31
Mar
10

It’s Not All About the Music

Recently, two-hit wonder and famed hip shaker Ricky Martin announced the least surprising celebrity news since we found out about Charlie Sheen and all those hookers. The man confirmed, of course, that he is gay.

Martin’s announcement, as anticlimactic as it was, still upset those Americans who believe that even whispering the word “homosexual” will cause their marriages to implode and their children to start cross-dressing. But most people accepted it with a shrug.

Even the Hispanic community, more or less, refrained from calling for Martin’s head. However, it seems to me that this has less to do with increased tolerance for gay Latinos than it does with the fact that Martin’s star has dimmed and, as I stated, we all kind of knew the guy’s status in the first place.

Just about every culture has a powerful strain of homophobia. Well, maybe the British don’t – in fact, I think a minimal amount of homosexual experimentation is actually required there. But just about everybody else has issues with gays.

Still, Latino culture, as I’ve written before, has a particularly virulent strain of hatred for homosexuality. It’s the double whammy of fervent Catholicism and traditional images of machismo.

In the neighborhood where I grew up, “maricon” was never said lightly. It meant somebody, either the taunter or the object of the accusation, was going to get his ass kicked.

You might say, “Hey Fanatic, that was a long time ago. Younger Latinos have dropped the homophobia that plagued you aging Gen Xers and sad Baby Boomers.”

It’s a valid point, and I agree that the older generation is more to blame for spewing hatred. As if to verify this, mere days before Martin publically waved the rainbow flag, the rancheras singer Paquita la del Barrio let us know that older Hispanics may never join the twenty-first century.

The singer, a Mexican woman in her sixties, said, “I’d rather see a kid die” than allow him to be adopted by gay parents. For emphasis, she added that it was better for a child to die alone in the streets than to be “adopted by them.”

Now, I admit that I had never heard of this woman. I’ll add that I believe ranchera music – along with polka and Celine Dion’s greatest hits – will be the tunes that blare over Satan’s Army as it materializes for Armageddon.

Regardless, it’s telling that Paquita la del Barrio (who has a large American fan base, by the way) felt not the slightest shame in making her statements. She doesn’t see her viewpoint as remotely unreasonable, and she knows that plenty of her fans will agree with her. It’s a sad commentary on older Latinos.

Perhaps Paquita la del Barrio will get her comeuppance via a public backlash or a karmic twist of fate. Or maybe there will be no fallout over her unrepentant homophobia. At the very least, however, the woman has completely blown her chance to sing a duet with Ricky Martin.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “It’s Not All About the Music”


  1. March 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Wow…he actually did it. He actually came out.

    *whoa*

    Beautiful blog by the way. Paquita’s statements are horrifying, but I think you kinda pwned her with this:

    Now, I admit that I had never heard of this woman. I’ll add that I believe ranchera music – along with polka and Celine Dion’s greatest hits – will be the tunes that blare over Satan’s Army as it materializes for Armageddon.

  2. April 1, 2010 at 9:41 am

    :: Just about every culture has a powerful strain of homophobia. Well, maybe the British don’t… ::

    For the record, the institutionalized homophobia you see in many countries around the world was actually an export of the British Empire — the standard colonial laws the British used everywhere criminalized homosexuality, in many cases overwriting and erasing LGBT-positive aspects of existing local cultures. The Anglican church did a lot to help export homophobia, too. See This Alien Legacy, Homophobia in Jamaica, Panama No longer a No-Sex Zone, Notes From the Tangled Anglican Web, etc. (That first link is really the go-to link; some key bits of it are quoted here if you need a preview.)

    Additionally, there’s a thing going on in the U.K. right now where white LGBT activists are providing rhetorical cover for neoimperialists. This is done by by signal-boosting Muslim homophobia, while simultaneously downplaying stories about LGBT-friendly Imans, Muslim same-sex partnership ceremonies, and the gay communities that exist in some Arab and/or Muslim countries. The net effect is to make those non-British countries look unremittingly homophobic (when in actuality, some of those countries have a mixed record), while getting the UK to publicly declare gay rights to be a British value (when actually the UK’s record has been pretty mixed, too). Unfortunately, when the UK simultaneously plays up LGBT rights AND Islamophobia, Muslim LGBT people end up worse off. See Haritaworn et al’s Gay Imperialism.

    In all, to say that everyone but the Brits are homophobic, but that the Brits themselves are awesome, is both ahistoric and fairly naive. It erases the British colonial legacy of homophobia, and it plays right into the hands of people using gay rights as a cover for neoimperialist goals.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


March 2010
M T W T F S S
« Feb   Apr »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6 other followers

Share This Blog

Bookmark and Share

On Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.


%d bloggers like this: