Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13



In the Age of Dinosaurs: Queers in Spanish-Language Media

This article shared 6015 times since Fri Sep 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

GLAAD's POC Media Director Mónica Taher and El Gordo y La Flaca host Raúl de Molina from Univision at a GLAAD awards ceremony. Photo by Alissa Christine Photography, courtesy of GLAAD.


By Tania Unzueta Carrasco

'Many of us do not agree with the 'gay' agenda and that means we discriminate [ ? ] . We only want to maintain a moral standard in our society. Tolerance is one thing, but accepting the unacceptable is too much.'

These are the words of Hoy newspaper Chicago columnist Rey Flores, in a piece entitled 'The 'gay' conflict,' which was published on July 10. Among his criticisms of the 'gay agenda,' he argues that because Latino children are poor they have no choice but to be taught by public schools, which are influenced by homosexuals.

In particular, he refers to the National Education Association ( NEA ) , a volunteer-based network of educators that focuses on providing support for public school teachers and lobbying for education funds, and says that they 'actively promote homosexual marriage.' 'Since when do we send our children to public schools so that they are taught these kinds of things?' he asks.

Hoy newspaper, owned by the Chicago Tribune Company, is published in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. The column, full of decades-old stereotypes made to look like facts, was published and circulated to around 500,000 people, according to reports by the Certified Audit of Circulations.

After talks with Carlos Macias, Spanish-language media manager at the Gay and Lesbian Association Against Defamation ( GLAAD ) , the paper did not run his Flores' column the following week and, instead, gave the space to Macias to write a response.

'Hoy has been a great ally in educating our community and is always open to hearing comments or compliments on their portrayals of the LGBT community,' wrote Macias in a general e-mail on GLAAD's LGBT Latino Media Activist list.

Nevertheless, a printed response has not been enough for some local LGBT activists. 'Unfortunately, because Flores' thinking resonates in much of the Latino community … responses from places such as GLADD do not always sway readers,' says Cindy Ibarra, communications coordinator for the Young Women's Empowerment Project and an active member of the LGBT Chicago Latino community.

She says that articles like Flores' serve to affirm some already held beliefs. 'The responses are informative but they just don't pull at the heartstrings like Flores-esque articles might.'

For her the problem stems from the media not taking the time to learn about the issues affecting the LGBT community.

'They'll have you believe that we are all white privileged gay males with money that organize only to get married. We also fight for sexual health, reproductive justice, immigrant rights and more. I think they need to remember something called social/civic responsibility,' says Ibarra.

But while the media learns to educate itself, GLAAD has begun to do it for them. 'Many times they have told us that we are trying to restrict freedom of expression, and many times they have threatened to sue us,' says Monica Taher, a People of Color media director and a colleague of Macias at GLAAD. 'They have freedom of expression. But if they don't start covering the LGBT community in a fair and objective manner, without stereotypes, they will remain in the stone age, the age of the dinosaurs,' she says.

But for Taher, although there are these occasional incidents, in particular in large media outlets, the coverage of LGBT people in Spanish media has been changing.

She cites examples like the presentation of Azteca America network's show Lo que callamos las mujeres ( What women are silent about ) 'Special on Homosexuality,' a week of episodes on LGBT issues; an episode of the popular talk show 'El show de Cristin' on Univision that aired in June; and gossip show El Gordo y la Flaca, which features Cachita, the only transexual character in Spanish language media.

Taher is one of the people responsible for this gradual change. She has been speaking to executives and producers in the Latino media since 2004, and says that, in general, people have been responding well.

'Our first meeting with a famous producer was with Cuco Arias, the producer of Sabado Gigante. It was the first call that GLAAD made to Spanish-language media.'

In that meeting they succeeded in eliminating a regular character on the show that she describes as 'super-effeminate, super-denigrating and very ignorant.' 'It was the first call we made and we won,' she remembers.

Since then, Taher and Macias have met with a series of publishers, editors, producers and journalists throughout the country, performing such services as holding workshops on Univision on covering the LGBT community. She speaks mainly about Univision because their soap operas, newscasts, radio stations and Web site reach around 97% of Spanish speakers in the U.S.

But the real struggle, says Taher, is targeting the media that is coming to the United States from Latin America. 'Eighty percent of the shows on Univision are produced by Televisa, in a studio in Mexico City. If we don't have access to Televisa, we are not going to be able to change what is broadcasted in the United States to the Spanish-speaking audience,' explains Taher.

This has been a completely different experience—'as different as night and day,' she describes. Taher says that it is not only the weight of religion and cultural patterns, but also that in Latin America there is no government-sponsored institution that regulates communications, like the Federal Communication Commission ( FCC ) does in the U.S.

'There is no one who can charge a fee if someone says 'jotito' o 'maricon',' both words for 'faggot,' says Taher. But she has been doing it. In the last couple of months she has met with directors and managers from Televisa, TV Azteca, TV Novelas, TV notas—all from Mexico—as well as TV Globo from Brasil and other news and television networks in Latin America.

They try to hold meetings that include the producers and managers as well as members of local LGBT organizations.

Tahir says that they only try to provide local activists with the tools and contacts so that they can continue the work, because they are already conscious of what is going on in their own community, but because activism in Latin America is generally not paid, they don't always have the time or resources to act against homophobic representations in the media.

