Photography by Ryan Pfluger at his home in Los Angeles on October 2, 2015.
After moving to Los Angeles this past spring, Jose Antonio Vargas did something he’d never done before. “I hung framed photographs of my big Filipino family — my mama, my siblings, my aunts and cousins — for the first time in my adult life,” he says. “People ask questions when they see photos, and [for a long time] I didn’t want to answer them.” Vargas, who released his MTV documentary White People this year, has been an advocate for immigration reform since penning an essay about it for The New York Times Magazine. But he believes no one benefits by treating civil rights issues in isolation from others. Says Vargas, “We cannot talk about LGBT rights without addressing the immigrant rights movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, women’s equality, and income inequality.”