Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mexico: School teacher protests children's use of the word 'gay' as an insult

A high-school English language professor from the city of Tampico, Mexico, decided to stage a one-man protest yesterday against anti-gay discrimination.

According to Hoy Tamaulipas, professor Rogelio Pérez Barragán said that he was tired of the way that children and adolescents used the word "gay" when insulting each other and said he wanted to raise awareness about the discrimination faced by individuals with different sexual orientations ("Gay professor from Tampico goes out to the street to protest") [Side note: The paper is clear that the word in question is 'gay' and not 'homosexual' which I believe is more commonly used in Spanish-speaking countries, which makes me wonder if it's usage is in any way related to a similar phenomenon among younger individuals in the United States in which the word 'gay' is used to describe something that is lame or tired - without, some would argue, having a specifically derogatory nature].

"Simply," he said," I believe that there is a lot of work to do and that we have to start with the children."

Mr. Barragán, wearing jeans and a white long-sleeved shirt, taped a piece of paper to his back which read "One part of me is being gay" and "I see life and love." He also attached a piece of lavender-colored cloth to the note.

He then walked down Tampico's Guadalajara Street as reporters followed.

The professor, whose face is not shown on the photos posted online, disclosed he'd previously been called names and ridiculed due to his sexual identity at his place of employment but did not give the name of the school.

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