Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rev. Fernando Frontan: Uruguay, New York, Spain

I met Fernando Frontan a couple of years ago. He was visiting New York City from Uruguay where I knew he'd enjoyed a tremendous reputation as an advocate for LGBT rights but - at the time - he had already been distancing himself from activism and receiving some criticism for the path he had chosen instead: He wanted to devote himself to a spiritual life and become a priest.

Though I had known about his activism and admired from afar, I personally met Fernando Frontan through Nila Marrone, a straight married woman born in Bolivia (she currently is the coordinator of the New York chapters of Latino Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays a/k/a Latino PFLAG and PFLAG for Families of Color and Allies). You see, Nila considers Fernando to be one of her adopted sons and was the one to introduce him to some of us here in New York.

In the meantime, even before Spain allowed marriage for same-sex couples, a minor scandal erupted when a Catholic priest decided to come out on the cover of ZERO magazine (Spain's answer to Out magazine, except it's much better) to counter some of the Catholic church's opposition to granting equal rights to the LGBT community, including the right to marry. The Reverend Jose Mantero has since rallied against ZERO accusing them of becoming a bastion for wealthy gays in Spain (and gained some enemies in the gay press) but, in the meantime, the influential Spanish journalist website Periodista Digital has granted a blog space to Mantero since last year which he has used to spread the word of God's love to the gay community.

How does all this come together? Over the last week Rev. Mantero has profiled Rev. Frontan which is how I know that Fernando's dream finally came through: Over the weekend, he finally became an ordained minister for the world-wide Metropolitan Community Church, which is accepting of the LGBT community. A fact celebrated in Uruguay, New York and Spain and probably elsewhere.

In the meantime, Rev. Mantero has launched a new initiative for Spanish-speaking gay Christians in the form of an MSN group. So, if you somehow find yourself reading these words, speak Spanish, consider yourself a Christian as well as gay, please join this group and you will find that there are others like you.

1 comment:

Rev. Andre R Boulanger said...

As an American and RC priest, its good to see that there are more of us all the time.
I read Fr. Mantero's blog regularly.