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Sunday, 26 September 2010

Nicaragua: Sexual diversity in the national blogosphere

Rainbow FlagImage by qthomasbower via Flickr  
Source: globalvoicesonline

By Rodrigo Penalba · Translated by Silvia Viñas
 
The recent debate on legalizing same-sex marriage, as seen through traditional media (see poll in newspaper El Nuevo Diario [es]), has brought to light the opinion of those who oppose the measure, including politicians and even some pro-government and pro-sexual diversity movements [es]; however, the opinion of groups that are already organized around these issues is rarely taken into consideration.

Several Nicaraguan blogs are enriching the debate and the information on these issues. This is a selection of blogs that are currently participating in and pushing for sexual diversity:


"Juan is in love with Carlos. Their love does no harm, your rejection does: For a society that respects sexual diversity"
A presidential candidate from Nicaragua, Fabio Gadea Mantilla, has occasionally expressed his opinions against these type of unions [es]. Espacio Nica comented [es] on Gadea and other candidates from other political parties:
Finalmente, el recién postulado Fabio Gadea Mantilla ha dejado muy claro su posición sobre los varones que nacemos con “exceso de hormonas femeninas” o las mujeres con “exceso de hormonas masculinas”. Será que el acaso impulse un programa con el Ministerio de Salud para “tratar por la ciencia moderna para equilibrar el funcionamiento hormonal del ser humano”. Increíblemente, el candidato que dice ser de la unidad promueve la discriminación para la diversidad sexual. Lo hemos de ver pidiendo votos y quizás ahí sienta la misma “repulsión” cuando vea a un gay, un trans o una lesbiana. O será que no votamos, no pagamos impuestos y no pensamos.
Finally, the newly nominated candidate Fabio Gadea Mantilla has made his position on men that are born with an “excess of female hormones” or women with an “excess of male hormones” very clear. Maybe he will push for a program in the Ministry of Health to “work with modern science to balance the hormonal levels of human beings.” Incredibly, the candidate who claims to belong to the coalition promotes discrimination for sexual diversity. We will probably see him asking for votes and maybe there he will feel the same “repulsion” when he sees a gay, trans or lesbian person. Or maybe [in his opinion] we don't vote, we don't pay taxes and we don't think.
On the official position of the current government, Espacio Nica wrote:
Hablemos primero del Presidente Ortega, como le caracteriza, ha empezado a utilizar un discurso donde pregona el “restablecimiento de derechos” y, utilizando la frase de un activista gay local, se presenta como un verdadero “canto de sirena”. Lo más interesante es que no ha sido él, ni la propia Primera Dama Rosario Murillo, quienes pregonan esto para la diversidad sexual. Su discurso se ha materializado a través del Ministerio de Cultura, la Juventud Sandinista y la misma Procuraduría de la Diversidad Sexual. Cada uno ha expuesto el gran avance para la diversidad durante el gobierno de Ortega. Sin embargo, nosotros no criticamos la acción si no la falta de política pública estatal que impulsa un verdadero reconocimiento a la diversidad sexual que venga desde el primer mandatario. Veremos si de acá al periodo de campaña el posible candidato presidencial del Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional articula una propuesta solida para la diversidad sexual.
Let's talk first about President Ortega, as he is categorized, he has began to use a discourse where he touts the “restoration of rights” and, using the phrase of a local gay activist, he presents himself as a true “siren's song.” The most interesting thing is that it has not been him, nor first lady Rosario Murillo, who have touted this discourse on sexual diversity. His discourse has been materialized through the Ministry of Culture, the Sandinista Youth and the Attorney Office for Sexual Diversity. Each of these have exposed the great step forward for diversity during the government of Ortega. However, we are not criticizing the action but rather the lack of public policy that pushes a true recognition of sexual diversity coming from the president. We will see if from now until the campaign period the possible presidential candidate for the Sandinista National Liberation Front will articulate a solid proposal for sexual diversity.
Speaking about this same position by the government, Arin Sánchez, a representative of a pro-sexual diversity movement that backs the current government, was interviewed on a morning television show on channel TV4.
The blog Comunidad Homosexual de Nicaragua commented on the interview [es]:
El joven en cuestión no es conocido en el ámbito de las ONG’s y movimientos sociales que tradicionalmente han trabajado el tema LGBTI en el país. Todo apunta a que lo sacaron de la “nada”. De las apuestas de este movimiento, qué podemos decir? Según palabras del joven Sánchez, su sector de la población comprende a jóvenes (por no decir adolescentes) entre 13 y 14 años de edad y que forman una “super-mega estructura” (según palabras textuales del entrevistado) que se concentra “en todos los departamentos, municipios, ciudades, comarcas y barrios del país” (cita textual). Se enfocan en temas “ambientales, de diversión, entretenimiento y de deportes” (cita textual del entrevistado) como oferta “de derechos”(cita textual) para atraer a este sector poblacional sexualmente diverso.

Nos llama la atención que hubo un énfasis muy marcado (repetitivo en múltiples ocasiones) hacia el hecho de que este sector poblacional “no está seguro de su preferencia sexual” y por eso el Movimiento de la Diversidad Sexual de la Juventud Sandinista tiene que recurrir constantemente a “brindarles atención y acompañamiento psicológico” (cita textual del entrevistado). Pareciera como que el Movimiento (o sus integrantes) padece o adolece de problemas o desajustes emocionales o psicológicos serios? A todas luces la entrevista pareció montada en lugar de tener una fluidez natural. Nada que decir de la entrevistadora del programa que a todas luces era evidente que tampoco dominaba el tema y no tenía ni la menor idea del tipo de preguntas con las cuales podía abordar a su entrevistado.
The young man in question is not known by those involved in NGOs and social movement that have traditionally worked on LGBTI issues in the country. Everything seems to indicate that they got him out of “nowhere.” About the initiatives by this movement, what can we say? According to the words of Sánchez, his sector of the population includes youth (to not say teenagers) between 13 and 14 years of age and they form a “super-mega structure” (according to his exact words) who concentrate en “all departments, municipalities, cities, districts and neighborhoods in the country” (exact quote). They focus on “environmental, entertainment and sports” issues (actual quote) offering “rights” (exact quote) to attract this sexually diverse sector of the population

It was striking to us that there was a strong emphasis (repeated on multiple occasions) toward the fact that this group of the population “is not sure about their sexual prefference” and that is why the Movement for Sexual Diversity of the Sandinist Youth has to constantly resort to “providing attention and psychological support” (direct quote). It looks like the Movement (or its members) suffers from serious emotional or psychological problems or disorders? Everything indicated that the interview was set up instead of flowing naturally. That's not even considering the interviewer from the show who obviously didn't know about the issue and had no idea about the type of questions she could ask her subject.
On social networks and on online news sites, an article by candidate Fabio Gadea was rediscovered; the article received comments like the following [es]:
Preocupado dice: Muy buen articulo, yo siempre he opinado que cada quien con su vida, es mas yo no tengo ningun problema con homosexuales y lesbianas, pero ya que se quieran casar eso se llaman MARICONADAS!!!!!!!Dicen por ahi que la homosexualidad no es nada normal y yo estoy muy de acuerdo!!
Worried says: Very good article, I have always had the opinion that each person can do what they want with their life, I have no problem with homosexuals and lesbians, but if they want to get married that is what you call QUEERNESS!!!!!!They say that homosexuality is not normal and I agree!!
Javier dice: Con todo respeto, su opinión me parece retrógrada. Mencionar a su iglesia católica no le favorece en nada ya que en la actualidad está vista en el mundo entero como una secta más, capaz de esconder abusos sexuales por parte “sacerdotes, curas, padres” como usted prefiera a un sin número de niños. Es fácil juzgar a personas que en su interior prefieren a alguien de su mismo sexo, pero como no es su caso, ofender y atacar los derechos de estas personas le es apasionante y gratuito.
Javier says: With all due respect, your views seem retrograde. Mentioning your Catholic Church does not help you at all because around the world it is now seen as another sect, capable of hiding sexual abuses by “priests” or however you want to call them toward an endless number of children. It is easy to judge people who prefer someone of their same gender, but since that is not the case with you, offending and attacking the rights of these people is fascinating and free.
No a la ignorancia dice: Es increíble leer lo que escribe un hombre ilustre y “educado” como Gadea Mantilla. Le sugiero fuertemente que actualice sus conocimientos sobre lo que él llama “ciencia moderna”, ya que lo que él manifiesta en este punto NO es una realidad. Este tipo de ignorancia es lo que no permite avanzar a las civilizaciones, a como en el tiempo de la inquisición la iglesia católica, que él menciona se encargo de infundir el miedo con crueldad contra todo avance científico de la humanidad.
No to ignorance says: It is incredible to read what an enlightened and “educated” man like Gadea Mantilla writes. I strongly suggest that you update your knowledge about what you call “modern science,” since what he is saying on this point is NOT true. This type of ignorance is what keeps civilizations from moving forward, like the time of the inquisition by the Catholic Church, which he mentions was in charge of spreading fear with cruelty against any scientific advance for humanity.
Jonathan Arauz desde Facebook: Alegron de burro me dio, cuando supe que Montealegre habia declinado su candidatura para dar paso a la de Fabio Gadea, pero despues de leer lo que este señor hablo sobre el tema de la Homosexualidad, me dije, no me gustaria un Presidente tan retrogrado.. Asi que definitivamente fue un alegron de burro.
Jonathan Arauz from Facebook: It made me happy to know that Montealegre had declined his candidacy to give way to Fabio Gadea, but after reading what this man has said on the topic of Homosexuality, I thought, I wouldn't like to have such a retrograde President. So it was definitely short happiness.
Denisse Reyes desde Facebook: este representa a la mayoria en opocision?? que verguenza…
Denisse Reyes from Facebook: He represents the majority in the opposition?? how shameful…
The group Espacio Nica began a debate on their Facebook page [es] about the need for a same-sex marriage law, and on how this issue is not secondary to the idea of an Identity Law that includes the rights of transsexuals to redefine their identity.
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