Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mia Cepeda

I was interviewed last week by DR1.com. I can't go into what it is about just yet, but it got me to thinking after some of the questions they asked me. I know that the Dominican Republic, like other places in the Caribbean, is supposed to be very homophobic and closeted. And to a certain degree, it is. But I still feel a since of freedom here that I never experienced in the United States. I have never felt threatened for being gay. Or maybe I have and just didn't know what was going on. But I don't think so.

I am not trying to say that it is the promised land for gays. There is discrimination and ignorance, just like anywhere. But I think in many ways the Dominican Republic is far ahead of the U.S. when it comes to gay issues. In spite of the virulently homophobic Cardinal. Just look at the all the gays on TV.

This brings me to Mia Cepeda. She is a transsexual on television everyday with her show, Belleza Integral, which is all about beauty, nutrition and health. What is really amazing about her is that she is very open about her transformation from a man to a woman. She is on the front lines of showing Dominicans that we are just like everyone else, with the same need and wants. She is to be commended because she could easily live her life quietly, and not put herself out there to potential ridicule and embarrassment.

I don't know what the point of this post was supposed to be. But I was watching Mia on TV, and I thought about the people who are on the front lines. Those who march, speak up, get arrested and the like, so the rest of us can live freely.

Thank you, Mia Cepeda, for what you do.


Anonymous said...

I got a chuckle when you mentioned that you had been interviewed by DR1. As with any semi-public site, they have some good posters with some valuable information. However, being “open minded” is NOT supported with some being rather vocal. Unfortunately, the site managers don’t do much to curb that sentiment. Keep in mind that these posters are mainly not Dominican.
I do have some gay friends here in the Dominican Republic. Neither the gay gringos or Dominicans appear to have a problem with other Dominicans.
Let us know where and when your interview is posted. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't think of Dominican Republic so enlightened when it comes to gays. I think Mia Cepeda is fabulousness incarnate, but she fits the notion that all homosexuals just want to be women. She does represent a great deal of progress in our society, but she is just so "normal" (until she opens her mouth. I love that line is "Paris is Burning") that it is easy for people to ignore the implications of her very existence. We are a long way from a queer discourse in the Dominican Republic. At least we ain't what we was.
Ramon Figueroa
jackson Mississippi

Anonymous said...

I have known my share of transexuals over the years. That said, some of them just want to blend in and get on with their lives as women. One in particular I know is a registered nurse, married, and no one would look at her twice in a supermarket. On the other hand, others seem to want to "put it out there" for everyone to see. A sort of "Hey! Look what I did!" attitude and do not expect the world to accept them as women at all. Go figure!
From Puerto Rico,

Anonymous said...

Mia Cepeda might be an interesting case. But, that doesn't mean that DR is heaven for gay people, quite the opposite. "Old" and prejudiced people rule this country. Not to say that this country has Catholicism as official religion, and Protestant religions are raising. You could see some "open mindness" in "some" young people, but even so, to be gay is still a taboo. I know it well by personal experience, also because I have some gay family members and gay friends. I'm Dominican, and have lived all my life in DR.

Tourists is one thing, but to be Dominican and live in this country is a whole another thing.

Just to mention something, the constitution was modified to include a law that bans any type of abortion. Thanks to "ancient" people and the Church.

Also, I can't even imagine living in the country side and small towns or villages and be gay.