Daniel Hernandez

Meet Your Arizona Superhero: Gabrielle Giffords’ Gay Latino Intern

KICKASS!Most modern-day interns spend a lot of time listening to hip-hop music on their iPods and refusing to perform any tasks that require actual intellectual or (gasp!) physical effort. How startling, then, that during Saturday’s awful massacre in Tuscon, one of these entitled Mileybots conclusively proved himself to be the Awesomest Intern In The History Of Ever. And in addition to being a brown, he is a gay.

This University of Arizona junior, Daniel Hernandez, was only five days into his internship in the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) when Jared Lee Loughner allegedly opened fire at Giffords’ “Congress On Your Corner” meet-and-greet at a Tucson Safeway. The kid ran TOWARD the gunshots. Here’s one account of wha happa next:

Hernandez, a member of the City of Tucson Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, applied pressure to Giffords’ entry wound to stop her bleeding after checking the life signs of other victims of the shooting in Tuscon, according to the Arizona Republic.

“First the neck, then the wrist,” he told the Republic. “I don’t even know if the gunfire had stopped.”

Hernandez said he made sure Giffords breathed property by holding her head in his lap before he taught a bystander how to use the same technique on the wounds of his boss, Ron Barber.

This big brown baby bear lives in a state ruled by a bloodstained harpie who stole domestic partner coverage for state workers with same-sex partners, essentially signing a death warrant for uninsured partners with life-threatening illnesses. He lives in a country where he is surrounded on all sides by people who hate his skin color, his genetic profile, his natural human desires, and the inner workings of what we, for lack of a better word, call a heart or a soul.

You can imagine a kid like this in high school — smart, gay (though maybe closeted at the time), interested in politics, maybe a bit of a nerd. You think nobody ever called him a fag behind his back? You think nobody ever called him a fag to his face? You think that as popular and likable as he may have been, he didn’t know in the core of his being that someone, somewhere was always quietly judging him and boys like him as perverted, evil, an abomination?

On Saturday, this “fag” did something bigger and better than any of the cowards who hate him and people like him have ever done or will ever do. We as Americans spend a lot of time fawning over people who signed up for a paying job that requires one to kill others and to risk being killed, all while clad in a uniform. We give them shiny medals and weep over their service when the truth is that they were just doing what their job required. True heroes risk their lives not because their contract requires it of them, but because their heart demands it of them.

Now read what the kid told his school newspaper today:

“I don’t think I’m a hero. I think doing something one off is not something heroic,” Hernandez said. “I think the heroes are people like Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Ron Barber, Dave Zimmerman, and Pam Simon. They are people who have dedicated their lives to public service so for them it wasn’t just a one time thing, it’s spending their entire lives trying to help others.”

If this kid doesn’t earn an automatic A+ in his internship course, there is no justice in this world.

Go ahead and tell him that you love him, maybe, over at this Facebook fan page. You did it for Rihanna and Drake, so you have no excuse not to do it for Daniel.

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About the author

Sara Benincasa is an award-winning comedian, writer and radio talk show host. Her outspoken, sexually-charged comedy has won praise from the Chicago Tribune, CNN, The Guardian, and The New York Times, and has earned her an ECNY (Emerging Comedian of New York) Award and a Webby nomination. Her memoir, "Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom," (William Morrow/HarperCollins), was based on her critically acclaimed solo show about panic attacks and agoraphobia. She is currently working on a novel for young adults.

View all articles by Sara Benincasa

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154 comments

  1. Crank_Tango

    Most modern-day interns spend a lot of time listening to hip-hop music on their iPods and refusing to perform any tasks that require actual intellectual or (gasp!) physical effort.

    Is that a shot at Riley?

    1. Dashboard_Jesus

      as a not-too-proud U of A alum myself (class of '83, barely) I must say how very proud I am of this fine young man, running TOWARD the gunshots to help save Gabby…and he is a humble and reluctant hero at that, I want to have his illegal gay terror anchor baby! (too bad Napolitano had to satisfy her ego to be head of 'der Fatherland Security' and thus leaving the state in the hands of the evil Brewer, Jan HAD to know that no good would come from this…but I digress)

      "I think it's a little strange to be calling me a hero, because the things that I did was a one-off," Hernandez said on CBS's "The Early Show" on Monday. "However, the real heroes are people like Congresswoman Giffords, who have dedicated their lives to public service and helping others."

