‘Being Mexican and queer myself, when I saw that image I felt that I needed to honor it’
Queer political cartoonist Julio Salgado created a simple yet powerful artwork to pay homage to the 12-year-old boy who bravely stood up to the thousands of anti-gay protestors who marched in Mexico over the past weekend.
‘Being Mexican and queer myself, when I saw that image I felt that I needed to honor that image by recreating it and putting in my own twist,’ the 33-year-old artist told NBC. ‘I wanted to pay homage to that moment.’
The image that inspired Salgado was captured by photojournalist Manuel Rodríguez who was observing the demonstration organised by Mexico’s ‘pro-family’ group, Frente Nacional por la Familia, in the city of Celaya, Guanajuato, on Saturday.
The demonstration was a response to President Peña Nieto’s proposal to legalise same-sex marriage across the country.
Rodríguez snapped the incredible moment when a young boy rooted himself right in the middle of the road where the protestors were marching on with his arms stretched out.
Rodríguez later knew from the child the reason he did it: ‘I have an uncle who is gay,’ the child said. ‘And I hate that people hate.’
Salgado’s artwork mirrors the original photo, but also includes a banner for the protestors which reads ‘homophobia’ and a flag for the boy that says ‘From Mexico’s future, with love!’
Salgado wants people who have seen his artwork to know that ‘there is hope in the future.’
‘I really wanted to focus on the fact that this kid right here is almost representing a symbol of what youth are doing in Mexico,’ he added. ‘There are a lot of youth who are doing stuff over there to stop homophobia, and I’m just really proud.’