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  • Monica Taher
    *************************************************************** This is an update from GLAAD s LGBT Latino Media Activist list. Este es un avance noticioso de
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2003
      This is an update from GLAAD's LGBT Latino Media Activist list.
      Este es un avance noticioso de la lista LGBT Latina de GLAAD.

      I had the opportunity to interact with Patricia and saw her excitement as
      she, and one of the mothers in the story, received the award at the Kodak
      Theater. Props to La Opinión...but there's still a lot to do.

      Mónica Taher
      People of Color Media Director


      Brownsville Herald, April 30, 2003
      Box 351, Brownsville, TX, 78520

      Former Herald reporter honored by gay and lesbian group
      By Jennifer Muir, The Brownsville Herald
      BROWNSVILLE - The day Patricia Gonzalez-Portillo launched her
      journalism career at The Brownsville Herald, she cleared a wall in her home
      for the crime-reporting award she longed to earn.
      But more than 10 years later, as the pregnant reporter prepared to
      give up sleuthing to raise her unborn son, the empty wall was still
      collecting dust - this time in her California home. It was one goal the
      accomplished 36-year-old veteran police reporter thought she would just have
      to forget - until Saturday night, when everything changed.
      The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation recognized
      Gonzalez-Portillo for penning a poignant story about two educators who
      adopted a group of underprivileged children - parents who happen to be
      homosexual. Her award-winning story, "Dos Madres Para Un Hogar (Two Mothers
      in One Household)" ran June 17 in the Los Angeles-based Spanish-language
      newspaper La Opinion.
      Her story beat out competitors from the Los Angeles Times, The New
      York Times and The Associated Press, among others.
      Taking the stage amid applause from Hollywood icons like pop singer
      Christina Aguilera and a slew of actors from hit TV shows "Will & Grace" and
      "Six Feet Under," the Brownsville native accepted the award for a story she
      never planned to write.
      "This is too much for a Brownsville girl," Gonzalez-Portillo said
      Sunday, gushing about the lobster appetizers and the beautiful crowd at the
      Kodak Theatre a night earlier. "I tried so hard to win something throughout
      my 11 years as a journalist. I didn't even try for this one, and I won."
      Nick Adams, the media awards coordinator for GLAAD, offered his
      assessment of Gonzalez-Portillo's work.
      "The La Opinion article fairly and accurately described the lives of
      a lesbian couple who adopted several children," Adams said. "Ms.
      Gonzalez-Portillo did not sensationalize their sexual orientation, nor did
      (she) question their right to parent."
      Her story was particularly groundbreaking because of a harsher
      perception of the gay and lesbian community among Hispanic groups, she said.
      "I didn't know if (La Opinion) was going to let me write the story
      because Latinos aren't open to the gay community," Gonzalez-Portillo said
      while calming the whimpering of her 9-month-old son, Alan Raul. "But La
      Opinion always treats the gay community with respect, and they received it
      with open arms.
      "I am from Brownsville. I know who I am. I am married and I am not
      gay. But the fact that I am not gay doesn't mean I am going to disrespect
      that community. My best friend, Sergio, helped me know that you don't
      determine a person by what goes on behind a closed door. You determine a
      person by what goes on in their heart."
      The 1984 Homer Hanna High School graduate became The Brownsville
      Herald's police reporter in 1991 with romantic dreams of becoming a
      reputable reporter, meeting Paul McCartney, writing about a death row victim
      and winning an award.
      After 11 years of tenacious police reporting, Gonzalez-Portillo had
      accomplished all of her life's goals and is setting out on another one -
      juggling a budding public relations career, a five-year marriage and
      But in some ways, she will always be a journalist at heart.
      "I bought my fax machine at a garage sale. My office is at home and
      I am swamped," Gonzalez-Portillo said. "I hear the screams and I smell the
      poop, but I am here with my son and I am here working. Seeing my son's
      smile, his cheeks - that is my front-page story every day."

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