Leo Herrera is a Mexican writer, activist and filmmaker. His work focuses on the American Queer experience. His films and writings explore LGBTQ culture, politics and history, paying homage to our past and educating a younger generation.
Leo is the director of Fathers, a sci-fi documentary and multimedia project which imagines the AIDS pandemic never existed. Fathers weaves real-life events, survivor histories and fiction, creating a surreal vision of an alternative universe (streaming now at iftheylived.org).
Leo’s viral “essay memes” explore Queerness, race and disease: Instagram @herreraimages.
A Bumpy Ride podcast on the Monkeypox outbreak in Berlin. Bumpy Ride got the attention of the White House Monkeypox Taskforce and Leo was invited to a monthly workshop tackling the next phase of the outbreak.
Leo’s work in GLBT History includes films like viral hits The Fortune Teller: 50 Years of Gay History in 5 minutes, 3 Eras of Gay Sex and the History Is Resistance film campaign with the GLBT Historical Society. His piece, My Name is Harvey Milk, showed images of the suit Harvey Milk was assassinated in was an early viral film.
A large portion of Leo’s work focuses on HIV education and combating HIV stigma. Leo was an early poster boy of the PrEP movement, featured in the first national news story on PrEP for New York Magazine, as well as the GLAAD Media award-winning Vice documentary.
Leo also lent his filmmaking to the founding of The Sero Project with Act Up activist Sean Strub, combating HIV Criminalization. Leo’s short documentaries have been shown in global AIDS conferences.
Leo’s film collaboration with Jordan Eagles on the Blood Mirror Project and BloodEquality.com brought attention to the FDA’s ban on blood from men who have sex with men, and the accompanying film were exhibited in American University Museum, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute among others.
Leo’s projection visuals and promotional videos have become a staple at the country’s largest nightlife events and benefits and seen by tens of thousands of revelers. Clients include Lady Fag Events, Pines Party, Black Party, Folsom Events, SF Pride, New Orleans Pride and Provincetown Tourism Board.
In 2016, Leo combined his passion for politics, fundraising and nightlife to be the campaign manager to successfully elect progressive gay candidate Tom Temprano for College Board, as well as an aide in progressive candidates campaigning for supervisor in San Francisco.
What if AIDS never happened? Who would we be? A sci-fi documentary web series that imagines the world if a generation lived. Episode One is now playing at iftheylived.org
A Bumpy Ride Podcast (2022)
Reporting from Europe on the global Monkeypox outbreak, and its impact on the Queer culture. A Bumpy Ride got the attention of The Whitehouse Monkeypox Task force and Leo was invited to attend monthly workshops on the next phase of the outbreak.
Blood Mirror Part 1 & 2 2015/2016
Blood Mirror documented Jordan Eagle’s sculpture created from the blood of men in protest of the FDA’s ban on gay blood donations. The film was part of Blood Equality’s national campaign and exhibited at American History Museum, Trinity Church, the Highline, The Hammer Museum.
A 3 minute tour of gay fetish throughout the 1950’s, 70’s, and 2010’s. Filmed in historical locations in NYC and San Francisco.
50 Years of Gay Culture in 5 Minutes, became a Pride month viral sensation through social media.
PrEP Advocacy 2014/15
As one of the first young voices advocating for PrEP use, Leo Herrera was featured in New York Magazine’s cover story “Forgetting HIV:Sex Without Fear” by Tim Murphy, as well as the GLAAD Media Award Winning “The Truvada Generation” directed by Eric Leven released by Vice News.
HIV Is Not A Crime 2012
Leo Herrera’s short documentaries on HIV Criminalization became a crucial tool in spreading awareness through Sean Strub’s The Sero Project. The films were released online and through presentations including the UNAIDS Conference.
Harvey Milk’s Suit 2013
Documenting the suit that Harvey Milk was assassinated in along with his recorded political will. Image and film used for the 20th Anniversary of International GLBT Historical Society in 2004. Images released in 2004, Film premiered in 2007 at Mix Film Festival in NYC, and re-released in 2013 for Harvey’s Birthday and featured on Logo’s NewNowNext blog.
Acting as campaign manager, Leo Herrera ran the city-wide campaign to elect GLBT Activist Tom Temprano to College Board of Trustees in San Francisco, which was successful in rallying the cities nightlife and queer political community and broke fundraising records through fundraising events and private donors, raising over $50K.