Hispanic Celebrities Supporting Gay Community

October 3, 2008

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I’ve always written about the importance of leaders and spokespeople when it comes to ultra minority communities, such as the Latino gay and lesbian community across the United States. It is always a challenge finding the most effective “Hispanic” spokespeople, mainly because the Hispanic, or Latino, population is not one in the same.

Whereas Mario Lopez or Selena Gómez may appeal to a very assimilated population, someone with a more crossover appeal (usually younger individuals) like Juanes or Shakira may appeal to both. Then there are the more traditional and older or least assimilated who may relate mostly with native icons.

While the most assimilated segments of the U.S. Hispanic population may be more in tune with general market messages of acceptance and tolerance towards the gays and lesbians, there is a very large population that isn’t. Thankfully, just this month, “native” Latino celebrities are standing up for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

Gael Garcia Bernal, best known for his controversial acting roles in films such as “Y tu Mama También,” and “Motorcycle Diaries,” is set to appear on the cover of Mexican gay magazine, OHM. Garcia Bernal was interviewed on his progressive thoughts on gay marriage and families.

In another effort to move forward with equality among Hispanic communities, Lucia Méndez, coined as the “Diva of Mexican Telenovelas,” has taken it upon herself to work with non-profit organizations to reach parents and raise awareness on suicide rates among closeted gays and lesbians and move the needle on the acceptance of our community. She is about to tour in the USA, which suggests that she will talk to audiences about the issue.

It will be interesting to see how these messages will be received by the Hispanic community, especially the heterosexual Latino community. It seems media is reporting on these issues with a neutral tone – which both speaks volumes and is a good start to ensure these efforts aren’t watered down with any absurd speculations.

Are any celebrities that you know of taking a stand on equal rights and LGBT awareness? What have been your favorite notions? We welcome your comments.