On October 26th Mexico joined the 30+ countries worldwide, including the 7 in Latin America, to legalize marriage equality after a hold-out from the last state to legalize same-sex marriage. Today gay and bi people can marry in the entire nation, not just in Mexico City, which legalized same-sex marriage 12 years ago.
As a bi Mexican man, I recognize how huge this step is for queer people in Mexico. After 10 years of living in the United States, I’ve often thought about one day returning to Mexico. Although an oh-so-familiar feeling overcomes me when I contemplate my childhood and how intolerant people in my life were, without realizing that I was a queer man myself.
When I think back and look at things from a different perspective, I'm sure I didn't have it as bad as others who live in different parts of Mexico, compared to what I experienced in one of the most metropolitan cities in the world. And in fact, Mexico City has always been known as one of the most progressive cities in Latin America. But perspective doesn't change the fact that I felt truly unwelcome and repudiated by the culture at large growing up. These experiences forced me, and many other people, into the closet and so I had to simply negate my attraction to men altogether and focus on my attraction to women.
Thankfully, I moved to the west coast with some family I had here in the United States. There, I was a teenager living in a relatively progressive part of the country. Not only did I find acceptance but also celebration of my sexuality by others like me and even straight friends. While my peers in Mexico didn't come out until their mid-twenties, those same peers in the United States had already been out for years and were prominent members of the LGBT community.
This drastic change in my surroundings allowed me to leave all that intolerance and ignorance I had towards my own queerness behind and to flourish into a proud bi and polyamorous man fighting for the same opportunity for other queer people. Just like other queer and poly people fought to push the New York court case to recognize and provide legal protection for people in relationships with 3 or more people.
October 26th was an important day in history, changing life for all gay and bi people in Mexico. Although this has been a fight for years, the federalization of marriage equality allows families to be more visible and to be more equal. Let’s hope Mexico can set an example and inspire other countries to take the same step. After welcoming the vote, Arturo Zaldívar, president of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico tweeted, “The whole country shines with a huge rainbow. Long live the dignity and rights of all people. Love is love”.