So we’re coming closer to the World Cup, right? Huge excitement here in Mexico – we’re on deck for the first game against South Africa.
Naturally, Televisa (the big news channel here,) has intense coverage about the World Cup.
But something happened this morning. One of the sports commentators for Televisa, Miguel Gurwitz, was doing an interview with Cuauhtémoc Blanco.
For those of you who don’t know, Cuauhtémoc is one of the vets for Mexico’s World Cup team this year.
He’s no saint by any stretch of the imagination. But he has his place in Mexico’s soccer history.
In their interview this morning, Cuauhtémoc suddenly came out of left field, and started joking with Gurwitz about how being isolated before the big game was getting to him, i.e., he wasn’t getting any sex.
You know, we’re all human, I’m cool with that part. I even laughed when Cuauhtémoc slyly hinted about it.
But what came next? Cuauhtémoc started to make gay jokes with Gurwitz. Talking about how good he looked, and that you reach a point where anyone looks good, i.e. “even” a man. Pretended to grab him a few times.
Gurwitz bantered back with him, albeit a little nervously.
Cuauhtémoc then spoke to Carlos Loret de Mola, the head anchor for the morning show. Cuauhtémoc took Gurwitz’s hand, started to swing it, and took on a higher pitched voice. While swinging Gurwitz’s hand, he cooed to Loret de Mola that, “He and Gurwitz decided to get married in South Africa.”
Everyone was laughing heartily. God forbid that anyone take them seriously, right?
Cuauhtémoc then proceeded to coo to the anchor, Loret de Mola that, “He looked great in his suit.”
Loret de Mola had a choice right then. He could have used humor to educate and break down stereotypes. Or he could have done what was expected of him.
He did what was expected. He said, “Que paso, que paso?” Literally translated, it’s, “What happened?”
But its code for what men say here when the homophobic jokes aimed towards them come up. The “que paso” is used to show that clearly this doesn’t apply to you. That clearly you are straight.
Listen, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Miguel Gurwitz and Carlos Loret de Mola are not the only Mexican men in the world making homophobic jokes. And Mexico certainly isn’t the only homophobic country in the world.
But I get tired of homophobia being as commonplace as tortillas here. It’s just not funny. It’s not OK for Mexico’s homophobia to be splashed all over the morning news. A morning news channel that, for better or for worse, is watched by thousands in this country.
I know that I didn’t grow up in Mexico. But this idea that homophobia is a natural and historical part of Mexico’s cultural fabric is not something that I’ll ever accept.
Yes, I’ll still be watching the big opening game this Friday. But I’ll be thinking about this quote by Clint Eastwood:
“The less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice.”
Indeed, Clint. Indeed.