With gay couple as stars, Mexican telenovela set to make history

A Mexican soap opera that debuts on Sunday is set to make television history as the country’s first telenovela to feature a gay couple as the leading characters.

“Juntos, El Corazon Nunca se Equivoca” (Together, the Heart is Never Wrong) from Mexican network Televisa centers on two teenagers who move to Mexico City to attend a university.

The couple – Aristoteles (Emilio Osorio) and Cuahutemoc or ‘Temo’ (Joaquin Bondoni) – first appeared on the Mexican soap “Mi Marido Tiene Mas Familia” (My Husband Has More Family), which ran from 2017 until February this year.

Among the most watched shows in Mexico, its final episode attracting nearly four million viewers, according to Televisa.

Telenovelas are hugely popular in Mexico and can influence national dialogue on social issues across Latin America.

The first gay kiss in socially conservative Brazil on the soap “Amor a Vida” in 2014 was seen as a historic moment in gay rights.

They are exported around the world, and “Mi Marido Tiene Mas Familia” was broadcast in the United States on its largest Spanish-language station, Univision.

Word of a spinoff show featuring Aristoteles and Temo, or ‘Aristemo’ as they are known, sent fans into a frenzy on social media.

“It was a dream come true,” said Sofia Estefania Palacios Osorio, 21, on Twitter.

“There is so much machismo, discrimination and taboos around LGBT couples,” she wrote. “It’s going to help more people see that it’s something normal, that love is love.”

Mexican telenovelas have featured gay characters but they are relegated to secondary roles, while lesbian relationships have only been represented in the past few years.

LGBT+ characters have featured increasingly on soap operas around the world, from the first openly lesbian character on “All My Children” in 1983 to the first transgender character on a British soap, “Coronation Street,” in 1998.

“Mi Marido Tiene Mas Familia” was honored by the U.S.-based LGBT+ media advocacy group GLAAD last month, and the two actors and producer Juan Osorio were honored also at the Mexico City LGBT+ film festival in May.

“It shows that there are a lot of people, and a lot of young people of different ages who are interested in being able to connect with this kind of story,” said Santiago Pineda, one of the writers of both the original show and its spinoff.

LGBT+ supporters say the show has brought greater acceptance of gay romance, and the spinoff is a key moment for gay visibility.

“For people of my generation, a lot of us had to have a delayed adolescence, because at that age, it was unimaginable to show affection or even think of having a romantic relationship,” said Alex Orue, head of It Gets Better Mexico, an LGBT+ youth support group.

Pineda said he and writing partner Pablo Ferrer never saw sexual diversity represented on television when they were young.

“We wanted it to be a friendlier approach so that everyone could see that Aristoteles and Temo, beyond their sexual orientation, were both people with dreams, goals, fears and aspirations,” Pineda told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Despite progress on LGBT+ rights, Mexico remains a conservative, Catholic country where gay people often may face violence and discrimination.

According to a 2012 study from local rights group ADIL, half of LGBT+ people bullied at school had experienced depression, while a quarter had contemplated suicide.

“Having this kind of representation, at a mainstream level, at this scale, in Mexico … is very positive,” Orue said.

According to Ferrer, the show has even helped some viewers speak up.

“Fans tell stories that they’ve been able to come out of the closet with their family, that Aristemo helped them come out,” he said.

But it has stoked controversy as well.

Carlos Leal, a politician with the ruling Morena party in the state of Nuevo Leon, said on Twitter in January: “It’s clear that television channels are trying to ‘normalize’ homosexuality from youth with a pro-LGBT agenda.”

That and other comments eventually led to his expulsion from the party.

Some within the LGBT+ community say the portrayal of gay love is sanitized and unrealistic.

Gabriel Gutierrez Garcia, an editor at LGBT+ news site Escandala, criticized its “singular message of beauty.”

“We have to talk about … about ‘ugly’ gays, poor gays, who don’t fall into the pretty boy model,” he said.

The show’s writers said their approach was deliberate to appeal to a wide audience.

“I think that in this era, we need positive stories, luminous stories,” Ferrer said.

