MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) — As common as it is common for Dayani Marcelo and Mayela Villalobos to hold hands or kiss on the mouth in public, it seemed as unimaginable as they did five years ago as a couple in the Pacific resort town of Acapulco had decided to stay. Mexican.
Marcelo and Villalobos limited their expression of affection to the interior of their home: they feared being rejected or attacked in the resorts of the southern state of Guerrero, where same-sex couples are not well-regarded and same-sex couples are not treated well. Sex marriage is not allowed.
Determined to defy that reality, the couple this week traveled to Mexico City – where same-sex marriages have been allowed for 12 years – to attend a mass same-sex marriage ceremony organized by the Mexican capital’s government. for taking.
The links were part of LGBTQ Pride Month celebrations, which culminated in a massive march through the Mexican capital on Saturday.
After two years of no celebration, 250,000 people—according to the capital’s government—turned the center of Mexico City into the Rainbow Party, though there was a worldwide demand for full respect for their rights and sexual diversity.
A day earlier, in the middle of the Civil Registry Square in the center of the capital, and surrounded by a hundred couples from the LGBT community, Villalobos and Marcelo sealed their marriage union on Friday afternoon with a kiss on the mouth, while the wedding marches in the background. The sound can be heard.
Gay marriage is permitted in 27 of Mexico’s 32 states, which is considered one of the greatest achievements of the LGBT community, supported by the 2010 and 2015 decisions of the nation’s Supreme Court.
Mexico, Brazil and Argentina lead the record for same-sex marriage in Latin America.
Activist Mariaura Mota, co-secretary of the Mexican LGBTTI+ Coalition, confirmed that progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go when it comes to guaranteeing other fundamental rights across Mexico, such as a change in identity and access to social security. Access, and trans minors are allowed to change their birth certificate according to their gender identity.
Still marked by the ranges he encountered in Acapulco, Marcelo and Villalobos, he said he felt awkward walking through the streets of the Mexican capital. “I was nervous,” said Villalobos, 30, a computer science administrative student, while her partner held her hand.
After recalling the difficult years she spent during her childhood and adolescence in the northern state of Coahuila, where she grew up in a Christian and Orthodox community, the student admitted that she was always in an “internal battle” because she knew that She has a different sexual orientation and could not express it to her family for fear of being rejected. “I was always crying because I wanted to be ‘normal,'” she said.
It was not until she was 23 that Villalobos came out as a lesbian and told her mother.
The student never thought that this struggle would accompany her to Acapulco, where she moved in 2017. Then she decided to be with Marcelo, a 29-year-old store employee.
Marcelo, originally from Acapulco, explained that in his case the process of accepting his sexual identity was not so painful, but admitted that by the age of 24 he had become pansexual to help the civic organization. Cuenta Conmigo. , which provides educational and psychological support to members of the LGBTIQ+ community and their families. He met her when he lived for some time in the Mexican capital.
Seeing the façade of the capital’s government buildings adorned with two giant rainbow flags, like many buildings and businesses in Mexico City, Villalobos compared these scenes to those she lived in her native Coahuila or Guerrero. “In the same country, people are very open,” while in another place in the same country, “people are closed-minded, with many hateful messages to the community,” he said.
Marcelo acknowledged that when she returned to Acapulco, who is now married, her discrimination life would not change, but added that she hoped that her company would recognize her marriage certificate so that she could include Villalobos in her medical insurance. can do.
For Eliha Rendon and Javier Vega Candia, who were born and raised in the Mexican capital and declared themselves gay without much difficulty, the reality has been very different.
“We are in a city where all rights and possibilities are being opened up to us, even this community LGBT marriages,” said 26-year-old theater teacher Vega Candia, emotionally holding Rendon’s hand. and showing off the engagement ring they gave her shortly before they decided to live together in a small apartment in the center of town, decorated with hundreds of collectible cartoon figures.
Strolling the streets of the capital, Vega Candia and Uber administrative employee, Rendon, 28, miss no opportunity to express their affection and hug and dance as they wait for the light in the middle of a pedestrian crossing. There are traffic lights to change.
Vega Candia said, “I am happy to be born in this city thinking that we have these rights and not like other countries where they can kill us.”