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CompañerosLatino Activists in the Face of AIDS$
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Jesus Ramirez-Valles

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036446

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036446.001.0001

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Finding Compañeros

Finding Compañeros

(p.138) Chapter Seven Finding Compañeros

Jesus Ramirez-Valles

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes the changes brought about by community involvement. Community involvement works as an epiphany for Latino GBT activists. It is a process whereby the “old self” is transformed into a new and different self. Indeed, the organizations these Latinos belong to—as well as the larger AIDS and gay movements—shape the personal changes activists undergo. The group provides them with information, a set of meanings, and a direction to change their lives. The group also helps them to reinterpret old and new behaviors and to build an identity based on the group culture. The process of change is thus set up and made possible through the acquisition of a new set of meanings and acts. These newly gained elements are not individual. Rather, they are created and shared by compañeros in a group or organization.

Keywords:   community involvement, Latino GBT activists, AIDS movement, gay movement, group culture

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