Gay Vatos in Love

Album: Fire Away (2010)
  • This song is about a male couple from the streets of East Los Angeles. Some may be surprised that a group with no gay members would address same sex unions, but Ozomatli have a longstanding mission of peace and tolerance. Keyboardist Ulises Bella told Billboard Magazine: "That song is our declaration of how we feel about the issue. It's scandalous that we're still at a point in society where we even question whether they deserve the same rights."
  • In our interview with Ozomatli bass player Wil-Dog Abers, we asked him what kind of reaction they get to this song. He replied: "It's a mix. It depends on the community and what's going on. When we play it at our shows, I notice rainbow flags will come out. We just did Bonnaroo and saw a gay couple in the back stand arm-in-arm, sing the song, and bring out the pride flag. And then, in Spanish media, they're always asking about it and wanting to know who's gay in the band. And then there's the L.A. Latino community that's kind of mixed on it, you know, it depends on who it is. You'll see some guys in a band, more macho guys like, (makes growling noise), so a lot of people even laugh when we play it. Kind of like it's a joke or something. So people have different responses to that song. But it's really for the people, it's for gay people, really. And it's also for straight people, showing solidarity with the gay movement and being straight."

    Wil-Dog adds that a lack of acceptance of homosexuality is not isolated to the Latin community. "I think all communities have people that are okay with it, and people that are not okay with it," he said. "And that goes for every culture. I don't think there's a culture out there that's across-the-board okay with it. It's funny, because if this had been about race, I think people would be up in arms about it. Because if you really look at the movement of the gay/lesbian transsexual/bisexual rights movement, it kind of started with the Civil Rights movement here in this country. And it's way, way, way behind."

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