He’s Here, He’s Queer, He’s Undocumented. The “Forbidden” Story Of Moises Serrano

A new documentary profiles this gay DREAM-er from North Carolina.

Moises Serrano is gay, undocumented and unafraid.

You find that out pretty quickly in the new documentary Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America, premiering July 12 at Outfest in L.A.

Written and directed by Tiffany Rhynard, the film follows the 26-year-old activist as he travels through his home state of North Carolina, telling his story and advocating for the rights of undocumented immigrants like himself—specifically the right to attend college.

moises serrano
Living fearlessly is no small feat for an undocumented gay man in the age of HB2 and Donald Trump’s threat of a wall along the U.S./Mexico border. Still, Serrano has worked tirelessly since 2010 to highlight the intersectionality of issues facing young people like himself.

“Imagine living in a world where every single part of your identity is constantly under attack,” Serrano wrote in The Advocate.


The child of Mexican immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally when he was just 2, Serrano has described feeling rejected by his religious immigrant community for his sexuality and ignored by the LGBT community in the South for his undocumented status.

“We have to come out of two closets,” he says. “Imagine having to come out to your friends at school as undocumented, but also having to come out to your friends as gay.”

With the release of Forbidden, Serrano hopes to challenge the current narrative around immigration, especially in the South, and to draw attention to the struggle of LGBT DREAM-ers.

“The DREAM Act came five votes short of breaking the Republican-led filibuster,” he says in the film. “Just to know that five people can dictate the lives of 2.1 million undocumented youth is humbling. That makes me feel so small and so unwanted and so disposable.”

John Russell is a New York-based entertainment and lifestyle journalist. He has been called “the Courtney Love throwing Chanel compacts at Madonna and Kurt Loder” of his generation.