Trans women talk about dangers of living in Mexico, hopes of leaving

Yokzana Martinez Balez

Yokzana Martinez Balez (Photo by Amy Lieberman)

The plight of transgender women in Mexico and the dangers they face in trying to flee to Texas are highlighted in a story from

Several trans women talk about the lack of support of family and friends when they come out as trans, and the few job options they have of working at a bar, hair salon or on the street as a sex worker.

Conditions are harsher in Puebla, where the women interviewed live, because it’s among 22 of Mexico’s 31 states that don’t protect LGBT people against discrimination. Mexico has the second-highest murder rate of transgender people.

While some of the women have resolved their family conflicts, others still wrestle with the idea of a future beyond the Texas border. Like Yokzana Martinez Balez, who transitioned at 15. Her family reacted negatively and she was forced to leave her parents’ home in Puebla shortly after. She left high school and went north, to Sonora, where she worked as a sex worker.

Now 18, she works at a bar and also some nights as a sex worker. Even though money is tight, she knows she could make more working in the U.S.

“I’d like to go to the U.S. and spend my life there and have a family. My brothers migrated when I was young and are doing well there,” she told “But it is much harder for a trans person to migrate. I fear I will get killed if I go.”

Read about more trans women’s stories here.

—  Dallasvoice

Your vote in the 2012 Readers Voice Awards could win you a trip for two

The deadline to vote in our 2012 Readers Voice Awards is coming up fast. As in Jan. 28. Yes, that’s this coming Saturday. And doing so could get you up in the air.

Voters can enter to win a drawing for two American Airlines tickets good for travel in the US 48, Caribbean, Bahamas, Canada and Mexico. And that’s per each category. So you’re totally bumping up your chances and making your voice heard on what’s tops in the DFW gayborhoods (and beyond). And don’t forget to vote in the “My Gay Texas” photo contest for that image that best highlights the LGBT community.

Ready to vote? Then just click on and get started. Good luck!


—  Rich Lopez

TCU LGBT alumni group forms

Organizer says school has been helpful, supportive in forming group for gay graduates

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

There are some schools that are — or have been — affiliated with religious institutions that  not only wouldn’t welcome an LGBT alumni group, they would block such a group outright.

But when Doug Thompson, a graduate of Fort Worth’s Texas Christian University, associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), approached his alma mater’s alumni association about forming an LGBT affiliate, he said, the response was, “Absolutely. No problem.”

TCU’s new LGBT alumni group will hold its first large meeting on Saturday, Oct. 22, after the TCU homecoming game. Thompson acknowledged that sports isn’t the main concern of many LGBT alumni, but homecoming is still a time when many alumni return to visit the campus.

Thompson said when he asked the alumni association whether the LGBT group would need approval by the school’s administration, he was told the administration would back it. The group was approved in April.

Unlike Baylor University, which sued to keep its LGBT alumni from using the school name to organize a group, Thompson said there has been no objection from the TCU campus.

“We just want to get people involved however they want to be involved,” Kristi Hoban, associate vice chancellor alumni of relations, said. “We just reach out, whether it’s a class or the business school or a special interest group.”

She said that black alumni were not participating until the Black Alumni Alliance formed about 11 years ago. Now, she said, they’re active leaders in class reunions, homecoming and department alumni events, adding that she hopes to see the same thing happen with the LGBT network.

Finding LGBT alumni hasn’t been easy, Thompson said, as students aren’t asked about their sexual orientation before they graduate.

But Thompson said about 120 alumni have already responded, mostly to calls on social media sites. And now that the school has a Gay Straight Alliance, he said, finding future alumni will be easier.

“Our goal will be to support gay and lesbian students and start a scholarship,” Thompson said. “And we’ll form activities around things gay alumni have an interest in.”

He mentioned support for the Trinity Shakespeare Festival on campus as a direction for the group.

Thompson said that having an LGBT alumni group will help the school provide a better environment for its LGBT students.

Two years ago, TCU proposed setting aside dorm space for LGBT students. A week after the announcement, when only eight students had signed up for the housing, the school scrapped those plans.

“That got totally blown out of proportion,” Hoban said.

She said the intention was never segregated housing but really just an LGBT campus group.
Thompson said the school would have avoided the bad publicity if it had the alumni group to guide them.

The LGBT alumni group will get together after the homecoming game against New Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 22. They will meet at Tommy’s Hamburgers’ Camp Bowie Boulevard location from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.




Victor Pryor

Perhaps one of the best known Texas Christian University grads that will be attending the new LGBT alumni group’s meeting this weekend is Vincent Pryor, a TCU Horned Frogs football star from 1994.

That year, before the final game of the season against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Pryor came out to his teammates. Rather than shunning him, Pryor’s coach told him he was proud of his honesty

“My teammates and my coaches overwhelmingly supported and accepted me,” Pryor writes on his website, “All of the fears and concerns I had about being kicked off the team, or losing my scholarship, or embarrassing my school — none of that happened.  And the best part of it was that I became a better athlete after I came out.”

