Colectivo 41 works against homophobia

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

Karen Ocampo

In order to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Colectivo 41 will hold activities on May 16 and 17, featuring a “flash mob” surveys and a forum.

Colectivo 41 is an LGBT ( lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) organization that has grown in the municipality, encouraging minorities to claim respect for their rights. Karen Ocampo, a coordinator of Colectivo 41, said that the organization emerged in 2012 through the initiative of a friend of hers, who offered sexual diversity workshops through CASA (Center for Adolescents of San Miguel de Allende). According to Ocampo, when the workshops ended a group of young people approached her friend and told her, “We are who you are talking about.” After listening to them she wondered what more she could do for them, realizing that there were no organizations in the city to help that group.

They began a self-sustaining program with the help of CASA, wich later became independent. The group, said Ocampo, is aimed at supporting the LGBT community in town. The Colectivo works to meet its goals through advocacy, mobilization and collective endeavors. The work of the organization is mainly focused on young people because they want to achieve a generational mind-change. However it is open to people of all ages. The office, which opened in January, is located at María Greever 12 in Colonia Guadalupe. The group was sponsored by Donald Winter, who passed away a month ago, but through a trust the organization will continue to receive financial support.

The group has chosen International Day Against Homophobia to present a program with different activities aimed at fostering a culture of respect. On May 16 at 10am, they will talk about their group and activities on the local radio station. At 12:30pm they will conduct surveys in the Jardín Principal to assess the level of homophobia in the city. At 7:30pm the same day they will have a flash mob on the esplanade of the Jardín.

On May 17, the activities will begin at 10:30am at the Teatro Santa Ana with a presentation about homophobic bullying in Mexico. Following that, at 11am a forum with local, state and national representatives of the LGBT community will take place. At 2:45pm the Colectivo will offer a press conference at María Greever 12 to publish a statement against homophobia. Their facilities will be officially inaugurated after the press conference.

For more information about the group, send an e-mail to or call 121-5165.

Ocampo explained that the group’s name, Colectivo 41, derives from the stigma that people associate with the number 41, because there is a saying that people become gay after age 41. The number is also a reference to a raid that occurred in 1901 during Porfirio Diaz’s government against men who liked men. The raid took place at a private party, and the 41 attendees were publicly humiliated. “It is a way of saying ‘We all are 41,’ and we are here,” said Ocampo.

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