Representation matters: Why IDAHOBIT is important in telenovela times
- Posted on May 17, 2021
- Estimated reading time 2 minutes
The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Mirna Rodriguez.
For the past five years, I have been living and working in Spain, where luckily there is minimal racism against Mexicans and members of the LGBTQ+ community; last year OECD reported that Spain was the 5th place within the countries that belonged to the organization that protected and included the best the LGBT collective (Canada being Number 1); Mexico is definitely very far from the top 10, guys.
If you’re Latinx, you know the cultural ties families have to telenovelas. Whether you personally followed them or not, you could always hear the dramatic sound effects carrying through the hallways of your family home while tias and abuelas huddled around, awaiting the latest development.
When I was younger, I was aware lesbian representation in Mexican television was lacking. It was nearly impossible; you could only find the very dramatic telenovelas where the lead actress falls in love with a man (or many) and that story continues to repeat itself in different variations across telenovelas and even influences reality. Being a Mexican lesbian at that time felt a little bit foreign – something there wasn’t space for in the culture.
In Latin America, there is progress being made about how society perceives people of the LGBTQ+ collective, but I don’t believe the underlying message from the media and pop culture has changed much. The difference is that we now have the option to seek out content at our fingertips and have access to more information to expand our horizons on what it means to be gay globally. But as a Latin American, the stigmas are still alive. The telenovela is still on.
My hope for the future is that we can reshape the narrative and organically represent a spectrum of sexual identities and orientations across mass media in the Latin American culture. It deserves a place where it is normalized and integrated as part of their stories and with time it will become a part of the Latinx story as well. This is our opportunity to thrive and be accepted in this world without any stigma.
Places like Avanade and Accenture have opened that possibility and are actively protecting their employees in this country and in the workplace. They have created a safe place to be ourselves. I am proud that I have the opportunity to pass on you this message: Se va poniendo mejor la cosa ¡Si me necesitas, aqui ando!