Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When Latino pop stars turn their back on our rights

Yesterday something seemingly innocuous rubbed me off the wrong way on Twitter.  Well-known Mexican actress and singer Laura León was being interviewed live on Chicago's Homofrecuencia when she made the following comment, in Spanish:
For me, [the LGBT community] has given me their all, they are very creative people" [italics mine].
Or at least that's what she said in Spanish according to what a friend who was listening to the show and reporting about it on Twitter.

Nothing wrong with that, right? But if gays being creative creatures is a pretty harmless stereotype, when you hear one Latina starlet after another use the exact same phrase in Spanish to describe why they love the gays it can get pretty damn annoying.  Specially when they are promoting a tour of gay venues, as Ms. León was doing (there are shows in Chicago tomorrow, in Hollywood on Friday and in San Diego on Saturday).

To Ms. León's credit, she apparently went on to say she supported marriage rights for gay couples in Mexico, so her love for the gays might go further than appreciating us as a pretty creative bunch. It's certainly leagues ahead of Mexican singer Paquita La Del Barrio who famously said she, too, respected the gays, but argued in the same breath, that orphans would be better off dead than be adopted by a gay couple

Pretty innocuous stuff, no? 

Yup, I wasn't even going to write about it - except for something posted earlier today at the politics blog of the San Francisco Chronicle ("Star endorser at Latino 'values' event to help Fiorina -- the 2008 Queen of SF Gay Pride Parade?").

From that post:
That "Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles" fundraiser in Los Angeles to reach conservative Latinos, celebrate "Tus Valores" (Your Values) and help U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina had an interesting twist: among the star celebrity backers in the lineup was Mexican-born telenovela star Karyme Lozano -- who also happens to be the crowned Queen of the 2008 San Francisco LGBT Pride events and parade.
And, who brought Ms. Lozano to San Francisco to receive said crown from the San Francisco gays in 2008? Why, it was Granada Entertainment, the same organization who organized Laura León's gay bar tour this week!
The Chronicle goes on to quote a passage from a Wikipedia entry for Ms. Lozano which apparently has been deleted since it was quoted by the paper.
Karyme Lozano, after the death of her father, is dedicated to promoting values and defend their Catholic faith, his testimony has joined the many who leave everything to follow Christ and make Him known. He has served on several Catholic Congress in the U.S., Central and South America and has initiated pro-life action with Eduardo Verastegui by standing outside a clinic near downtown Los Angeles, handing out pamphlets, trying to stop women from obtaining health services such as contraception, pap smears, and abortion.
Ah, Eduardo Verastegui, that other Mexican-born singer / actor who became the Latino face for the successful homophobic Prop. 8 campaign in California back in 2008.

This is not really a dig at Granada Entertainment.  For years now, they have made a business of bringing popular Spanish-language pop music stars to their gay fans in the United States and there is certainly no way for them to know which of the stars that agree to perform at gay bars will turn their back on the gays in the future.  Among others they've brought to Latino gay clubs throughout the United States are also gay-friendly Fey, La India and Gloria Trevi.

But sometimes I feel our community confuses the fact that it's all about the business of getting their gay money rather than the performer's true support for the community and our rights - and it frustrates me to no end that performers such as Verastegui, Lozano and Paquita and Yuri can simply use the community to advance their careers and then turn their backs on us in hurtful ways.

Worse still is that they know they can get away with it.  Ms. Paquita "Let the baby die rather than be adopted by a gay couple" La Del Barrio? Why, she'll be performing at New York City's Madison Square Garden on October 16th as if nothing had happened and it wouldn't surprise me to see more than a few gay fans in the stands. And yes, before her mouth got her into trouble, Paquita also was crowned Queen of the gays during one of her US tours.

As for the group calling for the $1 million dollar Fiorina fundraising drive? The Los Angeles Times calls The Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles "hard to trace" but names some of its founders and I'm not sure some of them could call themselves Latino without making people laugh.

The great Jeremy Hooper at Gay As You digs in deeper:
This Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles coalition is an outreach of the American Principles Project, and this Fiorina effort is the work of APP's action arm, American Principles in Action. Robert George is the founder of APP/APIA. The same Robert George who -- wait for it, wait for it -- CO-FOUNDED NOM! So essentially we have NOM signing on as one of two sponsors (the Susan B. Anthony List being the other) of a pro-Fiorina effort that was setup by their own founding chairman and current prominent spokesperson!
So where's the money coming from? That we can't answer. But we do know that this Partnership for Conservative Principles is not a Latino coalition that just so happens to put some focus on gay issues. In fact, it seems to be a largely gay-interested coalition (marriage in particular) that just so happens to put particular focus on Latinos! 
Got that? The so-called "Latino" partnership is an outreach arm of the non-Latino APP and the main force behind it, as well as it's lead board member, is the non-Latino Robert George who also happens to have been the founder of the incredibly homophobic National Organization for Marriage.

Note to Karyme Lozano: You are being used as a tool. I hope, down the line, Laura León stops at expressing platitudes about the gays and doesn't join Lozano and Verastegui in stabbing our backs.



Joseph Charles (J.C.) said...

Thanks for the information. I appreciate it; glad I stumbled onto your blog.

Anonymous said...

Who is she and why should we care about whatever she said whenever she said it?

¿Quien es ella y por que nos tiene que importar lo que sea que haya dicho cuando lo haya dicho?

Anonymous said...

If she is a star, who isn't? I never heard of her.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who that Lozano girl is. I know who Paquita is. Why should we care about what they say? Because they are carrying the wrong message to the Latino population. There are not, to my knowledge, any groups or celebrities saying the opposite, speaking for the gay community and if we add to this the negligence and lack of understanding from our latino brothers and sisters, we only let the enemy recruit valuable allies.