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Newscaster Makes History in Drag: Breaking Barriers on TV

via Associated Press
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Guillermo Barraza, a 32-year-old journalist, has made history as the first drag queen to host a news program on Mexican TV.

Barraza said, “Having an alter ego, you have fewer problems because they can’t harass a character. You have more freedom to speak out.”

“There are many things that Guillermo wouldn’t do or say that Amanda wouldn’t think twice about,” Barraza continued.

Through the drag character Amanda, Barraza aims to push societal boundaries, particularly in a country where LGBTQ+ individuals and journalists face violence.

Barraza’s program, “La Verdrag,” challenges traditional views in a predominantly Catholic and “macho” society.

Drag has historically been a tool of resistance, and Barraza’s show delves into LGBTQ+ issues with a serious tone.

Vianey Fernández, a news director at Canal Once, said, “This just years ago, would be completely unthinkable, talking about transsexuality, gender, drag.”

“We want to open up spaces for the LGBTQ+ community, and we need to do it with a serious perspective, recognizing not just their rights but also their abilities,” she continued.

Jair Martínez, researcher for the Mexican LGBTQ+ rights organization Letra S, said, “They’re pioneers, showing how you can transform yourself from a victim to someone with agency, with the capacity to resist.”

“In Sinaloa, they teach you not to be gay,” Barraza explained.

“Historically, we were always ridiculed, an object of entertainment,” Barraza added.

However, the recent violent death of a prominent queer figure in Mexico serves as a stark reminder of the dangers faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

Despite the pushback and hate speech, Barraza continues to use his platform to advocate for visibility and rights for the queer community.

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