Sunday, October 27, 2013

Los Liberales

For a Hispanic American, my family is considered…progressive. Growing up, my friend’s parents used to call us “Los Liberales” which translates in English to “The Liberals.” How did we get this name you ask?

They couldn't understand how it was possible that my divorced parents and their new significant others got along so incredibly well. You see, my mother, her boyfriend, my father and his boyfriend are all very good friends. They really enjoy eating at different restaurants on the weekends and going to Barry Manilow concerts together.

“In 2012 for the first time, more Latinos said they favored same-sex marriage than opposed it (52% versus 34%) according to a Pew Hispanic Center survey.” Read more from this article here.

Attitudes about homosexuality among Hispanics and Hispanic Americans have been evolving, particularly in South Florida. Growing up, I always got a double take when I mentioned my father and his partner. That barely noticeable hesitation I get as a reaction has never bothered me and I actually have always found it a little funny.  

When one family member succeeds, it often reflects positively on the entire family. Many Latina/o families also believe the opposite to be true, and because there is bias against gays, that silences some LGBT Latinas/os, as well as relatives who might otherwise be supportive." Read the whole article here. 

Hispanics are big on family identity, so every time someone new learns this about my family it is kind of like I am coming out too. I am a proud little closet monster who loves jumping out and surprising people, if only momentarily. [Insert evil grin here] Thankfully, I have never really felt I was stigmatized or made fun of while I was growing up like I have heard is common in other situations for different people. 

When my father and his partner visit their native country, they are radically different than they are at home in Miami, far more conservative in how they present their relationship. The way they introduce each other as “roommates” to their friends and family speaks volumes. I can immediately tell that homosexual relationships are not as accepted and a front is expected to be put up in order to disguise the blatantly obvious. Thankfully, in rainbow friendly Miami which we call home, the roommate title is so 90’s.

“According to the National Survey of Latinos, support for allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally is highest among Latino adults with no religious affiliation (71%), Latinos ages 18 to 29 (68%), Latinos who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (60%) and Latinos with some college education or more (63%).” See a more developed picture of the overall numbers here.

I’m not saying that there’s no discrimination in South Florida against gays in the Hispanic community. But I can definitely see a progression where there wasn't before.

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