Things That Matter

LGBTQ+ Community And Allies Stage Kiss-A-Thon For Equal Rights At High-End Mall In Colombia

A young gay couple was holding hands and acting like most couples when they were at the Centro Comercial Andino in Bogotá, Colombia. However, a heterosexual couple with a young child verbally assaulted the loving couple calling them pedophiles. The heterosexual couple claimed that their love would corrupt their child and make him gay. The couple was cited for indecent exposure for their loving affection so the LGBTQ+ community came out in full support with a kiss-a-thon.

Colombians staged a large-scale kiss-a-thon in response to a homophobic verbal assault.

A gay couple in Centro Comercial Andino was harassed by a heterosexual couple for showing affection in public. Rather than hide in fear, the LGBTQ+ community in Bogotá came out with strength staging a kiss-a-thon to show that expressions of love are normal. After all, why is it okay for a heterosexual couple to kiss and snuggle in public but LGBTQ+ people are made to feel unsafe for doing the same thing?

“We want people to stop satanising and discriminating against the LGBT community,” Esteban Miranda, one of the men harassed, told Euro News. “We are not sick, we are not an aberration, we are citizens who are here to build a better country.”

Miranda and Nicolas Tellez were at the shopping mall when they were confronted by parents claiming they were being inappropriate.

Credit: _ian_miranda / Instagram

The couple denied that they were doing anything inappropriate. They claim that the heterosexual couples were uncomfortable with the two men holding hands and hugging like all other couples in the mall.

The couple called the police hoping to receive protection from the irate couple. Instead, when police arrived, the couple was fined for indecent exposure. However, bystanders recorded the couple hurling hateful, homophobic language at the couple and the videos have gone viral internationally.

The LGBTQ+ community and their allies showed Andino shoppers just what love looks like with their kiss-a-thon.

Credit: yosoycamiladiaz / Instagram

Colombia has long been regarded as a Latin American country that is quite liberal when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. While they do not allow for same-sex marriage, a same-sex couple can join in civil unions (not marriage) and adopt children. However, a recent report shows that Colombia has made no progress in stemming the number of LGBTQ+ murders in the country.

Protesters want Colombian society to embrace the LGBTQ+ community and stop demonizing normal expressions of love.

Credit: itamaria83 / Instagram

“Kissing someone is no crime,” protester Paola Gutierrez told The Washington Post. “All we want is for there to be less divisions in this society, and no discrimination against people over their sexual preferences.”

Some experts claim that the Colombian population is still hostile towards the LGBTQ+ community.

Credit: professor.sebas / Instagram

According to The Washington Post, homosexuality is still viewed rather negatively by the Colombian population. This negative sentiment to the LGBTQ+ community has led to several instances of hate and discrimination targeting the community. In the case of the mall harassment, the police immediately sided with the heterosexual couple issuing the gay couple a citation for indecent exposure.

It is 2019 and LGBTQ+ communities across the globe are pushing back on these instances of intolerance.

Credit: @krak_media / Instagram

“Mr. Pedro Costa: Love is not a bad example for our children. Your ignorance and your discrimination against human rights is. #YesToLove #FuriousGays”

The LGBTQ+ community in Bogotá sent a clear message to the bullies in the City of Gold. The message is one of love, strength, and a determination to stand up against all forms of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.

READ: Here’s How Brazil’s New President Went After LGBTQ People And Minorities His First Week In Office

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‘Insecure’ Star Kendrick Sampson Shared Emotional Instagram Post About Experiencing Police Brutality in Colombia

Things That Matter

‘Insecure’ Star Kendrick Sampson Shared Emotional Instagram Post About Experiencing Police Brutality in Colombia

Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Anti-Black police brutality isn’t just a problem in the U.S.–it’s a problem around the world. A recent Instagram post made by “Insecure” actor Kendrick Sampson proved as much.

Sampson–who has been very involved in Black Lives Matter protests this year–shared a post with his 930,000 Instagram followers detailing the police brutality that he faced in Cartagena, Colombia.

The video shows a Cartagena police officer appearing to tug on Sampson’s hands before striking him in the face. The officer then takes out his gun and cocks it in a threatening manner. The entire scene is upsetting, to say the least.

The video was originally posted by Sampson’s friend, Colombian actress Natalia Reyes, who wrote a fiery Instagram caption condemning the Cartagena police:

POLICE BRUTALITY, this is my friend Kendrick Sampson @kendrick38, an actor and dedicated activist of the @blklivesmatter movement in the United States, today this happened to him here in Cartagena and everything hurts, not only because he is a friend but because that is the day to day of many, because we got used to this and that is NOT okay, it’s not normal, the police have the right to ask for your ID but they don’t have the right to punch you, dig in your underwear (as happened before someone started filming) and pull a gun on a person who is not committing any crime or offering any resistance, taking him to a station, not wanting to return his ID and even trying to admonish him? What if this person wasn’t filming? When is this gonna stop? It’s time to rethink the use of force.

@nataliareyesg/Instagram

Sampson reposted the video on his own Instagram account with his own commentary on the discrimination he faced in Cartagena:

Cartagena is AMAZING but this is the 6th time I was stopped in 5 days. It happens to Black Colombians often. I’m told stopping is policy but what is NOT is they reached down my underwear aggressively, slap my arms 5 times hard, punch me in my jaw and pull his gun on me. He then cuffed me and dragged me through the streets. I did not resist any legal procedure. Thank u for posting @nataliareyesg & for helping me through this. And to the person who recorded this.

@kendrick38/Instagram

Some of Sampson’s Latino followers as well as others who have simply visited Colombia chimed in with their thoughts.

One follower said, “I’m so sorry this happened to you here. Cartagena also suffers from racism and such obvious police abuse, I don’t know how long we’re going to have to put up with all this. This is disgraceful.”

Another Colombian said: “Colombian people are pure love bro … sorry for that bad moment. Police in this city think that his uniform it’s power or something like that, many police agents think that are better than you only for wear that uniform and that’s so sick my man…”

This Afro-Latino traveled to Colombia and had a similar experience: “I wasn’t hit this way at all, but when I was visiting Cartagena earlier this year in November, they stopped me and my other black friends and questioned us. No one else in my group (a mix of mestiza, fair-skinned Indigenous, and yt ppl) to ask us why we were standing outside of our hotel.”

Latino celebrities like Rosario Dawson and Lauren Jauregui responded to Sampson’s post offering their sympathy and support.

“I’m so grateful you were able to walk away from this altercation alive and horrified that that’s something to have to be grateful for,” wrote Rosario Dawson. “Police brutality is rampant worldwide and the violence must end. No more impunity.”

Lauren Jauregui simply wrote: “Holy f–k bro. Sending you so much protection!!!”

Colombia has the second largest Black population in South America, right behind Brazil.

Black Colombians make up 10.5% of Colombia’s population. The global swell of activism after the death of George Floyd stretched to Colombia over the summer, with Afro-Colombians taking to the streets to protest anti-Black racism and police brutality.

There’s a longstanding myth that Latinidad is “color blind” because of its shared history of European colonization and the blending of multiple cultures. But cases like Sampson’s prove that is not the case. Police brutality and anti-Blackness is just as real and pervasive in Latin America as it is in the United States.

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Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Culture

Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Henry Sadura / Getty Images

Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

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