Miss Universe in the International Spotlight
GLAAD and Miss Universe’s announcement that transgender women are now allowed to compete in the beauty pageant took Spanish-language media outlets throughout the entire hemisphere immediately by storm. Coverage around this story was mostly positive, except for the presence of some problematic framing that implicitly questioned transgender women’s gender identity.
Among the stand-outs was CNN en Español’s daily entertainment talk show “Showbiz,” which explored transgender issues in an in-depth manner, beyond the subject of beauty pageants. Other outlets that covered the story include "Noticiero Telemundo", "Noticiero Univision", La Opinión, E! Online Latin America, Terra.com, Peru.com, CNN México, and many others.
Unfortunately, not all coverage was positive. The hosts of Puerto Rico’s highly-rated gossip show “SuperXclusivo,” made highly offensive remarks about transgender women in regards to the Miss Universe pageant’s decision to allow transgender women to compete. Co-host Hector Travieso opined that “This is setting a bad precedent because it’s a competition for women. [Jenna] has a right to have her sex changed, but this is harming a contest that was made for women.”
CNN en Español on a Roll with LGBT Issues
Nightly news talk show “Conclusiones” recently discussed the issue of homophobia in Chile in light of an anti-gay hate crime that eventually cost the life of its victim, 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio. Co-hosts Fernando del Rincón and Gabriela Frías had as a guest Andrés Chadwick Piñera, Chile’s Secretary General of Government, and thoroughly examined the social and political implications around Zamudio’s attack, as well as the government’s response and its next steps to prevent future attacks on LGBT people. Also in the interview, guest Rolando Jímenez, president of Chile’s leading LGBT organization MOVILH (Movement for Homosexual Liberation and Integration), emphasized the importance of increasing acceptance for LGBT people in society as well as collaborating with government entities to increase legal protections.
Reporter Karina Dalmas also recently produced a segment profiling Isaac, a Latino transgender high school senior, and his very supportive mother. While a portion of the segment discussed medical issues (notably, in a respectful manner), a much more substantial part of the story focused on emotional challenges that Isaac overcame prior and during his transition, as well as his accomplishments and aspirations, which includes having a wife and kids.
Almost-but-not-Really-Gay Kiss Causes a Stir in Mexico (from Mexico City contributor Enrique Torre Molina)
During a soccer match on Sunday, April 22, Club América's players Christian Benítez and Matías Vuoso simulated a kiss on the lips to celebrate Benítez's winning goal, causing many anti-LGBT reactions in Mexican media. An editorial in El Economista called it an "ugly celebration", and the Mexican Football Federation (Femexfut) advised the team to avoid such behavior in the future.
In interviews, Alfonso Sabater, president of the Disciplinary Commission at Femexfut, said the kiss was not appropriate, and added that "it cannot be considered a good example for children." As evidenced by the multitude of anti-LGBT comments left by readers on articles in several different media outlets, homophobia is unfortunately alive and well on the soccer pitch in Mexico.
Mexico City-based journalist and activist Gabriel Gutiérrez has filed a complaint with Conapred (National Council to Prevent Discrimination) against Sabater, and other media figures, such as Darío Ramírez, the executive director of Artículo 19 (a nonprofit organization that advocates freedom of expression and liberty for journalists), and blogger María José Evia, have also denounced Sabater's statements as well as the homophobia still too commonly seen in this sport.