LGBT people in Spanish-language media

Part of our work here at GLAAD is to monitor the representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the media. While there is still much work to be done to ensure better representation, the use of correct terminology and other issues, we wanted to share with you some strong segments and articles that appeared in Spanish-language media these past several weeks.

This media coverage would not be possible without LGBT people who stepped forward to tell their stories, sometimes risking discrimination. By sharing these segments we hope to inspire others to find outlets to tell their stories as well as to remind the outlets that LGBT and allied people are watching their work.

Maria Paula Ochoa, a reporter for Telemundo conducts an interview with Jennicet Gutierrez, a transgender immigrant activist who brought more attention to the plight of transgender women in immigration detention during a White House Pride Reception. Although a strategist interviewed during the segment questions her tactics, Jennicet clearly explains what is at stake and why she felt an urgency that led her to speak out.




A morning show on Univision hosted by Zoe Torres interviewed Kael Escobar, a transgender man from Chicago. Kael shared his process with the viewers telling them how important it was that he was able to count on the acceptance his mother showed him and how important family acceptance in general is for all LGBT people. The host emphasizes this point asking her viewers to live in peace and harmony with each other and with themselves.

Los Angeles Telemundo reporter Johana Suarez talked with transgender advocates Mariana Marroquin, Cris Salamanca, and Sandra Esqueda on local public affairs show Enfoque Los Ángeles. Marroquin works at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Salamanca is part of El Canto del Colibri, a documentary that features stories of Latino LGBT people and their accepting dads. Esqueda facilitates support groups at Bienestar.  Along with GLAAD's Director of Spanish-language and Latino media and the other guests, the host addressed topics related to Latina/o transgender people and issues that impact them, including immigration, access to healthcare, employment discrimination, and the importance of family acceptance.

In print, Virginia Gaglianone from La Opinion wrote a piece that ran in New York and Los Angeles for Father's Day featuring two great transgender dads. Sebastián Colon-Otero and his wife have a 2-year-old girl. Colon-Otero said "Being a father has been the greatest experience of my life. Every time my little girl says papá, I feel that my heart melts." Trystan Reese and his husband are raising children who are 4 and 7 years old. Reese recounts how his mother and sister came over to support the two new dads. "My sister had to explain to us that babies' clothing comes with elastic bands that have to be adjusted as the child grows." The piece can be read online in Spanish here. Pieces like these help combat the misinformation about families with LGBT parents.

Both in print and on television, Selenis Leyva from Orange is the New Black, has spoken out about the need for support for transgender people as an ally to her sister who is transgender. She spoke with the popular morning show Un Nuevo Dia and wrote a piece for the Huffington Post.

Spanish-language media also covered the marriage equality decision by the Supreme Court. The best of these type of  segments gave couples an opportunity to share their thoughts on the impact of the decisions on their lives. For example, in a segment by Telemundo Houston reporter Jose Santos interviews couples getting married at the MCC. Although the terminology use is not consistently correct, the spokespeople do a great job sharing the impact that the decision will have on their lives. The reporter does pose a good question at the end of the piece, he says "We asked all the couples if they could ever imagine their lives without their partner and they all said no."

Univision changed their logo to congratulate the LGBT community on the positive decision during their regular broadcasting proclaiming "marriage for all triumphs." This action communicates the support in a visual and powerful way to their viewers.

Finally, some community programs took the opportunity to relay important information to their viewers about how the ruling would impact them, specifically if they are undocumented and in a same-sex relationship with a citizen. These type of segments although they do not always use consistently correct terms demonstrate that they are aware that LGBT people are part of the Latino community and their audience.

Many of the people interviewed made the point that there is so much left to do to ensure full protections for LGBT people including Tony Lima, Executive Director of SAVE Dade in a segment during which he talks about the fight for workplace protections for transgender people in Florida. Los Angeles advocates made the same point during a press conference covered on decision day by many outlets including MundoFox.





As always, if we've missed a great segment or article, or if you've seen heard or read something that was disrespectful to LGBT people, let us know.