There are many different organizations and programs that support the Latino community in NC, including food, housing, mental health, immigration, education, and general interest programs. However, there are also needs that are specific to the LGBTQI Latinx community. These are reflected in the intersectional issues of inclusion, homophobia, transphobia, and gender discrimination. Unfortunately, there was no Latino organization in NC that covered and worked on these needs.
LILA LGBTQI INC. was born as a response to the needs of the LGBTQI Latinx community in North Carolina. Its beginnings date back to 2014 when Alex Cordova and Rev. David Mateo, along with a group of local leaders, visited LGBTQI organizations in Honduras. That experience motivated LGBTQI Latinx leaders to evaluate the relationships, use of resources, and effectiveness of the few programs that different Hispanic organizations offered to the LGBTQI Latinx community in North Carolina.
After several meetings analyzing strengths, challenges, and possibilities, LILA LGBTQI INC. was born on December 12, 2017, at the United Church of Chapel Hill, in the presence of Alex Cordova, Jose Alegria, Jose Ramirez, and Rev.Mateo. On that date the name LILA was adopted, as well as the objectives and scope of the organization. LILA LGBTQI INC. was incorporated as a non-profit organization by the Secretary of State of North Carolina, on January 6th, 2018.