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#504437 - 05/22/15 11:26 AM Caleb Orozco Featured in NY Times
Marty Offline

The Lonely Fight Against Belize’s Antigay Laws

Can one challenge to a statute criminalizing sodomy create a domino effect in the Caribbean

Rozco! Love you, hon!” cried a man in baggy jeans. His shout, insincere and taunting, was aimed at the back of Caleb Orozco, a 41-year-old man walking along a row of tarp-covered souvenir stands near one of Belize City’s ferry terminals. Orozco’s only acknowledgment was to walk a little faster, car keys clutched in his hand. It was a hot December afternoon, a week before Christmas, high season in the city’s tourist zone. Two policemen appraised Orozco but said nothing as more taunts flew. “Saw you on TV!” a woman dressed in white jeered from her craft stand, where she sold carved wooden boats. Farther down the sidewalk, two men snickered. “Caleb! You done rub too hard!” leered a man in a blue baseball cap, pointing to Orozco’s crotch.

“Batiman!” someone called from the shade of a food­-cart umbrella.

In Belize — a small Anglophone Caribbean nation tucked into the eastern flank of Guatemala and Mexico — “batiman” (Creole for, literally, “butt man”) has long been the supreme slur against gay men, the worst possible insult to their personhood and dignity. But now another slur is beginning to take its place: “Orozco.”

Click here to read the rest of the article in the NY Times


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#504486 - 05/23/15 11:25 AM Re: Caleb Orozco Featured in NY Times [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Does Spread in NY Times Benefit LGBT Agenda?

So, what does a major spread in the New York Times do for the LGBT Community? Caleb says it is about showing just how real it is for persons from community and he wants to raise awareness. And from the article it seems as if though Orozco has been facing the brunt of the discrimination, and he says many others go through it, but they are silent about it. So, we asked him today if it has been worth it and will this article help:

Andrea Polanco

New York Times, it is such a high profile media, do you think it will aid in terms of the work that you are doing?”

Caleb Orozco, President, UNIBAM

“At this point, I have to keep it real and in keeping it real, on the positive side, it will help to educate people about the human element about what is going on; not the politics; not the opposition; not the prejudice; just the human element and if my story has successfully educated families about what the issues are and get families in a conversation then my story would have succeeded in what it was intended to do. On the other side, the story will also invite homophobes and in so doing, the homophobes will bring out why the story is important. In that regard, the two opposing comments that takes place over the story brings into context the conversation of what it means for an individual to actually stand up”

Andrea Polanco

Do you think that what you have done so far has been worth it?”

Caleb Orozco

Caleb Orozco

“What I have done so far is not done for popularity, reputation or done because it is something that will get my name in the world. It was done because I needed to find a tool that to fight a system that refuses to respond to the needs that I have as an individual. It just so happen that in seeking to find the necessary tools to culture the system of oppression in which I live, it just so happens that the investment and the sacrifices that I have made personally have been transformative in getting people to understand and express their views around what the issues are for them”

Andrea Polanco

But it seems that, well, you’re kind of the face of the LGBT Community. Do you think that member of the community have perhaps put you out there; you’re there alone?”

Caleb Orozco

“If you had asked me that ten years ago, I would have said yes. But what I want to make clear is that nobody put me out here alone. I put myself here. It just so happens that the support I have are people who do not wish to bring visible light to themselves or people who do not wish to be the face of an issue because they have seen what has happened and they don’t have the support like I have. What my sacrifice is about is a call to action. For my community is important for them to understand that the time is now for them to act and defend the various fundamental rights and freedoms they have they have. It is not time to go behind the zinc fence. We have too many zinc sitters in our community”

Andrea Polanco

Do you think we will ever reach that point in the near future as it relates to the LGBT Community, or will it happen until our law is amended?”

Caleb Orozco

There is no reason why the constitutional framework under which all citizens live could not be inclusive and address all citizens. Our constitution doesn’t speak to ‘except’ it speaks to all citizens and that is how we must remember how human rights apply to our everyday living. When your life as an individual is being injured day in day out psychologically by strangers you don’t know, how long does it take you to stand up for your own self if the state doesn’t stand up for you, then we have to do it for us and this is what is at the heart of this conversation.”

Channel 5


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