After Peru's main LGBT group MHOL (Movimiento Homosexual de Lima) publicly criticized Miss Peru Universe Cindy Mejía for her comments about gay people, Mejía personally delivered a handwritten apology to the advocacy organization on Friday July 13.
In the apology, she writes, "I deeply regret that these statements contribute to encourage discrimination and violence towards LGBT people. This is why I commit to combat homophobia and sexism in my role as Miss Peru."
For some context, Mejía stated that God would not allow her to have a gay son, and went on to say boys only “turn” gay because of absent fathers, rape or having a "much-too-close" relationship with their mother and sisters.
Awful comments, indeed, and ignorant to be sure, but we are heartened that Mejía took responsibility and we congratulate MHOL (with whom GLAAD has worked) for making this possible. It is important for public figures who make mistakes based on their ignorance to make amends and then work to create a world that's safe, inclusive and accepting of LGBT people, as did comedian Tracy Morgan, with whom GLAAD worked.
MHOL's president Verónica Ferrari shared with us that it is very rare for public figures in Peru to make such a public apology and to take action to make amends, so this is a very special moment in that country. GLAAD congratulates MHOL for their advocacy and for their stellar efforts. And we hope Miss Peru Cindy Mejía will use her platform to help educate others about the LGBT community.