That day, Pryor had the biggest game of his college career, tallying a record 4.5 sacks — a record that still stands today. His performance helped TCU win the conference title and a berth in a post-season bowl game.

Today, Pryor works in sales and lives in Chicago with his partner of 12 years, who was a classmate at TCU. To watch his just-
released an “It Gets Better” video, below.

—  Kevin Thomas



The city’s LGBT community celebrated Gay Pride Month with several very gay events at the Museum Chopo, a contemporary and experimental space that looks more like a gothic cathedral building built in 1902. The Chopo has always been home to Ciudad de Mexico’s LGBT artistic community, annually hosting Pride Week festivities.

This week alone, the Chopo has sponsored several LGBT cultural events, such as a contemporary dance performance by the gay dance company La Cebra, directed by well-known gay contemporary gay dancer José Rivera. La Cebra celebrated 15 years of the dance company’s existence by performing “No Soy Pancho Villa, ni me gusta el futbol” (“I am not Pancho Villa nor Do I Like Soccer”).

Earlier this week, the Chopo opened with México’s longest annual LGBT art show: XXIV Festival Internacional de la Diversidad Sexual (International Festival of Sexual Diversity). This year’s exhibit, “Diferente” (“Different”), features paintings, photography (far right), collages and items that are sexually diverse, was well attended.

— Jesus Chairez

Chopo Museum, Dr. Enrique González Martínez 10, Col. Santa Maria la Ribera, Mexico City. The exhibit runs through Oct. 19.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 1, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

New Mexico House Committee Says “NO” to DOMA Bills

Today, three anti-marriage bills being considered by the New Mexico legislature encountered a major setback in the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee.  Three Democrats from Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) voted to table the measures, effectively stalling, if not killing the bills for the session.  The final vote was 3-2.

The bills, HJR 7 and HJR 8 which are constitutional amendments that would define marriage as between only between one man and one woman, as well as HB 162, the “Retroactive Bar on Same Sex Marriages” bill, were attempts by social conservatives in the state to enshrine discrimination in the state’s constitution.  These bills would deny thousands of New Mexican families the dignity that comes from having their relationships recognized.

Similar legislation was defeated last year, but with a more socially conservative slant at the Roundhouse following the 2010 elections, fending off this discriminatory legislation could have proved more difficult.  To counter these efforts, HRC worked with a broad coalition in the state, and launched two statewide action alerts to thousands of members and supporters, which generated several thousand messages to legislators and Gov. Susana Martinez.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  David Taffet

Mexico Markets First Gay Beer?

ARTISAN HONEY ALES GAY BEER X390Are you gay and a beer drinker? A Mexican brewery is coming out with
what it claims is the first beer aimed at gay drinkers, who it claims
are being ignored by brewers. Daily News

—  David Taffet

Canada Forces Daniel Garcia To Follow Lesbian Sister Brenda To Their Violent Fates In Mexico

Daniel Garcia, the Mexican teen who arrived in Canada three years ago with his lesbian sister to escape anti-gay torment, was today deported back to Mexico, following his sister Brenda's removal on Monday. The Garcias arrived in 2007 and filed for refugee status, saying Brenda, now 30, had been attacked for being a lesbian and her partner shot to death; having filed an emergency request for a stay of his deportation, Daniel says his mother has already received threats that he too would be targeted, even killed, if he returned home. Daniel, now 18, has been held in a detention center since last week after he was arrested for supposedly not filing a change of address notice with immigration officials, and failing to appear at a hearing. With immigration officials believing neither Daniel or Brenda faced real danger, today she put him on a plane back to Mexico City.

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—  admin

Madonna Commands Gym-goers in Mexico City to Get Hard


Check out the lobby (above) of Madonna's flagship Hard Candy Fitness gym in Mexico City, which she opened today.

The gym appears to be much like any other pricey facility, except for the gigantic Mr. Brainwash portraits at its entrance, demanding you eat less, lift more, work harder, and do it again.

Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Mexico House of Reps Backs Benefits for Gay Couples

MEXICO CITY MARRIAGE ALT 02 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMThe country’s house of representatives voted Tuesday to amend rules governing social security benefits for gay and lesbian couples. Daily News

—  admin

MEXICO CITY: Woman Becomes Surrogate Birth Mother To Gay Son’s Baby

After an in vitro fertilization procedure, a 50 year-old woman in Mexico City has become the surrogate mother to her 31 year-old gay son’s baby using a donated egg and her son’s sperm.

The baby, called Dario, was born by caesarean section on November 1 and the mother and child were sent home after a 48-hour period of observation. Doctors said there were no complications. ‘I don’t feel like a mother nor like a grandmother,’ the woman told Reforma, a Mexico City newspaper. ‘When they say “mother” to me I feel strange, and when they say “grandmother” also,’ she said. ‘I mean, he was my first grandson, and I don’t feel that way because at the same time he is my fourth son.’ The family has fully documented the circumstances of the birth so that the child will one day be able to learn of his origins.

The birth has already gotten widespread coverage on anti-gay and Christianist blogs, where it is being ridiculed as yet another example of “bizarre gay parenting.” NOM tweeted the story this morning and the Freepers are having a field day.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin