January 18, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Creating Unity Through Vulnerability with gAYGUTs

By Melanie Camp

As a child growing up in Manhattan, Los Angeles based performer, Enrique Jesus Hernandez, called 911 more times than he can remember. “My mom was essentially a single mom, and unfortunately in her relationships, there was a lot of violence,” he said.

Countless trips with his mother to the E.R. and an incessant cycle of abuse left young Hernandez numb. Only as an adult, and away from the violence, was the artist able to begin healing childhood traumas and he used music as the tool.

Los Angeles based singer, Enrique Jesus Hernandez, uses music to heal trauma. Hair and makeup: Aaron Barry. Photo by: Mick Mode.

Through his E.P. Hunger City, Hernandez wanted to send a message of hope to others experiencing similar suffering. Inspired to do more through performance, after the release Hernandez created gAYGUTs a monthly event at Boardners in Hollywood where healing happens through performance and art, and anyone Queer in Los Angeles can experience community.

In his song The Base Hernandez sings, “there’s a base in my brain I stand there stunned, and my bones remain encased.” He said this explains the “shutdown element” that is the only way a child can escape a situation where they are trapped, powerless while a parent suffers domestic abuse.

“The overwhelming state of my circumstance would just numb me, and I’d go to this place in my brain where I was in some type of case…That’s where I’d go so that time would go by and if time went by then the sun would come up, and if the sun came up it was time for school, and if it was time for school I’m out of the house. Time was always on my side; if I could just hold onto this, thank God time continues to move forward without me having to do anything with it,” said Hernandez of being a small boy enduring the attacks upon his mother.

In other lines of the song, Hernandez sings that the walls keep giving him their backs. Explaining that the barriers a victim builds for protection can ultimately block outside help. “This cycle of trying to protect oneself but then also preventing resources to come in results in this paralyzing hopelessness,” he said.

As a child, to save his mother, Hernandez called 911 more times than he can remember. Hair and makeup: Aaron Barry. Photo by: Fausto Renteria.

The feeling of hopeless a victim suffers is something Hernandez wants to help eliminate in those listening to his music. “I want them to hear this and think if this piece of music exists in the world, then it means that it has happened with someone else which means that ‘I’m not the only one’ which means that there might be hope,” he said.

The gAYGUTs live show, held once a month at Boardners in Hollywood, is an extension of this concept. The idea that no one should feel isolated suffering through any situation in which they find themselves alone. Unity Through Vulnerability is the gAYGUTs mantra.

Entertainment for the evening varies from pop to rap, spoken word to any manner of performance art. What unites the night is that it is a safe place for Queer artists to spill their “guts” something Hernandez hopes leads to having “really truthful expressions of Queer Artists be normalized.”

Once a month gAYGUTs happens at Boarders in Hollywood at 1652 N Cherokee Ave, Los Angeles. Follow @_gAYGUTS_ on Instagram for show dates.

Enrique Jesus Hernandez will be performing Hunger City at Long Beach Pride on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19.

On Monday, May 13, gAYGUTs is teaming up with Queer Mondays Long Beach for a  pre-Pride show.

Listen as Hernandez shares his story in an exclusive Beautiful Hollywood X gAYGUTs podcast here

Related Posts

WeHo Dodgeball at the Sin City Classic LGBTQ+ Sports Festival

January 17, 2020

January 17, 2020

Hosted annually by The Greater Los Angeles Softball Association (GLASA), Sin City Classic brings together the United State’s finest athletes for a...

LONG BEACH PRIDE Unveils New Logo, Drops “Lesbian & Gay” From Name

January 16, 2020

January 16, 2020

Formerly known as  the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride, the new and improved Long Beach Pride – the organization...

VIDEO: Grand Opening of Los Angeles LGBT Center’s New Campus in South LA

January 15, 2020

January 15, 2020

‘Center South’ will provide HIV testing; access to PrEP and PEP services; housing case management; mental health services; a computer lab; and...

Sin City Classic Sports Festival has Los Angeles Roots

January 14, 2020

January 14, 2020

For those who cannot wait every two years for an iteration of the Olympics, or every four years for Gay...

LA’s Only Known Trans Nightlife Event Just Got A Little More Fierce

January 13, 2020

January 13, 2020

Heavenly Bodies is Los Angeles’ only known monthly transgender nightlife event featuring live performances hosted by trans model and activist, Sasha Colby.  Proceeds...

Craigslist Man Extorts Angelinos, Santa Monicans with Gay Sex, Pleads Guilty

January 10, 2020

January 10, 2020

Tyler Buchanan faces 10 years in federal prison By Sam Catanzaro A man has pleaded guilty to using Craigslist, among...

Honoring Timothy Dean One Year Later

January 8, 2020

January 8, 2020

An intimate gathering was held Tuesday, Jan. 7 at West Hollywood Park to honor the 1-year anniversary of 55-year-old fashion...

LGBTQ+ Ally Taylor Swift to Receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award

January 7, 2020

January 7, 2020

GLAAD announced Tuesday, Jan. 7 that Taylor Swift with receive the Vanguard Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards. ...

Three CA Bills for the LGBTQ+ Community to Keep An Eye On

January 6, 2020

January 6, 2020

Three key pieces of California legislation that were tabled last year for various reasons will see the floor in 2020. ...

LGBT Icon, Talkshow Host Ellen DeGeneres Wins Award at 77th Annual Golden Globes

January 5, 2020

January 5, 2020

The 77th annual Golden Globes is looking a little bit more LGBTQ-inclusive, and talkshow host and LGBTQ+ icon Ellen DeGeneres’...

City of WeHo to Host Clothing Drive for LGBTQ Youth

January 4, 2020

January 4, 2020

The City of West Hollywood will host its eighth annual clothing drive for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Youth Services...

PLAY PREVIEW: A Queer Tribute to Frida Kahlo

January 3, 2020

January 3, 2020

Frida Kahlo was born July 6, 1907 and died July 13, 1954. Her death certificate alleges cause of death as “pulmonary...

2020 Golden Globes Nominations Gayer Than Ever

January 2, 2020

January 2, 2020

Awards season is just around the corner, and the LGBTQ+ representation is bigger and better than ever before. The 77th...

Slow But Steady Increase of LGBTQ+ Representation on TV This Year

December 30, 2019

December 30, 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, we begin to reflect. How far has queen representation progressed this year? We saw...

Q&A: Celebrating ‘Gelty Pleasures’ for Hanukkah with JQ International

December 28, 2019

December 28, 2019

In honor of Hanukkah, the Pride LA spoke with Anna Goodman from JQ International about its recent “Gelty Pleasures” holiday...