Undocumented, queer characters in ‘Undocumented Tales’ web series are multidimensional

UPDATED: “Undocumented Tales” will be screened 4 p.m. Sunday at the Orange County LGBT Center in Santa Ana.

PARAMOUNT — Armando Ibanez says his independent web series “Undocumented Tales” gives a multidimensional view of people who are undocumented and queer, a point of view Hollywood has failed to show.

“So often Hollywood just shows us crying and struggling,” said Ibanez, 35, of Paramount, who writes and directs the series. “What I love about ‘Undocumented Tales’ is that despite all the struggles, we show undocumented queer people laughing and celebrating their existence.

We keep existing even though we have so many barriers and limitations in our way,” he said.


“Undocumented Tales,” which can be seen on Youtube, chronicles the life of Fernando, who works as a waiter and navigates Los Angeles as an undocumented gay man pursuing happiness and freedom. Ibanez, who stars as Fernando, says the series is semi-autobiographical and based on real-life events.

Armando Ibanez holds a copy of a script for “Three Course Meal,” which eventually was renamed “Undocumented Tales.” Ibanez is writer-director of the web series, which follows Fernando, who works as a waiter and navigates Los Angeles as an undocumented gay man pursuing happiness and freedom. Photo: Armando Ibanez.


Fernando not only hides his true identity from the outside world, but also his family, who don’t know he’s gay.

Season one debuted last year with two episodes. Season two, which will premiere Monday, includes six episodes.

Ibanez will host a free, season two sneak preview Saturday at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s The Village at Ed Gould Plaza.


In season two, Fernando continues his search for work, home, friendship, and love.

“Fernando will be paving his way to find his identity as an undocumented queer person living in this county,” Ibanez said. “He will be meeting new people that will make him realize that hiding and living a lie is not the right way to happiness.”


About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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