Never one to back down from a challenge, Susanna Taddei is taking the rapid-fire changes taking place across the nation as an opportunity to effect local change.
Q: How did you get involved with Equality Florida?
A: When the ban against gay marriage was lifted in the first week of January, I immediately felt that the Latin community had no clue what had happened. They were lost. I had gotten married in New York three years ago, and everybody started asking me what was that change, if their marriage could be the same as a heterosexual marriage. I realized immediately that we were lost in translation. We needed to do something to reach the community and give them more information. So I called up Equality Florida. I had breakfast with them and in two seconds we came up with the idea of doing a series of PSAs. That was January. By April they were done.
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Q: How is the Latino view of the LGBT community different?
A: It depends. I think in general the new generations are very open. But the older generations… I still have friends who are 50, 60 years old that have been with their partners for 20 years or more, and they’re still not accepted by their parents. So, that’s kind of hard to see. These children, who are 50 or 60 years old and are planning for their retirement, maybe talk to their parents about legal aspects like wills, things like that, and they’re not respected or considered a marriage like everybody else. Definitely I see a gap there, a generational gap that is important to close as much as we can.
Q: Please describe the Unete a Nosotros campaign.
A: That came up during that breakfast. We started thinking about a very short video, a two- or three-minute video to just outreach to the Latin community. And when I went back home and started seeing all the topics that we needed to go through, it became a campaign with six or seven different PSAs.
Q: Is there a goal to go national or even international with the Unete a Nosotros campaign?
A: It already has gone national in the sense that we did it together with GLAAD. They helped me go through the script, making sure all the statistics were correct. They helped me also on the visual part. For example, when we were doing the transgender PSA one of the things they insisted on is that Vinna, who is a transgender woman, be surrounded by family, kids, her mom or el abuelo. That kind of thing makes it easier for the population that we’re trying to reach — that is the older general and GLBT Latin community — to accept the transgender [population].