Posted on April 27, 2005

Hispanic Radio Raising the Ire of Gay Groups

Rona Marech, San Francisco Chronicle, Apr. 24

SAN FRANCISCO — When the call came on his cellphone, Roberto Hernandez was driving to work in San Francisco. The caller, who identified himself as Juan, said in Spanish that he had met Hernandez at a gay bar and wanted to see him again.

“Refresh my memory, there are so many Juans,” said a puzzled Hernandez. The man described himself as slim with “a very nice butt.” Eventually, the caller offered to give Hernandez his phone number — then announced that the conversation was being broadcast live nationwide on the Raul Brindis and Pepito Show, a Spanish-language morning radio program.

“Why did these people have to treat me this way?” Hernandez said of his public outing, which led the Federal Communications Commission to fine the station owner $28,000 this year. “Why the hell do they think I deserved something so brutal and humiliating?”

Such on-air mockery of gay men, lesbians and transgender people is common on Spanish-language radio and television, media watchers say, and it has raised the ire of gay rights groups.