Gabby Rivera didn’t have to look far for heroes when growing up. “Who needs superheroes when you’re surrounded by Puerto Rican women from the Bronx?” she says in a TED Talk that debuted online yesterday (November 29). It’s a good thing, considering her work: Rivera is the author of “America,” an acclaimed solo series on America Chavez—Marvel’s first Latina LGBTQ superhero.
In the talk, Rivera breaks down how she built her experience of growing up queer and Latinx into her work, which embraces a vulnerability that media rarely affords to women of color or superheroes.
“That myth of having to go it alone, and having to be tough, doesn’t serve us,” Rivera attests. “America Chavez is a whole superhero, and she still needed a team of support to find herself. And she needed that gentleness, that type of gentleness that is rooted in compassion, and still very much invested in justice and liberation. Because it’s that space, where softness and vulnerability need strength, that we transcend our everyday selves, that we become something greater, something majestic—maybe even something super.”
Watch the talk above.