A Note on LGBT Safety In Puebla

For those LGBT students who want to study at UPAEP, you should be aware that it is indeed a Catholic school. There is a chapel on campus, a small but present contingent of young nuns and priests in training, and a giant mural of a cross. However, this doesn’t mean that the school is unsafe for LGBT students. Puebla is a conservative state, but the city of Puebla itself is more liberal. It’s sort of like Salt Lake City or Oklahoma City in that regard. I only know of two LGBT exchange students who went to UPAEP, myself and a gay man from OU, and both of our experiences were largely positive.

Both of us were out to our cohort from OU, and everyone was fine with it, including both of our professors and one student who was an extremely faithful Catholic. The gay man I knew had been studying at UPAEP since August and had found a local boyfriend. Neither of us experienced any outright homophobia, but then again, neither of us looked like what straight people assume LGBT people look like.

As far as locals go, my Advanced Spanish professor brought up homosexuality during an “if the world were 100 people”-themed lesson, and he and my classmates all treated it as a normal fact of life. That’s not to say that I was entirely open- I never came out to my host mom, although she seemed liberal- but then, I study in Oklahoma and my family lives in Indiana. Neither of those places are the LGBT haven that the United States claims to be, and I don’t let my guard down there either. Nowhere is entirely safe for LGBT people, but the city of Puebla is pretty decent in that regard.

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