The Puerto Rican Arts Alliance joins the nation and the world in commemorating 50 Years of Stonewall with the exhibition La Primera Parada (The First Parade). The Stonewall events marked a turning point in Americans society and in this exhibit we explore its impact in Chicago’s communities of color. La Primera Parada conveys the idea that we all have a defining ‘Stonewall Moment’ in our journeys of self-identification when we say “No More Silence” proudly walking in revelation of who we are and what we stand for.
La Primera Parada recounts the events and anecdotes of the first group of gay and lesbian folks who demanded a spot in their community and walked proudly in courageous Stonewall moments at the Bud Billiken, Mexican, and Puerto Rican Parades. With this exhibit we celebrate the first Chicago queer people, Trans women, the drag queens, the boys, the dykes, and people of color who fought back and out of the closet to proudly say ‘I’m Black, I’m Chicano, I’m Boricua, I’m queer and I am walking in my parade’.
Héctor Rafael deconstructs the human body and plays with perception of the male and female form as a way of redefining masculinity and femininity. Transmutación Colectiva (Collective Transmutation) explores how our views of gender are changing. This exhibit focuses on the male figure, questioning virility as a social construct and confronting the spectator with suggestive compositions. Héctor Rafael’s paintings promote equity and function as an invitation to harmonious coexistence. His images of luminous forms seek to delight us, and echo the uncontainable energy that revives, unifies, and transforms existence.