: A Director’s Perspective
BY Advocate Contributors
January 24 2012 5:00 AM ET
My name is Marialy Rivas and I’m a 35-year-old filmmaker from Chile. I’m starting off this chronicle with this statement because it contains information that has shaped me into the woman that I am and led me to make the films that I’m making. Because of my age, my childhood and pre-teen years were spent under a harsh military dictatorship, that of Augusto Pinochet. These were years in which thinking differently meant death. As a child, I couldn’t completely grasp this violent reality, but I was aware of the fear that crouched behind every corner of daily life.
As a Chilean, I come from a place where there has never been any official recognition of the violent past we’ve experienced as a country. Pinochet died without ever being brought to trial at any court, without even apologizing for all the pain he inflicted upon our society. In fact, he actually died showing pride in what he accomplished – in similar fashion to his followers (and this is at least a 40% of the country).
I profoundly believe that a country that is still unable to deal truthfully and face to face with these traumatic events is a country in which violence ends up spreading and manifesting itself in all different kinds of ways. One of them is a very deeply rooted homophobia.
I’m a lesbian, everyone around me knows it, and I don’t really care if it bothers anybody else. I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful family and friends, but I live in a country in which Carlos Larrain, the president of the ruling political party, made the following declaration regarding gay marriage on television about a year ago: “Why should we support the gay community? If we did so, we would have to support groups of people that propose…I don’t know…relationships with children, or the people who support euthanasia. Because in this matter of ‘sexual orientation’ — and this is what I’ve heard — there is a wide variety of options. I understand there are also people who want to have sex with animals; there is literature on this, on zoophiles. So I don’t believe that a country’s state policies should work for different sexual preferences…”
A liberal interest group present on Twitter, Movilh (Chile’s main LGBT organization) complained and asked for a retraction. Mr. Larrain laughed it off and said he didn’t believe it was necessary. No media took actions in the matter. Nobody really cared.
Most people in Chile don’t even realize this sort of stance is rude, hurtful, hateful, and profoundly ignorant.