GLBT Handouts 2 – Pre-Departure Advising (Latin America)

PRE-DEPARTURE ADVISING

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NAFSA Conference 2001
Same Sex –Different Cultures: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues Abroad
Philadelphia, PA
5/29/01
Handout prepared by: Eero Jesurun, CIEE
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TIPS FOR GLBT STUDENTS GOING TO LATIN AMERICA

[ ] Enroll in a course at the host institution or school in anthropology, literature, women’s studies, sociology, film/cinema studies, etc. where themes of homosexuality and gender issues are likely to be discussed.

[ ] Learn and read about popular attitudes in Latin America about GLBT issues as they relate to gender relations, coming out process, class, machismo, marianismo, carnaval, etc. in the host culture.

[ ] Sign-up for volunteer or community service with a local gay, AIDS, sex-education, human rights or women’s group. This will put you in touch with other local individuals and support resources.

[ ] Fill out the Housing form (if applicable) with a lot of information about yourself. Many programs have experienced home stays dealing with GLBT students and finding a safe place where you can be yourself. For example, some programs in Latin America have home stays with a GLBT host or household member.

[ ] Inquire about “gay pride” festivals or marches in the host country. For example, Sao Paulo has the largest festival in June in all of the Americas (larger than New York City and San Francisco combined).

[  ] Learn local “gay” slang as part of your language acquisition.  Within the GLBT community you are very likely to find words that have another social or cultural meaning in the same language. For instance, viadu (literally meaning “deer”) is a Brazilian slang term for a gay male.

[ ] If police, immigration officials, and/or other official authorities stop you for interrogation, identify yourself as a U.S. citizen and do not boast your Spanish or Portuguese language skills. You can always request assistance from the U.S. Embassy if the situation becomes more complex.

[ ] Nightlife and entertainment in the GLBT community may seem exciting. First timers should go with a local national who is familiar with the different venues. They can advise you on general safety and social conduct at the venue and its neighborhood, dress codes and/or proper attire, street police, etc.

[ ] Make a photocopy of your passport or document that is proof of your legal status in the country (including your tourist visa).

PRE-DEPARTURE ADVISING

 **********************************************************************
NAFSA Conference 2001
Same Sex –Different Cultures: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues Abroad
Philadelphia, PA
5/29/01
Handout prepared by: Eero Jesurun, CIEE
**********************************************************************
TIPS FOR STUDY ABROAD ADVISORS:

[ ] Organize an orientation that includes a session on gender relations and GLBT issues in the host culture.

[ ] Identify a counselor/psychologist on site in the host country who speaks English and is also familiar with the “coming out” process of GLBT students.

[ ] Contact the on-campus student group for GLBT issues, and create a working relationship with them on advising students with pre-departure and re-entry issues.

[ ] Contact the Student Affairs office and identify resources that they can share with your office for students going overseas for study.

[ ] Create a resource list of books, travel guides, web listings, videos, etc. for GLBT Students

For example:
-Reinaldo Arenas’ “Before Night Falls” Penguin USA, 1994. This is an excellent personal account and historical resource of the gay scene under Castro’s regime.

-The video “Gay Cuba” by Sonja de Vries. 1995 / 57 min. / USA / Cuba

 This documentary looks at the promising changes that are beginning to take hold in Cuba’s Gay and Lesbian community.

-James N. Green “Beyond Carnival: Male Homosexuality in Twentieth Century Brazil” University of Chicago Press, 2000.  This is a good historical and social overview of gay life in urban areas of Brazil, such as Sao Paulo, Rio and Bahia.

-”Legends, Syncretism, and Continuing Echoes”, by Clark L. Taylor, in “Latin American Male Homosexualities”, edited by Stephen O. Murray. University of New Mexico Press, 1995

-”De los Otros: Intimacy and Homosexuality among Mexican Men”, by Joseph Carrier. Columbia University Press, 1995.

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