  2. OC_Surf_Serf

    Once again: White Folks depending on the brown-skinned for help.

    (still tough for snark regarding all this…hats off to Daniel)

  3. MistaEko

    Daniel has earned the Bill Adama Memorial "Latinos Proving Humanity is Still Worth Saving" Award.

  4. Texan_Bulldog

    Gay and brown…and a hero to boot. Repub heads must be exploding trying to figure out if they should ask for his papers or just avoid him because of his gay cooties.

  5. Serolf_Divad

    Nice: a gay Mexican…. only if he were also Moslem would he more fully embody eveything that the Teabaggers despise about present day America.

    Mark my words teabaggers: the future belongs to brave, gay, Mexican, moslem interns with a rudimentary understanding of basic first aid techniques.

  6. MarshallBanana

    Now wait until idiot reichwingers say he was actually trying to push her INTO the path of the bullet and is just covering his tracks now.

    Damn it, these people just do it to me. My hatred is over 9,000 today. I saw some bloviating moron on Facebook try to equate an old DNC map that used archery targets with the SarahPAC gunsights map. Another brain-damaged nitwit claimed that every gunman in the history of the world has been a liberal. And that it, I've had it, I really do just want to shoot them all. And if nothing else this shows how rhetoric goes a long way toward making people unhinged, because my hinges are starting to fall off.

    1. BlueStateLibel

      How 'bout a joint to calm you down (oops). But anyway, the Repugnants are on the run, and they know it, that's why Saruh immediately took down her target map.

      There are still enough half-way reasonable people who are repulsed by all their "lock and load" rhetoric and see the connection with this tragedy. I'd avoid the nuts on Facebook–leave it to to the FBI and Secret Service to sort them out.

  7. Tommmcatt

    I'm on my way over to the fan page now…you know that the reighttards are gonna be over there too, so we should represent.

    1. Negropolis

      She, like, totally threw herself in harms way in that one dance, right? Now she knows how it felt to storm the beaches of Normandy.

  8. LionelHutzEsq

    So, basically, a gay, latino (i.e. illegal) intern saved a liberal who imposed Socialism on this country.

    In the end, isn't this everything that Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs have been warning us about for years? There was once a time that congressmen were happy with their white, male interns, but no more. Now they are probably going to have to shower with this guy, which takes all of the fun out of it if you know he is willing.

  9. x111e7thst

    If this kid doesn’t earn an automatic A+ in his internship course, and get laid every fucking night this month there is no justice in this world.

    1. CalamityJames

      I'm straight, but will happily participate in teh buttsechs for this Patriot. Who's got the KY?

  10. dizzeeboy

    Holy sheet, my pee jumped from 2 to 54 in under a minute. At this rate, how can I realize my dream of becoming the next metamarcisf ??

    1. natoslug

      My pee is sort of purple, but that's just because of the beet, walnut and chevre panini I had last night.

        1. natoslug

          That could explain why I often get mistaken for the King of England. And now I have to follow you for your username. I used to love all the stories of marmots in Spokane, climbing under peoples' cars and chewing through the various hoses. Destructive little anarchists, those things.

  11. imissopus

    Hey, Benjamin Frisch reads shit like RedState and BigGovernment regularly. That almost counts as bravely standing in the face of horrific trauma.

  12. Progressiveinga

    Everybody knows that all superheroes are gay. Wearing tights, covering up your nighttime identity, changing clothes in weird places, etc. Nevertheless, GO Daniel! Big, brave, handsome, latino Intern Man. Me gusta!

  13. PublicLuxury

    How can some hate a person just because of what happens in a bedroom? How perverted do you have to be to 'imagine' how other people are having secks?

      1. horsedreamer_1

        There is nothing old-fashioned about my state's greatest export, Paul Little a/k/a Max Hardcore.

  14. baconzgood

    Gay? Latino? Anchor baby? Oh well Right wing noise makers…This one is a hard one to take the glean off of. All the news will just call him "the brave intern" or somthing like that. Right now Pat Robertson is being told by his producer "No Pat, just shut the eff up on this one".

