butch realness

Roberta Colindrez is a queer butch Latina in a league of her own

It’s official: Mexican-American actor Roberta Colindrez is in a league of her own –giving audiences the queer, butch and Latina representation they so clearly need, while also refusing to be put into a box.

With more than 30 credits to her name, the openly gay and Latina actor has been making waves on TV and Broadway for well over a decade.

In 2015, she played the role of Joan in the Tony-award winning show, Fun Home, which broke ground for being the first mainstream Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist.

Most recently, she starred in Amazon Prime’s A League of Their Own, inspired by the 1992 film of the same name, and centering on the 1940s All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). In League, Colindrez portrays pitcher Lupe García, a character she ultimately hopes allows others like her to feel seen.

“I want people to see themselves more,” Colindrez shared with the Texas Observer when asked what she hopes audiences take away from the show. “As a girl watching (the movie version of A League of Their Own) growing up, I loved sports, but I didn’t necessarily even consider that there weren’t Latin women on screen. I hope that people can see themselves. I hope that it creates a greater curiosity for the moments in history that we haven’t fully explored.” 

She also starred in Vida, which has been praised as one of the first television series to depict butch queer characters. 

But as much as Colindrez loves to shine a light on the queer Latin experience through her work, she doesn’t necessarily want to be defined by it.

“I do play gay Latinas because I present as gay and Latina. And I think that a lot of times, definitions are very much more visual for people than they are anything else,” she told PopSugar. “What’s important about playing gay Latinas is to find things about them that are much more specific… Otherwise, those two definitions could easily be a trap.” 

After all, it’s these definitions that often do more harm than good. In the same interview with PopSugar, Colindrez recalled a story where, shortly after moving to the U.S. and getting ready for her school, her mother warned her, “Your last name ends in Z — watch out.” 

“It’s really vile to have definitions placed on people and to expect them never to break free from those or to even want to break free,” she told the pub of the remark.

And while she says being gay and Latina are parts of her identity she’s proud to represent, she one day would like to live in a world where that’s not the only thing her characters are known for.

“I cannot wait for the day that I get a breakdown for a character that describes a whole life, and a whole trajectory, and a whole set of passions and unique characteristics,” she said. “And then when I’m on set getting the script, I realize, ‘Oh, this character is gay, that’s cool.'”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! We love Colindrez for continuing to speak her mind, and live her truth. Whether serving butch realness in all the best ways, or pushing for more nuance when it comes to how the Latin community is portrayed on screen – Colindrez is continuously hitting a home run in our hearts. Welcome to the Pride50, Roberta!

Pride50Welcome to Queerty’s Pride50. We’re celebrating the members from our community who are responsible for some of the most inspiring and extraordinary moments for LGBTQ people over the last year. See all the honorees