Mexico's First Openly Gay Mayor

Mexico has a new mayor named Benjamin Medrano – and he’s openly gay. According to the Huffington Post Latino Voices, this is a first for the United States’ southern neighbor.

The 47-year-old singer and gay bar-owner, who was named the victor of the July 7 election in the city of Fresnillo, has expressed his pride in being openly gay. Rights groups are saying that Medrano’s win symbolizes a significant point in the fight for gay rights in Mexico, the HuffPo reports.

Medrano is set to take office in Zacatecas, a largely rural state with a rather rough reputation, in September. The newly elected mayor said that, during the election, he was a target of a malicious phone-calling campaign in which his political rivals “tried to smear me, as if being gay were a crime.”

When asked about the region he will be working for, Medrano said it was “very machisto.”

“I am going to be mayor of a township (roughly equivalent to a U.S. county) where there are 258 villages full of tough country people, who don't necessarily have much information on what's happening elsewhere, and have even less of an automatic sympathy with their gay mayor,” he said. Sounds like an incredibly rough road ahead for Medrano.