I am a Colombian-American immigrant who grew up in the sunny paradise of Miami, Fla. I stayed close to home for college, studying and growing at the University of Miami (Go Canes!), where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with minors in Economics and Spanish. During my college years, I found friends and community that walked with me on the path to understanding my faith and sexuality. Being a gay Hispanic immigrant with an evangelical faith background has afforded me a lot of experiential knowledge on the intersections of marginalized groups. I believe in the power of stories, and how they can help us understand our neighbor and better advocate for those our white, cis-heteropatriarchal, capitalist society leaves behind. 

I was a part of Sojourners' 33rd intern class (2016-2017), living in Washington, D.C., and working as the circulation assistant. Working for one of the leading faith publications in the country helped me hone in my writing skills as well as taught me the value of religion reporting. During this time, I joined a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Columbia Heights, where I experienced community through liberal religion. I am thankful for the home I have found in inclusive, non-dogmatic spirituality. 

I currently reside in Boston, Mass., where I'm taking some time off school, working as an administrative assistant for King's Chapel, a historic Unitarian Christian church in downtown Boston and behind the bar at a locally-famous craft brewery. When I’m not working, I love to keep up with Miami Hurricanes football, bike around Boston, and get sucked into a good book. 

Posts By This Author

I'm From a 'Shithole' Country. Here's What I Wish Americans Knew

by David Beltrán 01-12-2018

Times have also changed for my country of birth. Last year, the Colombian armed conflict with the guerrillas officially ended with the signing of a historic peace agreement overseen by the UN. The economy is booming. The Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, won the Nobel Peace prize last year for his tireless efforts for the peace process — the first Colombian citizen to win the award.

Maybe Trump could take some advice from “shithole countries.”

One Year Later: The Pulse of Orlando

by David Beltrán 06-12-2017

Visitors sign a wall outside Pulse Nightclub on the one year anniversary of the shooting in Orlando, Fla. Image via Reuters/Scott Audette.

Rosado was one of the first people to be called the morning of June 12. The body count from the Pulse nightclub shooting was still unconfirmed, but as names started to be released, it was clear that most of the victims were Latinx, particularly of Puerto Rican descent. Many of their families only spoke rudimentary English, a secondary tongue not suitable to communicate the nuance of such tragic news. Rosado remembers how most of the hospital staff did not speak Spanish, and consistently mispronounced the Hispanic names of the victims.

‘Despacito’ and the Whitewashing of Latinx Culture

by David Beltrán 05-26-2017

Screenshot from "Despacito"/YouTube

Why did it take clichéd pop verses in English — lyrics that could be copy-and-pasted to any Bieber song and wouldn’t feel out of place — and some mediocre Spanish singing for “Despacito" to get its due?

I Went to Conversion Therapy. It’s Hurting the Body of Christ

by David Beltrán 05-08-2017

Today, I have found freedom and hope — not by becoming straight, but by embracing my queer sexuality and coming out of the closet. New research on the science of sexual orientation as well as personal stories of well-adjusted and happy LGBTQ people helped me reject the religious system that told me there was something wrong with me because I was gay. Recently, the word “survivor” has felt as an appropriate label for myself in relation to reparative therapy, and I am so thankful to be in a much more welcoming environment today. But I cannot ignore the fact that many people today, including a lot of children and adolescents, are still being subjected the psychological torture that is conversion therapy.

My Perspective of América Died on Nov. 9

by David Beltrán 11-23-2016

Image via JP Keenan/Sojourners

This idyllic immigrant story, that has become cliché in conversations of the “good” immigrant, shattered two weeks ago. I woke up to the fact that white America does not care about the well-being of my community. I woke up to the stench of white supremacy, which tells me that I will never be good enough to be fully American. I woke up in tears, because my dear friends who are undocumented immigrants, by no fault of their own, will suffer immensely under a Trump administration. I woke up longing to speak Spanish, to eat a whole Bandeja Paisa, and to feel what home feels like. I finally awoke to the reality that my brown body is a roadblock in white people’s project of making America great again.

Cárcel Privada and Me: A Personal Look at Private Immigrant Detention Centers

by David Beltrán 09-01-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

On Aug. 29, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced that his department (which includes ICE) would also review the contracts of private companies contracted in its detention facilities. He cited the DOJ’s recent decision as a contributing factor to this investigation. We can only hope that their review will discover the inefficacies of private detention centers and prioritize the treatment of immigrants in their facilities.

Private prisons place profits over people, and I call on the DHS to end this inhumane practice, so that stories like my uncles do not repeat themselves.