Monday, October 3, 2011

No bon bons will be shaken in Honduras

I am betraying my half-assed blogging track record and writing my second entry in four days because, well, I’m pissed. While eating panqueques in Santa Rosa the other morning and leafing through La Prensa, I came upon an article about everyone’s favorite Boricua, Ricky Martin, which left me absolutely steaming. Here’s the deal: Representatives of the Catholic and Evangelical churches here have solicited to the Minister of Interior and Population, Africa Madrid (aka the same loon that forbid ‘the satanic celebration of Halloween’ in Honduras last year), that Martin not be allowed to enter the country for his scheduled show in Tegucigalpa on October 16 because ‘he is not a good example of the construction of a nuclear family that Honduran laws and Honduran society want to construct and promote in the young people and the rest of the population’. In other words, because he is gay. They’re saying that by denying him entrance into the country and cancelling his show, they will be ‘safeguarding the moral and ethical principles of Honduran society’. Where do I even begin to go literarily ape shit on this move of Honduran authorities?

For starters, the general sense of homophobia that permeates every part of this society is probably the one thing that makes me most want to... I don’t even know. Scream? Cry? Leave? Uppercut every single person that drops ‘maricón’, ‘marica’ or ‘culero’- which all essentially mean faggot- in my presence? If I had a centavo for every single time that I asked someone PLEASE not to say that word around me and explained to them that it really bothers me, well, I’d have around six seven bathtubs full of centavos. And if you’ve been to Honduras you’d know that (a) bathtubs do not exist and (b) no one EVER uses centavos (if pulperías owe you change they usually just give you candy instead). So in other words, I’d be nowhere. People usually respond with something along the lines of, ‘No me importa, es que me caen mal’ (‘I don’t care, I just don’t like them’), providing no sensible explanation whatsoever to why they harbor such hatred for a group of people they know absolutely nothing about. Some bring up the church and the fact that ‘homosexuality is a sin’ and blah blah blah. Last time I checked, one of the foremost tenets of Christianity is showing kindness and love to your fellow man. I didn’t just make that up, did I? Call me crazy but regardless of the number of angles from which I look at the way(s) that so many religious people (I’ll be fair… nonreligious people too) discriminate against gays, I still can’t see how this behavior is compatible with the ideas behind Christianity. No matter how they respond, my counter responses always end up fizzling out and dying because I now see it’s a fight that I will never win; they’ve had these ideas shoved down their throats since they were young children, be it in the form of those aforementioned bus preachers howling in their tiny faces that homosexuality is a sin or parents snatching dolls out of their three year old son’s hands and exclaiming that ‘solo los maricas juegan con muñecas!’ (‘only faggots play with dolls!’). So what do I do? Usually absolutely nothing aside from bite my tongue until it bleeds, and revel in the fact that I wasn’t born in such an intolerant place.

Part number two that pisses me off is just the utter hypocrisy that lies within everything they’re saying. Ricky Martin isn’t a good example of the nuclear family that Honduran society seeks to promote? Nuclear family!?!? This is coming from people in a country where countless families are lacking a father figure (sometimes even a mother figure, as is the case with the family whose house I live in, whose mother left behind three children to work in Barcelona) because they are either in some other country that actually has job opportunities that allow them to send remittances back home to their families, or they bounced as soon as they found out that somehow, after having unprotected sex with this random woman, she ended up pregnant (the latter of which has a lot to do with the Catholic Church’s stance on condom use). And what are these representatives of the Catholic and Evangelical churches doing to change the tides and assure that family becomes a strong and supportive unit once again? Bitching about a Ricky Martin concert.

And as for this bit on ‘safeguarding the moral and ethical principles of Honduran society’…why aren’t they trying to prohibit the entrance of those dudes that sing Como Se Mata El Gusano into the country? You know, the ones notorious for selecting attractive girls somewhere around sixteen years old from the crowd, bringing them on stage, bending them over a chair and proceeding to thrust/dry hump them from behind for the entire duration of the song while the crowd cheers them on. Why isn’t anyone questioning what kind of implications encouraging the sexualization of young girls like this is having on Hondurans’ moral and ethical principles?

Deep breaths. This is what I know: first of all, that I have unparalleled amounts of respect for my gay Peace Corps friends whose selflessness and drive to make a meaningful difference here somehow outweighs their desire to scream/cry/leave/uppercut Hondurans...I really don’t think I could swing it. And secondly, that all my gays back home should be damn grateful they were born in the U S of A, where, sure, you still can’t get married but where, fortunately, there is a growing movement of supporters who recognize that we’re all human beings and deserve to be treated accordingly. Ya.

*All (absurd) quotations taken/translated from:
*Except Halloween quote which is from:

1 comment:

  1. for the record- ricky martin played last night (october 16) in teguc. a woman named sandra ponce, the head of the human rights unit of honduras' attorney general's office, pointed out it would be an outright violation of honduras' constitution to prohibit the entrance of someone based solely on his/her sexual preference. you go, girl.