Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!



Homophobia Alive and Well in Rock en Español Concert

This article shared 3204 times since Sat Jul 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

por Tania Unzueta Carrasco

On June 11, I found myself listening to Mexico City rock and roll legend Alex Lora from El Tri in his visit to Chicago make constant jokes about 'jotos' ( faggots ) as he congratulated all the families who brought their children, because they are the next generation of 'rockeros' ( rockers ) .

He and his group were here as part of 'ChidoFest,' a Mexican rock concert that took place in Little Village's Plaza Garibaldi, playing along with other well-known icons such as Alejandra Guzman, Maldita Vecindad and Liran Roll.

A little background on Lora and El Tri: Previously known as 'Three Souls in My Mind' they have been called the Mexican equivalent of the Rolling Stones, and date back to the late 1960s. Their fans claim that they reflect the history of the poor and the workers in their songs, expressing their discontent for government and their allegiance with the people. With songs like 'El Sueño Americano' ( The American Dream ) —about the experience of many undocumented immigrants—on their latest CD, they continue to appeal to generations of unsatisfied Chicanos and Mexicans in the United States.

That Sunday night, their continued popularity was evident.

Every single fan seemed to know their songs by heart.

Lora is the kind of person who refuses to be a part of anything. He hates all three Mexican political parties, made fun of one of the night's co-performers, cursed California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's mother and only made his allegiance clear to the people, the poor and the immigrants.

However, during one of these interjections he dedicated a song to all the women rockeras, saying it was from the heart of all the rockeros. He stopped and said, 'There are two or three up here who are not clapping. I wonder why that is?' A crowd of about 12,000 clapped harder.

There were some people who looked uncomfortable to me, both men and women, and Lora must have noticed as well, because he insisted, pointing out people individually.

'We are going to give them one more chance. And remember this here is being recorded for my mother to see,' he said as part of a running joke. And it was being recorded. I saw at least two cameras: one from Univision and the other one was manned by El Tri's camera girl, who I overheard promise the video was to be on the band's Web site. ( In addition, there were another dozen or so photographers. ) Talk about intimidation and the antonym of 'safe space.'

'Whoever doesn't clap is a faggot,' he said, at least two times more and made people chant it. I kept looking at the faces of the audience. Most men clapped, some having to unwillingly take their arms off the girl they were with, but preferring this to being called a faggot. I also saw a couple of uncomfortable faces, including at least one woman who refused to clap and whose expression was serious, almost angry.

'You are like a dream, and I am simply a dreamer,' were the next words from his mouth as he began that song for the rockeras, and continued with his act.

Listening to his lyrics, it is not hard to understand why people love him. He makes fun of a government who has failed a majority of the people who are here in the United States. Also, he sings about loneliness, hopes, and love, themes that are familiar to most of us, but that really resonate with young immigrants who leave their homes to look for work.

'Voy buscando encontrar mi camino, voy buscando encontrar una oportunidad ( I go looking for my path, I go looking for opportunity ) ', sings Lora to a public that is hungry for a voice and representation.

And the truth is that it gets to me, too. I, too, want to be able to sing songs that reflect my experience as an immigrant—except I am not just an immigrant; I am also queer. Lora completely loses me when he feels the need to degrade a group of people in order to get laughs and show he is still cool. And apparently it is still cool to use gay people—in particular gay men—as a joke.

Toward the end of the concert he had these little rhymes prepared about each political party. 'On my way here I saw some people on the corner with these signs that said 'one, two, three'' and continued to curse the PRI ( which if read as one word 'pre', it rhymes ) . He had a similar one for the PAN and for the PRD, but the latter was preceded by a variation of the story. [ Note: PRI, PAN and PRD are Mexican political parties. ]

'On my way here I saw these guys with really short shorts,' he said, 'I wasn't sure if they were boycotts or if they were faggots.' He talked about something else, and then returned with 'I'm pretty sure they were all fags.' Laughter roared.

Personally I think this is bad enough—to be the source of hate upon others. But the comment mentioned at the beginning of the article about the families and the next generation was true. All around me and in the crowds were kids as young as three. From backstage, where I was standing, I could see this kid in the front row who could not have been older than six, who was just enthralled and so into the songs of El Tri, singing along and raising his fist, and I couldn't help but cringe at the thought that this is the way that hate, homophobia and violence are taught—right from the mouth of 'heroes.'

And so what do we do? I imagine a small group of people with rainbow flags protesting the concert, and they do not compare with the masses who adore him. There have been cases where artists with homophobic lyrics have been denied visas, like Jamaican reggae singer Sizzla was in the UK, but I can also imagine the thousands of Mexicanos saying that El Tri is simply saying the truth, that that is the reason why their government dislikes him—that is, if the U.S. government pays attention to things that happen in the Spanish-speaking community at all.

