Latino support for LGBT people and issues is strong and ever growing. But, as with all communities, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to educate the public about the importance of family acceptance and the harm that rejection of LGBT family members causes to entire families.
In an effort to address this gap, Southern-California based Latino health and social services organization BIENESTAR has launched its latest public education campaign to promote acceptance and support and eradicate homophobia.
"We believe as a society we should be celebrating love, diversity and the true meaning of self—love and friendship—which increases the self-esteem and over all well-being of any individual regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity," the agency, which operates 9 centers across the region to serve the LGBT Latino community and people living with HIV/AIDS, stated in a press release.
Joining forces with Bienestar is television journalist Daniela Ganoza, Hollywood correspondent for Univision's highly rated daily newsmagazine Primer Impacto. Daniela's concern for the health and well-being of LGBT youth compelled her to become the spokesperson for BIENESTAR's anti-homophobia campaign series. Past spokespeople include Mexican singer and actress Angélica Vale, international actress Kate Del Castillo, renowned Mexican regional singer Graciela Beltrán, and Dra. Isabel Gómez-Bassols, a nationally renowned radio psychologist known as "El Angel de la Radio" ("The Angel of the Airwaves").
The campaign is also highlighting the importance of allies, calling attention to the fact that "stigma and discrimination of LGBT individuals is not just an LGBT community issue, but a social issue that impacts all families regardless of race, social class and/or religious beliefs and values."
Oscar De La O, President of BIENESTAR added that, "in the Latino community unconditional love and family are important values, but when the children are rejected for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, it is a breakdown of our beliefs. We hope everyone will join Daniela and BIENESTAR in our efforts to stop homophobia."
For more information about this campaign please visit BIENESTAR's website www.bienestar.org or contact Victor Martinez, Director of Public Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-727-7896 ext. 114.