Can Telenovelas Put an End to Homophobia? | Roberto Perez

This is an excellent thinkpiece on HuffPo Gay Voices from early in August. I would have referenced it earlier, but I’ve been busy recovering from some surgery by not writing! Perdóname.

Perez references the telenovela (soap opera, in English) Que Pobres Tan Ricos, a Mexican drama broadcast in the US on the cable channel Univision. His thesis is that these types of programs tackling gay relationships and homophobia is helping the Latino community better understand LGBT people.

He is absolutely correct, of that I am positive. Alert readers will surely know by now how often I have beat the drum for serial drama and its power to impact the culture. I am reminded of Freddie Smith, the actor who plays a young, gay character on Days of our Lives, relating the story that a fan had written him telling Smith that he had come out to his grandmother by telling her that he was “like Sonny.” It was a perfect way for that young man to relate to his grandmother, who did not have the life experience to process, “I’m gay” in a way that would make sense to her. However by using a character that she understood — and liked — as the analogy, he was setting himself up for success and acceptance.

Anytime we can use powerful storytelling to make others understand how very much alike we all are, the better off we’ll be.

Here’s a link to Perez’s post. Can Telenovelas Put an End to Homophobia? I wouldn’t bother trying to check it out on Univision, though. Que Pobres was cancelled at the end of August. No se puede siempre ganarlo todo … or something like that.

What is homophobia? Why straight men are right to be afraid of homosexuality.

Clearly, men in America have grown up learning to be scared of gayness. But not only for the reasons we typically think—not only, in the end, because of religion, insecurity about their own sexuality, or a visceral aversion to other men’s penises. The truth is, they’re afraid because heterosexuality is so fragile.

via What is homophobia? Why straight men are right to be afraid of homosexuality..

This is an intriguing article, but like some who commented on Facebook, I don’t like the title, either.

Here’s the thing: this intense aversion to male-to-male closeness is a twentieth century construct. It comes, in large part, out of Eisenhower era fears — communism, segregation, ‘women’s lib’ — as much as anything. Not that there was no homophobia before the 1950s, God knows, but we became intolerant, intransigently so, during the McCarthy years, and we haven’t veered off of that path very much in the years since.

This goes hand-in-hand with how we make boys stop showing affection to other boys when they reach a certain age. We need to stop that, too.

H/T Steve Grand