She also says that it's kind of what they want to do here in the United States. She says that GLAAD wants to expand the Spanish-language media program and while continuing the work in Latin America, have more monitoring of local newspapers and broadcasts, with the help of local activists.

Taher says that this has already worked in the past, siting as example the work that has been done with local radio host 'El Pistolero'. It was the Chicago activists that told GLAAD about the homophobic comments that were being made by him on his morning show. They sent a Call To Action and since them have been in talks with Univision Radio, which hosts the show.

'He has been growing with us, he has learned. About six months ago, El Pistolero said that there was nothing wrong with a child being raised by two mothers. A year ago when we sent that 'call to action' we would have never believed he would make a comment like that,' she says.

In the end though, Taher says that it is the responsibility of the LGBT community to monitor the media, and says that if anyone hears something offensive, they should report it to GLAAD, or call the media manager themselves.

'The whole Latino LGBT community has the right to complain, to ask questions, and only if we speak up will we have the power to change these inaccurate and offensive images.'

This article shared 6015 times since Fri Sep 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy attacked on social media, allegedly by backers of Burke
Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy—a supporter of Cook County state's attorney Democratic candidate Clayton Harris III—posted on social media that a backer of Eileen O'Neill Burke, who's running against Harris ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Raymond Lopez talks congressional run, Chuy Garcia, migrant crisis
Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez has been a member of City Council since 2015, representing the 15th Ward and making history as one of the city's first LGBTQ+ Latine alderman. Now, he is setting his sights on ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Kristen Stewart, Rock Hudson, Talia Keys, 'True Detective,' Marvel comic
At the Berlin Film Festival, Kristen Stewart defended her photo shoot for a Rolling Stone magazine cover that went viral and divided audiences on social-media platforms, per The Hollywood Reporter. "The existence of a female body ...

Gay News

Chicago Bears hire first woman assistant coach
The Chicago Bears are hiring Jennifer King as an offensive assistant, according to The Chicago Sun-Times and other media outlets. She will be an assistant running backs coach. King—who will become the first female assistant coach ...

Gay News

Oprah Winfrey, Niecy Nash-Betts to be honored at the 35 annual GLAAD Media Awards in LA March 14
--From a press release - Los Angeles, CA -Feb. 20, 2024 - GLAAD announced that global media leader, producer, philanthropist, actress and author Oprah Winfrey will receive GLAAD'sVanguard Award and Emmy-winning actress and producer Niecy ...

Gay News

GLAAD releases report on LGBTQ+ inclusion in video games
LGBTQ+ media-advocacy organization GLAAD has released a report on queer inclusion in the world of video games. Among the key findings in "Gaming: The State of LGBTQ Inclusion in Video Games" is that 17%—nearly one in ...

Gay News

Second Glance Productions hosts LGBTQupid Soiree
In celebration of Valentine's Day, Chicago based film and media production company Second Glance hosted The LBGTQupid Soiree. The event, which was focused on spinning attitudes on this particular day, was presented at The iO ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Utah board member, Baths founder dies, Fla. protests, DoJ equity plan
Utah's Republican governor and lieutenant governor urged the State Board of Education to take action against a conservative board member whose social-media post questioning the gender of a high school basketball player incited threats against the ...

Gay News

GLAAD finds missed chances for LGBTQ+ inclusion in Super Bowl ads
--From a press release - Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024 — GLAAD is reacting to a lack of LGBTQ storytelling in ads that aired duringSuper Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11 and is reminding brands, corporations and advertising agencies why including the LGBTQ ...

Gay News

GLAAD, NFL host third annual pre-Super Bowl event 'A Night of Pride'
On Feb. 7, LGBTQ+ media-advocacy organization GLAAD, along with The National Football League (NFL), hosted the third annual "A Night of Pride" at Caesar's Palace in Super Bowl LVIII's host city of Las Vegas, a press ...

Gay News

GALECA announces nominees for the Dorian Film Awards
--From a press release - Feb. 5, 2024 - GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, consisting of over 500 entertainment critics, journalists and media icons, today announced the group's democratically chosen nominees for its 15th Dorian Film Awards. All of ...

Gay News

GLAAD remembers Cecilia Gentili, transgender Latina, actress, activist, health care activist, journalist
--From a press release - (New York, NY - February 6, 2024) GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, is responding to the death of transgender actress and advocate Cecilia Gentili and elevating voices of transgender and political leaders honoring ...

Gay News

Comcast NBCUniversal partners with News is Out, Word In Black on fellowship program highlighting Black, LGBTQ+ issues
--From a press release - Digital Equity Local Voices Lab Fellows to be placed at 16 local publications to receive training and create content Philadelphia (Feb. 6, 2024) — News is Out [ ] , a queer media collaborative of ...

Gay News

More than 210,000 Latinx LGBT immigrants live in California
--From a press release - Nearly two-thirds of Latinx LGBT immigrants without Green Cards live in poverty. A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that there are 211,000 Latinx LGBT immigrants in California, including 68,800 ...

Gay News

Tara VanDerveer becomes winningest coach in college basketball
Stanford University women's basketball coach and gender-rights advocate Tara VanDerveer became the college-basketball coach with the most wins ever on Jan. 21, media outlets reported. After her team defeated Oregon State 65-56, VanDerveer has 1,203 ca ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

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 Transgender 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
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     
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.