CIUDAD DE MÉXICO.- Como un músico mariachi gay, Carlos Samaniego se cansó de la discriminación y el acoso de otros mariachis en el mundo machista de ese género. Entonces formó su propio grupo, pero con todos los integrantes LGBTQ+.

Así nació Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Ángeles, considerada la primera banda de mariachis LGBTQ+, que dio tres conciertos el miércoles en la zona de Los Ángeles por la fiesta mexicana del Cinco de Mayo, como parte de una campaña de aceptación promovida por una compañía de cerveza mexicana.

Samaniego, quien estudió canto clásico y violín, dijo que formó la primera banda hace 20 años con hombres homosexuales. Recibió un impulso inicial para dar conciertos en un club nocturno de vaqueros latinos gay.

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La banda se desvaneció y mientras Samaniego continuaba con su carrera de mariachi, el machismo se volvió dominante.

A partir de 2014, formó un grupo más diverso. Los 10 miembros se identifican como lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, transgénero, no binarios, asexuales y pansexuales, dijo Samaniego.

“Quería crear un ambiente para músicos como yo, donde podamos ser libres, y podamos ser quienes somos auténticamente y tocar nuestra música sin tener que preocuparnos por el acoso”, agregó.

Samaniego dijo que a veces nota la resistencia de los fans más tradicionales, especialmente cuando tocan en bodas. Los familiares mayores que los visitan desde México a menudo se sorprenden pero lo superan cuando la música comienza, contó.

Natalia Meléndez, una violinista y cantante transgénero, dijo que a menudo ve que músicos latinos y queer la ven como una inspiración.

“Cuando hice la transición, no me di cuenta de que iba a ser un pilar para otros”, dijo Meléndez.

“Siento que tengo que asumir una responsabilidad. Se lo debo a mi comunidad y para mostrarle al mundo que debemos ser respetados”, agregó.

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