Concert in Support of Colectivo 41
By Sandra Ríos
On March 18, Frans Bloem, renowned international cabaret singer, held a concert at the Shelter Theater. Bloem, from the Netherlands, has lived in New York for 33 years and has been traveling around the world giving concerts, including San Miguel de Allende on his itinerary a few times a year. Bloem is dedicated to masterfully interpreting songs of Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, and even Piazzolla. This show, entitled “Life Stories,” supports the ongoing work of Colectivo 41, a group that assists and empowers the LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, intersex, and questioning) community of San Miguel.
Karen Ocampo, Director of Strengthening of Collectivo 41, said that the group has two main thrusts: to create activities such as “Rosa Cinema” or “Dinner Suite” to get to know each other and network, as well as to know more about their rights and to focus on “political education” to become agents of change in the near future. They also have workshops about sexual and reproductive rights, sexuality, gender, human rights, and HIV. Colectivo 41 will officially celebrate a year in operation this coming May. Ocampo said, “Frans has been a collaborator of Colectivo 41 since last year and has helped us so people of San Miguel know more about us, and they support us with resources or ideas.”
One of Colectivo 41’s biggest projects is called “I am the key.” It speaks to men who have sex with men and develops a conversation between them about ways of prevent HIV, using condoms, and performing rapid HIV tests, among other things. Proceeds from this concert will go to some services Colectivo 41 provides, such as the free rapid HIV testing, counseling with a minimum donation, and group talks with psychologists allowing discussion of their concerns. Colectivo 41 is located on María Grever 14, colonia Guadalupe. 121 5565.