“Quinceañerx”: A panel from Taller Puertorriqueño and GALAEI on the politicization of trans youth

By Andrew Kolba

On April 1, Taller Puertorriqueño, in collaboration with GALAEI and Gabriel Martínez, will present a discussion on the politicization of trans youth often seen in America today.

The event facilitating the conversation will be free with registration and will incorporate multiple qualified panelists.

Panelistas incluyen a Valentina Dejesus-Rosario, Camilo Álvårez, Gabriel Martinez, and Nasheli Juliana Ortiz González, Taller Puertorriqueño’s Executive Director.

Dejesus-Rosario is an activist who has advocated for the Queer Latinx community since a young teen and hopes to assist youth who are transitioning in life and in identity.


She is a trainer-educator who seeks to influence positive environments, and advocates for the decriminalization of sex work in Eastern PA.

The event’s title, Quinceañerx, comes from Gabriel Martínez and his repurposing of quinceañera dresses in the photographer-artist’s work.

Martínez’s Quinceañerx: Rethinking a tradition for the 21st Century is a project that asks the general public to rethink and expand their understanding of quinceañera traditions.

With a quinceañera being traditionally understood as a girl’s fifteenth birthday, a transition from childhood to adulthood, the panel will confront the complexities of the tradition.

The panel will discuss the conventions of the quinceañera to “expand our definition of this coming-of-age tradition as less about becoming an adult and rather becoming more of who one is, an affirmation of identity,” wrote Taller Puertorriqueño in a statement.

Martínez’s work is on display locally at Taller Puertorriqueño. His 2022 multidisciplinary piece, Paracaídas de Azabaches, is housed at Taller today

Connecting the talk to the experiences of trans youth, the panel will move the conversation towards the proliferation of anti-trans legislation that has sprung up in American political landscapes that often trivializes and politizes the experiences of trans youth.

“We want to explore femininity and masculinity in all forms and affirm non-binary, gender-fluid, and Trans experiences. Quinceañerx uses a queer lens to reimagine and update a familiar yet foreign tradition to many of us,” said Taller Puertorriqueño.

The panel discussion will run from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. on April 1. A dance party will follow from 7 – 10 p.m.

The event will be available to view on demand between April 1 – 9. Register for free here.

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