It is easy to say that Latin@s are homophobic. The stereotype is that we are Catholic, conservative and have a strong “machismo” ethic. However, this stereotype is not fair to the 55% of Latin@s that support same-sex marriage (in comparison to 53% of the rest of the general population).  While 53% of Latin@s claim Catholicism as their religion, it is by no means the only religion with a strong presence among Latin@s – we are Protestant, Baptist, Jewish, Muslim and more. In Latin America, anti-discrimination laws are more pervasive than in the United States. Gay marriage is legal in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico City; Uruguay allows for civil unions and same-sex adoptions.

It is important to clear up the misconception that Latin@s are universally homophobic. It’s not universally true and this misconception is damaging for Latin@s to be associated with. It harms the Latin@ LGBTQ community and their families by giving the impression of isolation and lack of support; it allows for homophobia in the Latin@ community to persist because it becomes easy to say “being homophobic is ok since I am Latin@ and it is an accepted part of the culture”; and it destructive to the Latin@ community at large because non-Latin@s view us as intolerant of others.

Latin@s have strong family values; above all else family comes first. What this means to Latin@s who identity as LGBTQ will always have a place at their family table because no matter who you are, it is shameful to turn away a family member. Does this happen? Sure, there is never a 100% true fact for anyone, but in order to properly meet the needs to the Latin@ LGBTQ community the American LGBTQ community needs to recognize and consider the deep family connections for LGBTQ Latin@s. You cannot fully serve the individual without understanding the Latin@ family dynamic. Crazy and all, a Latin@ brings their family with them into every situation (literally and figuratively). Latin@s who are homophobic need to further understand the implications and damage they bring into the culture by being intolerant and unsupportive of such a large part of the Latin@ population. We should not accept anything less from each other.

If you are interested in being a part of this conversation please join Cafe Con Leche as we host Pittsburgh's 1st Latin@ Pride event on June 5th and June 6th at Bricolage Theater in downtown Pittsburgh. National Trans Latina advocate, Bamby Salcedo will be the keynote speaker and we will be premiering the storytelling documentary, The Gran Varones about gay and queer men in Philly. For more details please check out Cafe Con Leche's event page.

For more data information on being Latin@ and the LGBTQ community, please see this informative article.from Newsweek.

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