Has Estelí become anti-gay?

An article in GayStarNews about a trans-gender woman being stabbed and beaten by a group of men in Estelí. The article goes on to discuss the police response.

When González tried to file a complaint to the local police station she was laughed at and told she was asking for trouble because she ‘went looking for men’.

Right or wrong, I think the police response was pretty accurate. But, has something changed in Estelí?

When I first lived there there was at least one gay disco. I also had a gay employee who reported pretty positively on the gay scene in Estelí.

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The Other Side

As has been said, there are two sides to most all situations. When I first started living in Nicaragua, I was surprised by the openly gay people that I noticed. I believed that acceptance, or at least tolerance of this group was an indicator of open mindedness, and, in general a good thing. I believe that everyone has a right to live his own life in his own way as long as it doesn't interfere with others. When it substantially impacts others, then there is a problem! I have been in Nicaragua for a year and have been employing, as a translator, and then befriended a young man that has been going to school for several years studying English. When I first met this young man he had been working part time for relatives and looking for a decent job. He got a job as a teacher (I think he was the youngest teacher in the local school system, and the only one that spoke English). He had to argue with the system in order to keep going to English classes on Saturdays instead of "volunteering " his time to the school on Saturdays. He looked into purchasing copies of diplomas that he had earned because the school system would increase his pay if they had his records of accomplishment on file. After realizing that it would take two years of the increased pay to reimburse himself for the cost of the documents, he declined. He was propositioned several times by an administrator of the school. His wife was propositioned by his aunt's gay partner. His aunt threatened his wife with a gun, apparently, because the gay partner had expressed interest in my friend's non-gay wife! My friend complained to the police and I watched as the gay lover of the school administrator threatened my friend with the loss of his new job! It appeared that my friend's whole family ganged up on him, even to the point of renigging on a building lot that had been promised to him! His wife being threatened with a gun, and afraid to leave the house, he being propositioned by an administrator and also threatened with job loss, his family against him! Three weeks ago, he moved to Costa Rica, his wife has a job working in a casino, his baby is still in Nicaragua with his wife's mother, and when he called from Costa Rica last week, he still hadn't been able to find a job!

There are jerks in every orientation

I had a gay house mate in San Francisco who complained that one of the guys at work was getting promoted because he was the boss's boyfriend. I also had someone in that city explain to me very carefully that I'd get to know him better than I knew my boyfriend (the implications of the job offer were pretty clear and he was looking for another office girl friend within six months at a time when the SF job market was quite difficult).

That's sexual harassment -- if that had happened in the US, the school could have sued, but even the accusations can be abused. The worst PR woman at my first s.f. publisher won a lawsuit against them for age discrimination.

Life is messy and shit happens (I'm kinda vividly aware of that today). People over-generalize from one or two bad actors.

Rebecca Brown

Tolerance is always going to be a moving goalpost

You can have 99% of the population being just fine with something and run into the 1% who aren't. Most Nicaraguans don't steal, but leaving your stuff out where someone could grab it is risky.

Rebecca Brown

Presence might not entail toleration

It might be that the city is not more (or less) anti-gay than it previously was. But, I don't now that the fact that there was a gay disco is indicative of some meaningful level of toleration. For an incident involving a stabbing, there is little detailed mention of this in the newspaper or radio blurbs (not that I found anyway); there is no real commentary on the nature of the wounds, medical attention, when the incident was actually reported to the police, etc. Even if glaringly under reported, if the study only found 53 cases of aggression/violence against LGBT people in Nicaragua in 12 years, this is noteworthy for how little there is, not how much there is (I have not seen recent stats, but suspect neighboring Honduras might produce 50 cases per year).

Fyl, it might be useful for you to clarify your comment

You said "Right or wrong, I think the police response was pretty accurate".

Are you saying that the reaction of the police was reported accurately or do you think their response was the right one?

The police here

tend to have a very passive approach--if you are looking for trouble they will let you find it and not cry too much when you do. I would say the general culture here is to ignore homosexuality but there is also a prevailing culture that people should keep their private lives private.

The culture hasn't changed any that I can see, but as the State tries to popularize homosexuality there will probably be an ugly response. And don't forget that getting stabbed or beaten in Esteli is nothing novel.

"Anything that is complex is not useful and anything that is useful is simple. This has been my whole life's motto."

Mikhail Kalashnikov, Russian inventor

Being Gay

has always been an excuse for gratuitous violence. Still unfortunately is.

It's often a rationale for other crime such as robbery.

The street Trannies are well known theives here.

And they pack a punch and weapons (scissors by choice).

They come down from Managua in teams of 2 to 4.

On the beach or in the street, the victim has his pants around his knees, a pocket or two picked if lucky or a good hiding by his n' her buddies if not so lucky.

I was in a local cantina

I was in a local cantina several weeks ago enjoying a Tona when two trannies came in and sat at the next table. First, they tried to convince me that I should buy them drinks. I refused politely. Then, one of them started to give me a neck massage. I got up and moved to another table. They moved close again. I left. That's the first time that I can remember leaving a half full beer!