Considering how the comedy “Will and Grace” moved social acceptance of gay rights forward in our country, the more serious radionovela, “Bienvenidos a Casa,” or “Welcome Home,” is a great idea. It features the story of a gay teenager who is rejected by latino society then accepted by his mother, then his neighbors:
Activists say it’s the first time information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues is reaching rural Latino farmworker communities in a language and format that’s accessible.
The three-episode radionovela, developed in collaboration with San Francisco State University and California Rural Legal Assistance, was based on input from community focus groups and performed by community volunteers.
Many Latinos grew up listening to radionovelas, which in some parts of Latin America are more popular than television and have inspired the creation of telenovelas – TV soap operas. The radio dramas depict life’s struggles through recurring characters and themes. In recent years, short radionovelas have become an increasingly popular way to raise awareness of various issues among Latino audiences in the U.S.
Welcome change for a culture that is used to ridiculing and trumpeting negative stereotypes. Latino entertainment has been in dire need of positive messages regarding acceptance of differing sexual orientations and gender expression.
Note from Joe: This is a pretty cool development — and can only help with potential allies. Last year, polling in California showed that Latino Catholics are actually strong supporters of marriage equality. Family matters.
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