But I digress. I do believe that artists have responsibility over their music, but what about the responsibility of those who pay $40 to see them perform?

Tania Unzueta is the managing producer of Homofrecuencia, a radio show in Spanish for LGBT youth produced by WRTE Radio Arte 90.5 FM in Chicago. E-mail .

This article shared 3204 times since Sat Jul 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Ravinia Festival announces 2021 summer programming 2021-05-06
--From a press release - HIGHLAND PARK, IL — The Ravinia Festival, under the direction of its new President and CEO Jeffrey P. Haydon, announced the concert schedule for 2021 today, celebrating the reopening of the park for the first time ...

Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot, DCASE announce Chicago summer events 2021-05-06
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Choose Chicago, and Chicago's cultural community today announced "Open Culture" — the next phase of ...

Gay News

Northalsted plans to hold Market Days Aug. 6-8 2021-05-04
- The Northalsted Business Alliance plans to host Market Days August 6-8, adding a Friday night edition, the first in its 38-year history. As vaccinations increase and Illinois begins planning for stage 5 reopening, organizers of the ...

Gay News

Heather Headley to headline Goodman Theatre's May 22 virtual gala 2021-05-03
- Goodman Theatre announced that Tony-winning Broadway actor and Grammy Award-winning singer Heather Headley will headline the company's "Together Center Stage" virtual 2021 gala fundraiser. "Together Center Stage" is slated to stream Saturday, May 22, ...

Gay News

Jeannie Tanner show at City Winery on May 20 2021-05-03
- On Thursday, May 20, at 7 p.m., City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St., will host the first in-person performance of "3 Martini Jeannie." Throughout the pandemic, every Friday at 5 p.m., Tanner celebrated the close ...

Gay News

Vintage House show honoring Chicago House Music with DJ Lori Branch May 5 2021-05-03
--From a press release - Chicago, IL. May 3, 2021. Paving the way for every DJ behind her, DJ Lori Branch is continuously receiving flowers for her talents and dedication to music. Currently, through May, Spotify ( billboards highlighting Chicago music ...

Gay News

Windy City Smokeout to return July 8-11 2021-04-29
- The outdoor country-music/BBQ festival Windy City Smokeout will return to Chicago on July 8-11 outside the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St. Hosted by BBQ joint Bub City and the venue Joe's Bar, the event will ...

Gay News

Pride in the Park' on June 26-27 2021-04-29
- There will be at least one big LGBTQ+ event in Chicago this summer. Pride in the Park is slated to take place June 26-27 in Grant Park. It will be 2-10 p.m. on June 26, and 3-10 p.m. the following day. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Joe Exotic' series, Luther Vandross, singer's announcement, star couples 2021-04-25
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch's John Cameron Mitchell has been tapped to play the title character opposite Kate McKinnon in the series Joe Exotic (working title), Deadline reported. The limited series centers on Carole Baskin (McKinnon), ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Brandi Carlile, 'Legendary,' children's book, film festival, Janet Mock 2021-04-18
- Lesbian musician Brandi Carlile memoir, Broken Horses, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list, a press release announced. In addition to the hardback book, a very special audiobook edition of the ...

Gay News

Belting for Life Sunday May 16, streaming through May 31 2021-04-16
--From a press release - CHICAGO - Jeff Award-winning director and HIV+ activist Christopher Pazdernik presents the 6th annual Belting for Life (formerly known as Chris' Birthday Belt Fest), an annual benefit concert for Howard Brown Health, one of the nation's ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Trans singer, 'Pose,' Kate Winslet, Lil Nas X, Broadway 2021-04-11
- Trans femme indie-punk artist Evan Greer (she/her) released a dystopian new music video for the song "Surveillance Capitalism," a press release noted. She is using it to launch with Fight for the Future, where she ...

Gay News

Movie about art sensation born into slavery to premiere April 16 2021-04-08
- Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts—a film about a man who was born into slavery, and whose works became sensations in the art world—will premiere Friday, April 16, in local virtual cinemas of Music Box Theatre and Facets. ...

Gay News

Story of Chicagoan and Broadway influencer Sister Rosetta Tharpe on to Broadway 2021-04-06
--From a press release - NEW YORK (April 4, 2021) — Prolific writer and Chicago native Cheryl L. West (FANNIE: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer; Jar the Floor), will be joined on the creative team of SHOUT SISTER ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Special,' Bonnaroo, Broadway items, Rita Moreno, Bridgerton 2021-04-04
- The second season of the Netflix comedy series Special will premiere May 20, a press release noted. The series revolves around Ryan O'Connell, a gay man with mild cerebral palsy, and is based on his memoir ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.