Blogger and writer Enrique Torre Molina recently gathered a group of professionals from various media to attend a summit of sorts on the state of LGBT media in Mexico.
His assessment is a mixed bag:
Mainstream media in Mexico are increasingly including LGBT content in positive ways. Some examples are AnimalPolitico.com, Chilango magazine, CNNMexico.com, E! Latin News, M Semanal magazine, and Reforma newspaper. In 2011 a gay fashion designer and his husband were number one on Quién magazine’s (focused on soft journalism) cover story about the most attractive couples in the country. On the other hand, tabloids, and productions by mass media company Televisa (including gay-oriented TV show Guau) are often responsible for homophobic expressions and bigoted characters.
I am also concerned with the state of LGBT media as a striving industry. Every day I ask myself who is actually reading, watching, and listening to us. I worry that it’s mostly ourselves paying attention to what our colleagues are doing, and giving each other feedback. And that’s awesome if we’re in the business of addressing issues that only we care about, of patting each other’s backs and lifting each other’s egos (or, seen more meanly, bitching about each other’s work). But if we’re in the business of raising awareness on sexual diversity, of fighting discrimination against LGBT people, of sharing stories, of shifting opinions, of speaking up, of being the voices of those who are shut by the closet, or if we want our work to be a business at all we need to take an incisive look at what we do and how we are executing our work as narrators of reality.
In attendance at the meeting was Brian Pacheco of GLAAD. Molina says that he has been collaborating with them on projects, so he used Pacheco’s visit as an excuse for gathering his colleagues.
So it’s no surprise that the following was one of the meeting’s outcomes:
The most tangible conclusion we arrived at regarding how to work collectively was the possibility of setting up an observatory in Mexico with tasks similar to GLAAD’s, of running it with volunteers versus obtaining funds to make it a more sustainable project.
Molina and his colleagues are obviously going through much of the same challenges and opportunities that U.S. LGBT media are currently facing. I don’t doubt their need for an organization similar to GLAAD, but the following made me question what else they would need:
[Participants] pointed out the lack of professionalization of many mainstream media in terms of LGBT issues, but reminded us of the contrasting lack of professionalization of LGBT media in journalistic terms…
Perhaps an organization similar to NLGJA would also serve them well.