  15. Come here a minute

    Every internship, at one point or another, requires holding your boss's brain together.

  16. OkieDokieDog

    Gay Latino Democrat Hero + white shooter domestic terrorist = take that Teaparty/GOP/ChristianConservatives and shove yourselves up your stupid asses.

    1. SheriffRoscoe

      white STRAIGHT shooter domestic terrorist

      My broad brush is even broader than your'n.
      [/fixed]

  17. BeWoot

    Speaking of heroes … La Benincasa working on a Monday! I am so inspired I'm gonna do some work right now.

    1. prommie

      I'm thinking about it, too, but, I'm not really sure I am up to it. Plenty of time to get my work done Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        Yeah, I been out for two weeks, first on vacation, last at home nursing bruised ribs, this is my first day back at the office and I don't want to strain something by leaping right back into the whole "work" thing. Plus despite the effectiveness of the percocets, the ribs still hurt.

  18. weejee

    Maybe as a tribute to Daniel Hernandez and the other heroes and heroines of this tragedy we should push our electeds to bring back the FCC *Fairness Doctrine.* When the Fairness Doctrine was killed in the the 90s Rush and the rest got a serious boost in expanding their 24/7 rants. Let's look at bringing back rebuttal time. It's a FAIR and BALANCED thing to do.

  19. Sophist FCD

    Pfft, just another anchor hero stealing one of our unpaid internships. That should have been a deserving white student getting shot at.

  20. Schmannnity

    Huzzah for Hernandez. On another note, how does a Democrat with a gay Latin intern get elected in Arizona?

    1. guangho

      By running in Tucson which along with Bisbee and Flagstaff (and possibly Yuma) make up the civilized part of Arizona.

      And she is Arizona's first Jewish female representative btw.

    2. Winnie_Cooper

      Jim Kolbe used to represent that area, and he's gayer than springtime. Still an old white Methodist guy, though.

      1. ChessieNefercat

        South Pacific, right?
        Younger than springtime, gayer than laughter, etc.
        Good song about bigotry also, as I recall (They Have to be Carefully Taught).

        1. Winnie_Cooper

          Yeah, I just get all word-salad with South Pacific lyrics to get my point across, and it works pretty well. Sarah Palin does something similar but with Annie Get Your Gun.

      2. guangho

        I forgot about Jim Kolbe. He was one of those "well I might get beaten to death by an angry mob but its worth the 2.4% tax cut" Republicans.

        1. horsedreamer_1

          Demographic averages will tell us that homosexual males are richer than anyone else, so of course they will (sometimes) favour the money party.

    3. Negropolis

      how does a Democrat with a gay Latin intern get elected in Arizona?

      Umm…very carefully, maybe?

  21. obfuscator2

    i wasn't planning on getting teary eyed in public today so THANKS FOR THAT, MS. BENINCASA.

    /thanks for that, ms. benincasa

  22. BaldarTFlagass

    Yo Daniel, I'm really happy for you, and I'ma let you finish, but Jesse Jackson has one of the best "tending to a just-shot political figure" photo ops of all time!

    Seriously, bravo zulu to this dude.

  23. AngryBlakGuy

    …wait a second?! You are telling me that the second he heard gunshots, he didn't spontaneously pop a monster boner and ravenously hunt down and hump anything with a penis?! FAKE: We all know that DADT was put into place to protect our soldiers from situations just like this!!!

    1. ChessieNefercat

      Good point! Wouldn't any sane soldier reading about this be thinking "that is definitely who I want sharing my foxhole."

      Poo on you, John McCain.

  24. Limeylizzie

    As someone who has always adored the gheys , it's that brassy actress thing we flock to each other, I have always just relied on my homo pals to be witty, fun, stylish, sensitive and fantastic company now I know they can also be relied on to rescue me from danger…fucking fan-fucking-tastic!

  25. SorosBot

    Yeah, he may have saved the life of a Congresswoman, but it's not like this guy did anything like get pregnant and then use his mom's fame to become a highly paid abstinence spokesperson and go on a reality TV show; that's the type of young person who's really admirable.

