TAMIU Alum Fights for Family Rights in México
Posted: 12/12/13

TAMIU Alum Fights for Family Rights
in México, Gains International Attention

Alex M., a 2008 graduate of Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), is utilizing his communications degree to create a massive gay family rights campaign in México that has garnered international attention in recent months, including a report on CNN.

Alex and his husband, Pepe were legally married in México City and are fathers of a 2-year-old daughter. Alex said controversy started when their daughter was expelled from The Hills Institute, a private school in Monterrey, for having two fathers.

Alex and Pepe with daughter

Alex (left) and Pepe have a two-year-old daughter

“It was three days after the school year started when we were ‘invited’ to take our daughter somewhere else, to another daycare,” Alex said, “The school principal alleged that Monterrey’s society is not yet ready for our type of family and it would have been a constant conflict with other parents.”

Despite the couple’s attempt to fight for their daughters’ right to attend the school through negotiations with CONAPRED, a government-run organization dedicated to fight discrimination, the girl was expelled from the school.

Devastated and angry, Alex, a marketing and sales executive, and Pepe decided they were not going to take the school’s decision lying down.

“See, this exact situation had happened to us before in Nuevo Laredo and we did not protest,” he said, “We were told by the owner that the school is very conservative and religious, therefore, they were not able to accept our daughter. I found it amusing that religion was used as a license to discriminate.”

The couple took their plight to major TV networks in Mexico, but Alex said they were not interested in the story. A local TV station was interested, but decided to wait for a week, he added.

“I went all out in the social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and the issue got so popular that it forced the local station to release the story ahead of time,” he said, “After that, it went on national news network and became an issue of social relevance on an international level.”

The debate gained momentum on its own and the couple gained overwhelming support including those from other parents, lawyers, psychologists, filmmakers, photographers, publishers and reporters.

“I don’t think this is exclusively a gay issue,” Alex said, “This is about a 2-year-old fighting grown-ups’ ignorance and bigotry.”

Alex and Pepe’s fight has already yielded some results as both México’s Federal Attorney’s Office of Consumer (PROFECO) and Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) have determined that their case was based on discrimination. The couple has vowed to keep the issue alive by working with another activist to fight for the inclusion of gay discrimination and marriage debate on the Nuevo León State Congress’ agenda.

“We want to create an awareness for everyone and also a precedent that discrimination is punished and that this cannot be done just because someone with a moral compass thinks the world is not ready for diversity,” Alex said, “We plan to contribute as much as we can to the community and become in some part activists.  Being an activist is a full-time job and I already have one.  Fortunately, I’ve been successful at the international company I work for which respects diversity and promotes inclusion.”

Alex, who minored in marketing, said TAMIU prepared him for life.

“I was powered by TAMIU with all of the essential tools to function in a corporate lifestyle and professional environments,” Alex said, “It empowered me with knowledge, conviction and most of all, with the sense of being a pro, before living any professional experience.”

He said he has advice for TAMIU students wishing to fight for issues they believe in.

“It’s our time to defend our cause,” he said, “We were prepared to do so and you must use all your tools, even if that means stepping out of your comfort zone.”

He said his TAMIU degree has opened many doors for him and contributed to the prominence his family’s story reached in the public eye.

“We are not your ordinary citizens,” he said, “TAMIU alumni were prepared to change the world and it is our duty to do so. Do not be afraid of making waves. Fulfill your life by helping yourselves and other people. Do not subscribe to ordinary lives. Be extraordinary in everything you do.”

For more information, please contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 326.2180, e-mail prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu