Monterrey is the best city in Mexico for quality of life. […] The capital of Nuevo León was one of two Mexican cities on the list of 231 and ranked 110th. Mexico City was ranked No. 128, down one position from last year.
Mexico News Daily
My name is Fernanda Garza, I’m 25 years old, and I am a proud Regiomontana, demonyn for the people who were born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. I am an English teacher, an activist for the rights of the LGBTIQ+ people. I moved to Washington, DC. On September 2016, as a member of the international Fellowship Atlas Corps & America Solidaria; one of them, part of the Emerging Global Leaders Initiative by President Obama. Currently, I serve at the Latin American Youth Center, helping a diverse group of youth to successfully transition to adulthood. Pretty impressive isn’t it?
As a Latina, living in the United States, waving my Mexican flag is one of the things I am most proud of. Showing people that a Regiomontana made it to (and in) Washington,DC is simply one of the biggest honors in my life. When people ask me “What part of Mexico are you from?” I always answer “Monterrey, up north, right below Texas!”, and that answer, has got to be one of biggest lessons I’ve learnt while being here… to always be proud of where I came from.
But, today, May 27th 2017, I am far from proud; I am, indeed, concerned and disappointed. I woke up with awful news from my city (once again), and I am determined to let the whole world to know why. Today, all my fancy credentials disappear, only to give space to a part of who I am: A mexican, regia, lesbian, woman. This is Jaime Roriguez Calderon “El Bronco”, the governor of Monterrey.
The First elected independent governor in Mexico. Though that credential may sound like we’re running into the next big change within the Mexican government, truth is, he is way far from that. He is remarkably known for his sexism, lawsuits for domestic violence by his ex-wives, conservative views, misogyny, and his humongous mouth. And well, for a person who said that Monterrey needed to be ruled with ‘all his balls’, there isn’t much to expect about his personality.
El Bronco, his given nickname, implies that he’s a fearless person who can take onto anything. Though, he has demonstrated to be extremely afraid of two of the most important things, and that are truly needed in Monterrey: CHANGE AND MOVING FORWARD. And here’s an actual fact that has probably slip through his mind quite a couple times: When you rule, when you are given the privilege to serve your country, you have to do it for EVERYONE! ALL! TODOS, TODAS Y TODES! That means, that as a politician, you do not get to rule by your beliefs; but by what is best for the country. Apparently, this is a concept that Jaime Rodriguez has not fully grasped yet.
As I read the news, today, I found myself –once again- processing Monterrey’s governor words; Impulsive, reckless and uncaring towards the people from the LGBTIQA+ community. This is not the first time that the governor comes out to the press to make his voice being heard.
The first time:
“No me gusta la exageración en ese tema. Tenemos que dar buenos ejemplos a nuestros hijos. Yo puedo tener un hijo gay, puede salirme alguien, hermano, hermana, primo, pero como gobernador debo poner un buen ejemplo. Yo tengo muchos amigos gays y yo les he dicho que no tienen necesidad de hacer la exageración que hacen a veces para generar una simpatía”.
“Pues que se casen, ya se pueden casar en Saltillo. No estoy de acuerdo en la adopción, eso sí es contra natural. Aquí voy a ser como el juez de mi pueblo, allá en Pablillo. Tengo qué hacer lo que la ley diga”
Today, the second time:
“Yo no soy moralista ni religioso. Creo en ese principio de la familia, creo en el matrimonio, no en las otras zonceras, no creo en las otras cosas”. “El matrimonio es hombre-mujer. Punto. Si alguno de ustedes piensa lo contrario, convenza a la sociedad. Yo no” […] “Así podremos hacer de Nuevo León, el mejor lugar para vivir para todos”.
The backup to these statements? He is a moral, religious man who was raised as a “normal” person by his mother. He goes to weddings, quinceaños, and church, every Sunday. Dear Mr. Rodriguez, as far as I know, GOD never discriminated love, and much less a person; and if your religion is teaching you to hate what is not “normal”, then I would say that what is not normal is your religion, because GOD is supposed to be based in LOVE.
In the spirit of the international LGBTIQ+ month, let’s get back to our main point:
Does Monterrey truly have the best quality of life…for the people of the LGBTIQ+ community?
I dare to say NO. We do not; and Monterrey does not.
Apart from the elements that were taken into account to crown Monterrey with this title; we truly need to take a deep look into the quality of actual- social life that the Regios and Regias have. This is an open call out to the Governor who believes that his archaic words benefit our society; a governor who believes that he can rule and dictate for everyone, based on his personal opinions; in other words, a failed governor who does not know how to take care of his people or grant everyone the same rights that are given by law.
I wish I could say that I find it extremely hard to believe that Monterrey has this type of politicians, but I can’t. I acknowledge that my city has a deep lack of understanding, empathy, love, kidness, and acceptance towards one another. The reason why we have this governor is because he is a reflection of what people still believe to be our traditions, culture or education. People voted for him because he said that he could take on drug cartels; as of today, Monterrey is unsafe, and citizens are concerned that a shooting may happen right in front of their school, out of nowhere. People voted for him because he had “the balls” to do what other politicians haven’t, the results? Earlier this year, the first shooting at a school, happened in Monterrey.
How in the world can he use a platform that is supposed to take care of the people, to harm them? Is he proving his masculinity? Is he trying to prove that he will go to heaven because he neglects LGBTIQ people on an international scale? Is he trying to prove that all regios and regias believe the same as he does, and that they’re all “normal”? or, is he just too afraid of GOD’s punishment on him?.
How can he define what is normal? According to whom? The best quality of life is not earned by having the best infrastructure (which we don’t have, I may add). The best quality of life in a city is earned by the level of happiness, safety, openness and inclusion in which its people live. Do you believe, Jaime Rodriguez, that this is the message your term as a governor gives to the people? HELL, NO, MR!
The fact that you believe something to be true, does not make it actual true.
The fact that you believe something is not normal or doesn’t exist, does not make it acceptable to go and make it a law. Which, now that we talk about this… weren’t those your exact words? “I will do as the law says”. Did you ever find out that the Supreme Court of Mexico made marriage equality legal in our country? Or were you too busy riding your ponies?
You are not taking into account the well-being of the citizens of Monterrey. You don’t care about a 15 year old gay boy that is being bullied at school for just being who he is, because your public words ENABLE AND ALLOW bullies to oppress something that is “not normal”, and that, Señor Rodriguez, MAKES A BULLY OUT OF YOURSELF. A Governor that is allowing micro-violence to live in the young hearts and minds of the new generations, living in Nuevo León; most importantly, THE ONLY THING YOU ARE DOING IS GIVING MONTERREY THE BAD REPUTATION OF A NARROW- MINDED PLACE WHERE IT IS OK TO DISCRIMINATE, BULLY, AND PROVE YOURSELF THE “MACHO MEN” OF MEXICO.
Monterrey is my city. I developed a sense of belonging and pride towards my Cerro de la Silla way before you came here claiming it as yours. And this act of discrimination based on your personal views, Mr. Rodriguez, IS NOT WHAT REGIOMONTANOS DO. What you are doing – like every other politician- is using your power to leave our city stuck in ancient practices that do not go hand in hand with the evolution of “The best city to live in Mexico”.
LGBTIQA+ people are individuals who deserve every single bit of respect, love, and access to an amazing life, as every heterosexual person in the world. We are mothers, fathers, cousins, sons, daughters, WE ARE FIRST CLASS CITIZENS! ; We contribute to the economy and power of Monterrey, Nuevo León. And I am living proof, that I am contributing to the world, even so much more than a “normal” heterosexual person is doing right now. When Monterrey stands out, internationally, MANY TIMES is because of LGBTIQA+ people. Giving EQUAL access to our rights, fostering acceptance and education towards diversity… THAT IS WHAT GIVES QUALITY TO MONTERREY.
A city that opresses certain kind of people, simply talks about A FAILED GOVERNMENT. And that is what you are, Mr. Rodriguez, a failed governor.
But you? You think that ruling my city is about tweeting that the Tigres won a game and you will have carne asada because of it. And no, Mr. Rodriguez! I REFUSE to accept your statements towards myself, personally, as a part of the LGBTIQA+ community. Because, guess what?
YOUR RELIGION DOES NOT DICTATE MY RIGHT TO HAVE RIGHTS.
We have a constitution, just in case you haven’t noticed yet.
I am determined to work relentlessly to make Monterrey proud. But that will be, the Monterrey that WE ALL DESERVE; where WE ALL have a fair shot. Not a Monterrey that neglects people’s basic human rights out of fear of GOD.
Muy bronco, muy bronco… y para las cosas importantes, salió muy zacatón.