(De/Re)Constructing LGBT Characters in Latin America: The Implications of Mexican Dubbing for Translating Marginalized Identities

Communication, Culture & Critique

Abstract: This article responds to calls for more detailed analyses of localization around the world (Castelló, 2009; Levine, 2009) by examining a Mexican dubbing company and its translation of LGBT characters for Latin American audiences. Gay, lesbian, and transgender characters’ identities are alternately maintained and mitigated because of industrial norms and technical constraints. While LGBT content has been censored in other national contexts, the current study demonstrates the confluence of factors that result in non-censorial manipulation of these marginalized identities in Latin America. This grounded analysis pulls from ethnographic research at the Mexican dubbing studio New Art Dub and discusses dubbing in terms of industrial practices and decision-making processes to articulate the ways local and global elements intersect. Dubbing professionals offer a point of entry to understand localization dynamics by highlighting to role of cultural mediators whose decisions can reinforce or challenge cultural expectations of LGBT people.

Laurena Bernabo 

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