Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mexico is not Cuba and vice versa

How awkward is it when an international forum based on bringing equality to the LGBT community celebrates one nation (Cuba) yet has a festival celebrating Cinco de Mayo? It may not sound like a big deal but it is. Sure their SundayOUT! at the Piazza takes place on Cinco de Mayo...but it's not Cuba at all. The intention on celebrating Cuba's struggle is phenomenal but adding in there a celebration most Americans perceive as a reason to drink is not.

As Latinos all over the U.S. face constant battles trying to emphasize that not all Latinos are the same. Although we are here in the U.S. it's a little slap in the face when you're featuring Cuba yet celebrating Cinco de Mayo...with a party. Fact: Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Fiction: Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexican independence and is not meant to go out and drink.

According to Equality Forum's press release, "Featured Nation: Cuba – Moderated by Jarrett Barrios, Cuban native, leading LGBT activist and former GLAAD President, this panel takes an in-depth look at the history and current challenges and opportunities for LGBT civil rights in Cuba. Saturday, May 4 at 2:30 p.m." The other events followed include, "SundayOUT! Cinco de Mayo Party at The Piazza – Sunday, May 5, Noon to 6 p.m." Any relation? Nope. I'm not saying you have to connect everything to everything, I'm just saying it's important to know how disrespectful this can look to Latinos in the U.S.

Will anything change? Probably not. For any event planners out there be sure to check your statements, events, logistics and everything culturally sensitive before you put it out there. Am I being a little too sensitive? I don't think so.
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