By: Juan C. Torres Escribano
An interesting conference was held on October 24 at Chardón Building in the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez where the discussion about the LGBTT community’s Rights and Struggles in Puerto Rico was the main topic. The panelists were UPRM professors, Bernadette Delgado and Rafael Boglio, UPRM student Gadiel Ruiz, and Roberto Rivera, a spokes man for the Gay – Straight Alliance at the UPRM.
One of the questions asked to the panelists was that if they consider Puerto Rico a gay-friendly island. That question came to the conference from an article that Danica Coto published on The Huffington Post in which she said that Puerto Rico is a gay-friendly island. Roberto Rivera and Prof. Boglio compared Puerto Rico to other places in the Caribbean and Latin America in terms of gay-friendly environment and treatment.
“Yes. Puerto Rico is the most gay-friendly territory,” said Roberto Rivera. He also said that in Dominican Republic there are not as many LGBTT groups as there are in Puerto Rico that could help the LGBTT community there.
Prof. Boglio said that being gay in certain places could put your life at risk. Then he mentioned that since Puerto Rico and the United States began to have a political relationship, things changed. One example he always uses is the case between Kobbo Santarrosa and Pedro Julio Serrano in which Santarrosa made some disrespectful comments about Serrano. Then Serrano made a complaint to the Federal Commission of Communications, which comes from the U.S and that the next day Satarrosa was apologizing and was fired from his job. Boglio concluded that compared to the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America “Puerto Rico is the most gay-friendly place.”
Then the topic about gay marriage was discussed by both the professors. Boglio said that this is a recent phenomenon that has emerged in the last five or 10 years and that it will take time to identify it as a legal status. “There will be people who will be born under that system,” said Boglio. Referring to the problems about the social approval of gay marriage he said that; “For some generations it will die with them.”