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Vida's Melissa Barrera on Being an LGBTQ Ally and Throwing a Queerceañera

Vida's Melissa Barrera on Being an LGBTQ Ally and Throwing a Queerceañera

Vida

The star of the upcoming In the Heights chats with The Advocate about how her character Lyn has always supported her queer sister. 

The final season of the game-changing series Vidapremiered in late April. Now Melissa Barrera, who plays the free-spirited Lyn, once referred to by her type-A sister, Emma, as a "full-on agent of chaos," weighs in on the show's influence on Latinx and queer pop culture moving forward and the importance of LGBTQ allies.

"I feel like Vida, in a lot of ways, took the experience [of being Latinx and/or LGBTQ] 10 steps further in authenticity and bravery because our show was doing things that no other show was doing and talking about things that no other show was talking about," Barrera tells The Advocate.

"I'm very proud because I see the influence of Vida in other shows that are coming out, and I feel like that's the whole point," she says. We passed the baton and there are more shows that are coming out. Hopefully, we get more, and we get this domino effect. That's what we want. We don't want to be one of five [shows with visibility for marginalized communities]. We want to be one of 50 or one of 100."

Barrera, whose career is about to blow up when In the Heights, the big-screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's first Broadway musical, directed by Crazy Rich Asians helmer John Chu, hits theaters later this year, also speaks about the world that creator Tanya Saracho built and the notion of family and found family. Although Lyn and Emma (Mishel Prada) were often at odds, approaching life from far-flung ends of the spectrum, there was never any question that Lyn, an exemplary LGBTQ ally, would fully support her queer sister. If that's not enough, Lyn throws her friend Marcos (Tonatiuh) the queerceanera of a lifetime this season!

"It's important to highlight [allies]," Barrera says. "I feel like that can get lost in a show and people just focus on the queer characters, but they don't focus on the allies. And that's just as important for the growth of a community and for the visibility. You need the people that support you. You need your champions. Lyn is a champion of Emma and of Marcos and of Eddy [her stepparent]. She's all-loving. She doesn't judge. She just wants other people to be happy."

Watch The Advocate's interview with Barrera below.

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