  26. Neoyorquino

    Nice post, Sara. I think this is an Edward R. Murrow moment for you (no snark, to be absolutely clear).

      1. nappyduggs

        I think that, with this one, you have earned all of the letters on your "POOP" chain. This one gets a Peabody, an O. Henry, an Obie (for advertising, oh, I dunno, the AWESOME SAUCE) *and* a Pulitzer. This post is right on the ball, mama.

  27. slithytoves

    It was a proud day for the olds and the gays – Daniel with his triage and Patricia Maisch who sat on Jared's knees and grabbed the magazine. Both seem to have drunk deeply from the rivers of courage and common sense.

  28. Eve8Apples

    Sure, he saved a life and acted calm in the face of unspeakable horror. But until he gets knocked up, drops out of school and becomes an unemployed, dancing grifter, he'll never be elected Real America's sweetheart, prom queen. .

  29. Guppy06

    In b4 "He could have done more if he were white and straight."

    EDIT: Oh, wait, I forgot! This actually means that gay latinos can now graduate to be the good stereotype, just like those number-crunching Orientals!

  30. DaSandman

    Thank you Dan, thank you very much. I dunno what else to say to a real life hero. What can you say?

  31. GOPCrusher

    I have to wonder where all the people with the conceal weapons permits were at, since usually they are the first ones to say, "If (insert name of victim here) was carrying, this might not have happened." or, my personal favorite "If I would have been there, I would have sent him to Hell with a double-tap to the forehead with my .50 cal Desert Eagle."
    Instead, we have an unarmed, gay, Latino that is the hero of the day.

    1. Sheesko

      One of the citizens who restrained the shooter told the media he was indeed armed, but decided, given the chaotic atmosphere, not to use his weapon.

    2. Negropolis

      That always makes me mad. Truth is, in a situation like this, you're much more likely to not be able to get your gun out in ready in time before most of the damage has already been done. And, even in the case that you do, you're just as likely to end up shooting someone else in the crossfire as you are the gunman.

  32. ttommyunger

    I want to see this young man's face on every channel available every hour of every day for a week. Think it will happen? Me neither.

  33. AutomaticPilot

    We as Americans spend a lot of time fawning over people who signed up for a paying job that requires one to kill others and to risk being killed, all while clad in a uniform. We give them shiny medals and weep over their service when the truth is that they were just doing what their job required. True heroes risk their lives not because their contract requires it of them, but because their heart demands it of them.

    Thank you for saying what I would not have the guts to say in a less… open-minded forum. So true.

  34. TheSheriffsNear

    I've just scrolled through all the commnets and there is absolutely NO recognition of our hero's status as a fatty-American.

    I'd bet my brother fatty took just as much grief for not being a Bowflex model as for being ghey. (Particularly, from snotty, disdainful twinks.)

    God bless his Chunky Monkey clogged heart.

    PS – Good move Sara. Heartwarming is a nice change-up from the smashmouth.

  35. PalinPussyPower

    I'd give him a beej for his heroics but sadly I don't do it for him. One of you fellas needs to step up to the plate and volunteer your services.

  36. Sunfire2109

    He knew first aid from training he received in high school to be a certified nursing assistant. Arizona does not deserve this guy.

  37. Mrs. Bitch

    Is there any possibility, any at all, that Daniel is also transgender and intersexed? Oh hell, most of the righty-tighties would have to have it explained to them anyway. Never mind.

    Daniel, you're a hero whether you like it or not.

  38. Steverino247

    Let's see what's different about him that he has no control over…

    He can't help but be gay, Latino, large, near-sighted… And heroic.
    He couldn't do anything else but run to help.

    His actions can make us proud to be human again.

  39. lulzmonger

    Hear that? Off in the distance, a sound kind of like a dull saw going through a tin can?

    That's the sound of Sarah Palin, cutting.

  40. SheriffRoscoe

    We don't know for sure, I suppose, but sadly, 99% of violence committed with guns by young gay males is on themselves. Angry, pissed that the world will not bend to their will, psychopathically obsessed with firearms, these things usually add up to the guy being of the hetero persuasion. But I cede your point, we don't know, and it's just as likely that he had no interest in sex at all.

Comments are closed.