Image Source: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC
I can't say it enough: I love how Bad Bunny is using his platform to break stereotypes and push for tolerance and inclusivity. Yes, when he rose to fame, his lyrics might've rubbed people the wrong way given their explicit nature, but he continues to transform into a man worth following.
From wearing pendant earrings to getting his nails done in bright colors to being extra affectionate with his peers to being vulnerable and emotional in public, Bad Bunny is breaking all the "macho Latino" stereotypes and showing men — Latino or not — that just because you do these things doesn't make you less of a man.
Last night, he was at it again during his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. After revealing the name and cover of his new album, Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana, and talking about how he was terrified to go on and perform with Shakira at the Super Bowl, Benito (his real name) took the stage alongside Panamanian sensation Sech to perform their single "Ignorantes."
While the song is about estranged lovers who left each other probably due to their ignorance, Bad Bunny took the public moment to make a statement that had nothing to do with the track. He wore a black skirt, long pendant earrings, a pink blazer, and, under it, a shirt that read "Mataron a Alexa, no a un hombre con falda," which translates to "They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt."
This message was in reference to a trans woman killed in Puerto Rico this week. When the news broke, the local outlets were referring to her as a "man in a skirt," furthermore proving that trans rights are still an uphill battle in our Latin American countries.
Alexa was using the bathroom at a local McDonald's when a woman called the police and complained that there was "a man who was dressed as a female" with a mirror, and she was concerned she could be using that to peek into the stalls. Eventually, no charges were filed and police found no evidence, so they only issued an "incident" report.
But soon after, messages on social media spread about the incident, distorting the facts, blowing things out of proportion, and tapping into ignorance and fears of the LGBTQ+ community. According to evidence, at least four teenagers spotted her on the street and followed her while calling her all sorts of vulgar, discriminatory, and transphobic slurs, until shots were fired and police found her body in the early morning hours.
The investigation is still ongoing, and people are asking for answers in this senseless killing. Having voices like Bad Bunny's bring this case into an international light is encouraging in a way, because he's redirecting all eyes to this case while proving that every person is valid regardless of their gender identity, the clothes they wear, or how they present themselves to the world.