The Spanish Version of the Documentary Fish Out of Water Will Soon be Released

FishFilmmaker KY Dickens has been featured on The L Stop as one of our Top 10 Lesbians to Look Out for in 2013, so you may be familiar with her 2009 documentary A Fish Out of Water. The movie won several awards for it’s juxtaposition of the LGBTQ community against those who condemn homosexuality with Bible verses. Using a cartoon narrator, animated recollections of Bible passages, and witty illustrations, Fish out of Water makes this polarizing subject accessible and non-threatening.

Although the process has taken a little under four years, KY has teamed up with Adriana Rodriguez to translate the Fish Out of Water into Spanish. While the initial introduction was happenstance, Adriana stresses the importance this film can have upon the world-wide Hispanic community.

Prior to the release Spanish-captioned release of Fish Out of Water, Adriana took the time to conduct an interview via email with me.

The L Stop: How did you first become involved with Fish Out of Water?


Adriana Rodriguez

Adriana Rodriguez: The first time I heard about the film was outside of Parlour three summers ago. I had just become a Medical Interpreter and I was chatting about with some people, when Kaisa (Ky’s GF at the time) overheard the conversation. She asked me if I would be interested in translating a movie that her GF had filmed. She explained to me what it was about and I immediately agreed to do so. After that, I got Ky’s contact info and vice versa, then some time passed by. In the middle of March, I woke up to a FB message from Ky asking if I was still in for the project. I smiled and the project began!

TLS: What were some of the challenges you experienced while translating this movie?

AR: The most common challenge when you are translating is to stay as faithful as possible to the content during the translation process. For example, “to Come Out” in Spanish is a term that can be tricky. “Salir del Closet” is a term that is commonly used within the gay community in some Hispanic countries, but it is not necessarily popular with some other groups in the society. And of course keeping it as precise as possible so the timing of the cut will be as close to the English version. We all know a phrase is always longer in any language with Latin roots!

TLS: Are there any other phrases that you can think of that are specific to the Hispanic gay community that are not common? Are there some phrases that you used that do not translate well (or cannot be translated at all) in English?

AR: “Ambiente” refers to the gay community. For example, “Alguien de ambiente” is a gay person, “Sitio de ambiente” is a gay place, etc.

“Fuerte” although the translation means “Strong”,  within the gay community it is used to reference someone that is very obviously gay (mannerism’s , clothes, etc.).

Of course there are many other expressions that are used to refer to a homosexual person that are very popular and most of the time offensive. They vary in every country. I am from Venezuela, therefore the ones I know are from my country of origin.

“Cachapera”: A Lesbian. In Mexico I believe is “Tortillera”. So as you can see it has their roots depending on the culinary culture of the country as well !

“Marico”: “Faggot”. Sadly enough, it is a very popular one. In Mexico it is “Joto” I learned that one here in the USA.

TLS: The movie was released in 2009. Why do you think it has taken 4 years to release a spanish version of the film?

AR: I think that once that the movie was released, everyone involved wanted to sit back and enjoy the product after such a long journey, and then another project was born, and then they got busy. The idea of making this movie available for the Hispanic community has always been in the back burner but it just took some time to cook it!.

TLS: What significance do you think this film will have for the spanish-speaking community?  

AR: The big shake that made this project get back on it’s wheels was an email that was sent to Ky. The sender made it very clear to her that in her case “it meant a life or death issue”. Is not a secret how homosexuality is perceived within the Latino Community, both due to religious reasons as well as culturally engraved beliefs, which make it extremely challenging (to say the least) for anyone trying to find their way in life as anything different then heterosexual. The definition of normal comes with a big thick belt of commodities BUT IF you are straight! . It is culturally accepted in the vast majority of Hispanic counties to make fun of, humiliate, and put down homosexuals. Is a learned behavior that starts in the family and goes all the way from schools, TV shows , politics and CHURCH!. I can not count how many times sitting at a church service they were jokes about “los desviados”. Knowledge is power, and this movie makes the topic of religion & homosexuality accessible. It is a very enjoyable non threatening manner for those who may be resisting a new panorama of ways to see life.

TLS: Could you explain what you mean about the “life or death issue”? Did the woman want to use the movie as a tool to explain to her family/friends/community?

AR: I really don’t know the details or the specifics of this individual situation. I can only imagine and hope that this film will make the necessary impact to transform this reality for so many people in the Hispanic community. I have had to wear that skin and is a hard one to wear!

For more info on the documentary and the spanish version release date, please visit


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About Tina

A transplant from the snow and mountains of Upstate NY (why, yes, there IS an entire state above NYC!), Tina moved to Chicago in 2005. Since then, she’s taken full advantage of Chicago’s sports scene, participating in rugby, volleyball, and hockey – just to name a few. Her first love, however, is soccer. She's proud to have participated in both the 2006 and 2010 Gay Games as well as the 2009 Out Games. In addition to sports, Tina enjoys traveling (she tries to cross the atlantic at least once a year). Tina is a ‘Jackie of all trades’, so prepare for the unexpected!


One Response to “The Spanish Version of the Documentary Fish Out of Water Will Soon be Released”

  1. Fantastic movie. As I am dating a man from el Salvador who speaks no English, and I speak no Spanish, this movie was timely – I saw it in English and was hoping for a Spanish version because of his stance that God says it’s wrong what we are doing, and now i may lose a perfectly wonderful man based on his religious understandings.
    Thank you for a great film and let me know if I can purchase the Spanish version.

    Posted by Richard | December 23, 2013, 11:05 am

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