Reporting by Oscar Lopez, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit news.trust.org

Trending News on PVDN

  • Two More Puerto Vallarta Beaches Are Awarded Blue FlagsTwo More Puerto Vallarta Beaches Are Awarded Blue Flags Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) - In the upcoming 2023-2024 season, Puerto Vallarta is set to host six beaches awarded with the Blue Flag accreditation, an esteemed international recognition for high environmental and quality standards. The Blue Flag committee has reconfirmed the status for four previously certified beaches while conferring this prestigious title to two new beaches…
  • Popocatépetl Volcano Resumes Activity; Authorities Maintain Alert StatusPopocatépetl Volcano Resumes Activity; Authorities Maintain Alert Status PUERTO VALLARTA (PVDN) - After a period of relative calm last week, Mexico's Popocatépetl volcano resumed minor activity on Friday night and through Saturday night, as reported by the National Civil Protection Coordination (CNPC). This comes following significant explosions last weekend that put nearby communities on high alert. The resumed activity was characterized by minor…
  • Puerto Vallarta Set to Celebrate 105th Anniversary as Municipality and 55th as a City with Grand FestivitiesPuerto Vallarta Set to Celebrate 105th Anniversary as Municipality and 55th as a City with Grand Festivities PUERTO VALLARTA - The coastal paradise of Puerto Vallarta is poised to celebrate two landmark anniversaries: the 105th anniversary of its recognition as a municipality and the 55th anniversary of its elevation to city status, with a grand commemoration on May 31, 2023. The celebrations have been meticulously planned by the municipal government led by…
  • 'Kingdoms of Mexico' Distinction Launches to Boost Tourist Destinations With European Influences‘Kingdoms of Mexico’ Distinction Launches to Boost Tourist Destinations With European Influences Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) - Miguel Torruco Marqués, the head of the Ministry of Tourism (Sectur), introduced the new 'Kingdoms of Mexico' distinction, a major initiative designed to enhance the appeal of Mexico's tourist communities on an international level. The announcement came during a presentation attended by the governors of Tlaxcala, Lorena Cuéllar Cisneros; Baja California,…
  • Tactical Groups Are Added to the Streets and Beaches of Puerto VallartaTactical Groups Are Added to the Streets and Beaches of Puerto Vallarta Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) - As a component of the safety strategies initiated at the Citizen Security Police Station, members from the Tactical Operations Group (GOT) have been bolstering street patrols all over Puerto Vallarta. Following directives from Commissioner Rigoberto Flores Parra and Mayor Luis Alberto Michel Rodríguez, these officers ensure a visible and protective presence…
  • <strong>Popocatépetl Volcano Exhibits Increased Activity; Yellow Phase 3 Alert Continues</strong>Popocatépetl Volcano Exhibits Increased Activity; Yellow Phase 3 Alert Continues PUERTO VALLARTA (PVDN) - In the past 24 hours, heightened activity was recorded from Mexico's Popocatépetl volcano, with an alarming 315 exhalations detected, accompanied by water vapor, other volcanic gases, and ash, according to the Scientific Advisory Committee (CCA) of the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC). Monitoring systems in place around the active stratovolcano also…
  • Mothers Searching For Their Missing Children Uncover Presumed Clandesant Grave in Puerto VallartaMothers Searching For Their Missing Children Uncover Presumed Clandesant Grave in Puerto Vallarta PUERTO VALLARTA (PVDN) - A team of mothers seeking their missing children made a chilling discovery on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta Saturday afternoon: a skeleton, fragments of bones, and several indications pointing towards a potential site of illegal body disposal. The area of discovery, located near the road to Viejo el Veladero, close to…
  • LGBTIQ+ Community Member Disappears At Puerto Vallarta PrideLGBTIQ+ Community Member Disappears At Puerto Vallarta Pride PUERTO VALLARTA - A member of the local LGBTIQ+ community has gone missing under mysterious circumstances, inciting deep concern within the community and calls for immediate action from local authorities. Rubén Michel Castro Guizar, 32, a deaf individual, was last seen on the night of Thursday, May 25th, attending the Vallarta Pride march. His disappearance…
  • American Tourist In Critical Condition in Puerto Vallarta After Wave Breaks His NeckAmerican Tourist In Critical Condition in Puerto Vallarta After Wave Breaks His Neck Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) - "Experiencing your sibling in critical care, confessing your love to him, anticipating the worst... it's a nightmare no one should have to endure," shared Adam Griffis. Adam's younger brother, Evan, is struggling for survival in a medical facility located in Puerto Vallarta. The 30-year-old experienced a freak accident while swimming last…
  • Trans Fats Ban in Mexico Will Prohibit the Sale of Cookies, Chips, Pizzas, and More in SeptemberTrans Fats Ban in Mexico Will Prohibit the Sale of Cookies, Chips, Pizzas, and More in September Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) - The Chamber of Deputies in Mexico has taken a critical step in the battle against heart disease, approving a decree that reforms the General Health Law to restrict the use of trans fats and oils. The move is predicted to save more than 13,000 lives per year, with these substances currently…

Compare Listings

Title Price Status Type Area Purpose Bedrooms Bathrooms