Refuge in Visibility

by Fermín Mendoza, ’11

My name is Fermín and I am a queer, undocumented Stanford graduate surviving in a society hostile to my kind. I decided to start this vlog for several reasons. Above all, the death of Joaquín Luna, an undocumented high school student from Texas who committed suicide in late 2011, left me shaken and ultimately inspired me to start making videos. When I first was coming out to my family as queer, I gained strength and wisdom from other queer men’s vlogs on YouTube as they discussed their own struggles. I hope that this vlog will serve as a resource for other undocumented youth who do not have immediate access to supportive communities. I also hope to educate documented people about issues they may have never considered would come up for undocumented youth in our daily lives. Lastly, making these videos is a form of reclaiming my own dignity and existence in a society and media world that so often belittle and ignore both.

Watch Fermín’s latest video here:

In June of 2011, Fermín graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in public policy. He now lives with his parents in Houston, where he continues to explore ways to generate income despite his inability to work legally in the country. He plans to continue his immigrant and LGBT rights activism in the meantime. If you have ideas for how he can sustain himself financially or want to fund his advocacy efforts, you can reach him at fermin@alumni.stanford.edu.

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