marriage in the whole country."

Joseph Garcia, director of the Latino Public Policy Center at ASU's Morrison Institute for Public Policy, says the unconstitutionality of DOMA proved to be a huge step in the fight for immigration.

"The best part was that same-sex couples, from the immigration status, were looked upon as equal to straight couples," he said. "This changes a lot of different things."

Before this, Garcia says, bi-national same-sex couples were forced to rely on amnesty or the diversity lottery to remain in the United States. Now, just like with straight couples, if a spouse is a U.S. citizen, then he or she can sponsor the other spouse.

"It just goes to show how many issues immigration cuts across as a nation," he says. The support for the decision, a victory for both immigration and LGBT issues, can be explained by the average age of the Latino community.

"Traditionally, the Latino community has been very conservative, especially because of the church and the machismo," Garcia adds. "Older people were raised differently than younger people when it comes to these kind of issues. The Latino community is largely a young generation coming up. The average age of Latinos in Arizona is 26, whereas for non-Latino whites is 44."


It's almost Halloween, and Bailón's Phoenix neighborhood is eerily quiet. He lives with his parents in a small four-bedroom house.

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39 comments
robert_graham
robert_graham

He should be "coming out" in Mexico, not here! HE'S ILLEGAL!

donnied1
donnied1

Timely story! Great job...

saddayforaz
saddayforaz

I hope AZ loses the super bowl 2015 in Glendale,

IS Super bowl a BUSINESS?  are football players coming out of the closet?

Take the super bowl somewhere else, AZ is too small minded , too back words.

They will never be progressive .

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

What does he want? a medal? Oh just a free pass to citizenship and all the benefits he didn't earn.  Sale!

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

Who gives a rusty rat's ass?  Hard up for things to write about?  Pushing an agenda?


Fedra Poppen
Fedra Poppen

Just read the piece today, if you re going to make negative comments please go somewhere else, I just can't imagine the hardship of going through all this, as a parent and a Hispanic myself I was very touched with this story, it's ridiculous to think about deportation when this is his home country, he didn't choose to come here, very easy to turn your head the other way but it is harder when you put a face in the issue, I really hope there's a positive outcome for Dagoberto, I really wish him the best. Great article!

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

Does that mean we get to deport these losers twice? 

dkessler4
dkessler4

I am sick of the intolerance and hatred that is perpetrated in Arizona by religious causes anchored in our legislature.  It's time that we all got together and took care of the bullies on the playground...


Don't forget kiddies, you can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.  Vote democrat the first chance you get for a tolerant Arizona.  

mrh0202201091
mrh0202201091

WELL IF YOU WOULD GET OFF THE COMPUTER EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE AND GO TO WORK...THEIRE WOULD 'NT BE A NEED TOO FILL YOUR JOB NOW WOULD THEIR.

Da_Coach_K
Da_Coach_K

First, Mexico send us the illegals who take their checks and send them to Mexico.
Now, they send us their queers too.

Jim Thomas
Jim Thomas

only need to deport him once thow!!!

jerseypeer
jerseypeer

Thanks, and God Bless. I know some pretty awful hetros, why are they any better than the alternative lifers? Let everyone not hurt anyone, but maintain law and order, period!

jerseypeer
jerseypeer

There are a lot of sickos on this site. Its the ILLEGAL part that's the crime, dummies. What do you care what he does behind doors, sickos!

Eric Selin
Eric Selin

seriously? undocumented is enough for me, ship it home. "come out twice?" I'd settle for get out, once.

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

It must be a slow Week at M.C.S.O.

Kenny Benally
Kenny Benally

Kinda erks me that they're glorifying him coming into this country illegally.

Bubba8989
Bubba8989

"My name is Dagoberto Bailón, and today I choose to come out of the closet as an undocumented man and a gay man."

Turn the dogs loose.

Dan Mercado
Dan Mercado

His sexual orientation is irrelevant: come to this great country legally, or GTFO. Comprende?

DNichols
DNichols

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is probably frothing at the mouth over this article?

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

"... if you re going to make negative comments please go somewhere else..."    Golly Pop, in your bigoted world,  can people only make comments that YOU agree with?  

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

@dkessler4  In the meantime, kiddies, if you're feeling a little ashamed of the fact that your lawless parents smuggled you across the border  a good remedy for your woes would be to man up and return to home. That way NO ONE can accuse you of being an document-challenged euphemism! 

dkessler4
dkessler4

@mrh0202201091  You must have gone to school in Arizona.  You don't know where the caps lock is and you can't spell...

lisalisanoneya
lisalisanoneya

@mrh0202201091  Yep that is funny how they can take the spotlight off what they themselves are doing.And i thought freedom of the press in the constitution meant fair and balanced coverage. Not side with one segment of the community over the other.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@jerseypeer  everybody is entitled to their own lifestyle, as long as it doesnt hurt anyone. it may not be the lifestyle for me, but then again my lifestyle isnt what they prefer either. good for you for taking the high road

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

Big applause - now take your bow and go home!

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

A six-year old is not a six-year old forever.  Hopefully that child matures a little as the years go by and realizes that his parents broke the law to misappropriate a life in America that was meant for someone else - someone with ethics, skills and respect. 

mrh0202201091
mrh0202201091

@lisalisanoneya @coachwkr1   The Reality is. That many migrants are threatened to be killed if They do not comply with the demands of kidnappers.And unfortunately sometimes that means torture for them and there Familys.WHILE MANY HERE ARE LAUGHING AND THINKING THIS IS A GAME. IT is not a game to those that know the truth.

yourpoprock
yourpoprock

@dkessler4  And you can't spam repeatedly without looking as pathetic as you do dkessler...

dkessler4
dkessler4

@mrh0202201091  Anybody that wants to can stop the hatred and intolerance in the legislature in Arizona that characterizes mrh0202201091.  Get all the kids together and lets thump the bullies.


Remember you can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ. Vote democratic for a more tolerant Arizona where everyone including our legislature and the attorney general have to obey the law.

 
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