No more stigmas
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of their skin. People learn to hate. He can also be taught to love ”, said Madiba. That’s how Nelson Mandela was known, he devoted his life to fighting against racial segregation and for a democratic society.
And although many of us falsely think that in the year 2021 (almost 2022) there should no longer be references to these great phrases, unfortunately they are present because the stigmas have not been eradicated, and we have only drawn them at our convenience.
I have read countless articles about eradicating racism and classism, listened to a lot of news on the subject and of course, posts and comments on the so misused social networks about it – that at one point you think that if we are moving forward. But, it is the opposite, I see and hear that people only “tolerate” the other, the different. People often ignore such behavior as long as it doesn’t affect them personally or their interests and beliefs.
We recently heard of such a case in Puerto Vallarta. A case that affects us as a community and that rarely focuses on it, transphobia.
Verania Salazar, the trans girl who received the act of transphobia, shared on her social networks that she was a regular client of a club, until Saturday, November 27.
O&APV reached out to Salazar and talked with her about her experience.
As every weekend she planned to arrive at – “her favorite place” – as she called it, along with a group of friends. When arriving at the door of the establishment, the people in charge told her that she could not enter because she did not comply with the “dress code” and was denied entry.
“I was dressed very formal, to which I commented at the entrance – do I need a jacket? and the answer was: you can’t go in,” she wrote.
The person in charge, told her that they had been ordered to tell her that she was no longer welcome, because they no longer want to see trans women in any of their places or people from the LGBT community,” she said he told her.
We must be clear, Verania’s case is not particular, it was her turn. But there are many examples within the community, where people use it because they see and know the economic and positioning potential that it has of it, since there is a safe market that is regularly consuming new and exciting things.
And this is what happens with many establishments in our neighborhood, open in the heart of the gay circuit of Puerto Vallarta, they are displayed with the gay flag as allies and part of the community, when finally what they are looking for is promotion and take advantage of the pink market when they succeed, they decide overnight to stop being gay friendly.
But, as Verania points out, “gay people were the ones who attended the most and supported their place, so that they could open and that it was good for them, and now they want to forget about us and that we exist, it’s not right I’m not going to keep quiet, what they did to me is called transphobia.”
And yes, as Verania says, it is a total act of transphobia.
But, reviewing the history of the place and also of our community, you have to be honest or at least clear.
These types of establishments are clear from the beginning to those who their target audience is. In this case, people with money, mostly foreigners and “pretty faces.” And while those schemes work – we, as a LGBTQ community, reserve the right to simply not go where we are not wanted.
Local people, dark or “looking ugly or poor,” have never been in the interests here, and that was from the beginning, as many other places in Puerto Vallarta – but lets be clear – the rest of Mexico has always functioned in the same way.
In the end, it is not so much the power of the owners of the bars or the people they hire to decide “who enters and who does not”, but in each of us, and what we value.
Ask yourself, how much empathy do we have towards the other, when will we stop being consumers and believe that we are ALL worth what we have, what we wear, or whether or not we are allowed into a bar. Yes, we all suffer acts of rejection, discrimination, elitism, homophobia or transphobia, but let’s ask ourselves how many times a day or in our life have we dismissed other people just because we believe that we are better than them. And we do nothing, only until it happens to us in our own flesh. It’s almost an impossible ability to distinguish.
Finally, the history of Verania shows us we have not advanced much in terms of these issues, there are still places where they do not let you enter because of your physical appearance, skin color or gender. Yes, but we consent to it, being clients, promoting them and assisting them makes us equal or more part of the problem.
The time to speak is when no one is included. Don’t wait until it affects you directly.