LGBT Mariachi performed at Long Beach Gay Pride 2019

arcoiris mariachi

The world’s first and only LGBTQ Mariachi band brings Mexican music and folklore to Southern California. This group called Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angele unique ensemble was created as a safe haven for mariachi musicians who identify as LGBTQ to come together and perform traditional Mexican regional music in an otherwise “machista” and somewhat discriminating subculture of the mariachi world. Arcoiris means “rainbow” in Spanish, a fitting name to represent both the diversity of its members and its admirers. Together with their rainbow-colored moños and the name “Arcoiris” on their belts, the musicians are not only putting on a classical performance honoring Mexican traditions, but also representing the LGBTQ community in a setting traditionally populated by straight men. The band performed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 2019 at the Hotel Maya. 

Mariachi is a dynamic ensemble representing the traditions of a rich culture born in the Mexican state of Jalisco where Puerto Vallarta is located. Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles prides itself in providing its public with the utmost professionalism and musicianship. Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles performs its repertoire to suit the LGBTQ community while it maintains the highest level of musicality. Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles is proud to have the first transgender female, Natalia Melendez, in the history of mariachi as one of its members. Natalia has been featured in a two-part special for Univision news, which depicts her life and struggles as a transgender woman in the mariachi world. As a result of this two-part special, in its short existence, Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles has been invited to perform for 3 different morning news shows on Univision, which includes the “Lanzate” program. During each one of these presentations, the mariachi was highlighted because of its special nature in representing the LGBTQ community. Due to the history that Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles is making, a recorded interview from NPR of this ground-breaking ensemble has been archived in the U.S. Library of Congress.



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