Question & Answer Series Mexico: Update on Treatment of Homosexuals   [open pdf - 132KB]

"Machista ideals of manly appearance and behavior contribute to extreme prejudices against effeminate men, and often to violence against them. The Roman Catholic teaching that homosexuality is a sin further contributes to intolerance, and is seen by many to provide moral sanction for mistreatment. To live an undisturbed gay or lesbian lifestyle in most of Mexico, one has to hide it. As the influence of foreign cultures--especially the United States--grows in Mexico, attitudes are beginning to change. That is especially true in the bigger cities, where education and access to foreigners and foreign news media are greatest. But change continues to be slow in the hinterlands, and even in the big cities discomfort with change often leads to backlashes. The poor are most vulnerable, for several reasons. One is that they tend to live in the most tradition-bound neighborhoods. Another is that crowding allows them little privacy. And a third is that their scarce resources provide little cushioning from the outside world. At the extremes of vulnerability are poor effeminate men. Their lack of education and marketable skills, to say nothing of barriers to entry in many professions, frequently drive them to become transvestite prostitutes, exposing them to the most severe levels of prejudice, hatred, and--in many cases-- violence. Another group that is highly vulnerable are persons who are HIV-positive. For all but the most prosperous Mexicans, access to effective health care, including anti-retroviral drugs, depends on participation in payroll insurance plans."

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: http://www.uscis.gov/
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