In 2001, I approached Troy Masters and Paul Schindler, publisher and editor-in-chief, respectively, of LGNY (Lesbian & Gay New York) with a crazy idea: Will you help me launch a bilingual Spanish/English periodical for LGBT Latinos?
After much consideration, Troy and Paul agreed. And so we gave birth to LGNY Latino. Unfortunately, LGNY Latino never found its footing. It was at that time they guided the rebirth of LGNY into Gay City News, which remains a vibrant part of LGBT media.
I was and will always be grateful to Troy and Paul for taking the leap of faith they did with LGNY Latino. I believed — and still believe — that producing content specifically for LGBT Latinos is necessary.
So I was extremely satisfied to read the recent top story in Press Pass Q (the newsletter for LGBT media professionals) on more LGBT publications providing Spanish-language content.
Also highlighted in a sidebar is Fuerte Men, an online-only publication based in Pittsburgh. (I’d like to give a shout out to another online-only outlet that was not in the article: xQsí Magazine. Thanks for including me in your article earlier this year on HIV stigma.)
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Through interviews with several editors and publishers of LGBT media outlets with Spanish language content, everyone agrees: The needs of the minority within a minority – gay Hispanics – differ from the larger, mainstream Anglo LGBT community.
“The cultural norms for the Hispanic community revolving around sexuality and gender identity are largely influenced by a deep sense of familial pride, religious beliefs, and a fear of dishonoring their family and community,” said Puerto Rico-born Gricel Martínez Ocasio, publisher of The Rainbow Times [TRT), a monthly based in Northampton, Mass.
Por ejemplo, “Coming out in the Hispanic world to your Hispanic family is a very different process,” said Martínez Ocasio. “If you are lucky, your parents will accept you fairly fast. If not, you will go through a grieving process that could even include being kicked out of your home. We have published in-depth stories, one that included a Hispanic youth who was abandoned by his family at the early age of 14.”
Other stories of particular interest to Spanish-speaking readers cover HIV/AIDS prevention and services, immigration and its connection to marriage equality, and legal issues around family creation and adoption.
Special kudos to The Rainbow Times and Genre Latino for spotlighting HIV/AIDS content. I sincerely hope that such efforts continue and expand nationwide.