Filed by: Jesse Monteagudo
March 15, 2011 3:30 PMI first knew there was something queer about astrology back in my teen years, when I first saw Walter Mercado on television. Though Mercado's homosexuality has never been established, this flamboyant, androgynous, perfumed, bouffant, heavily-made up psychic seemed to me to be gayer than a screaming parrot on top of a banana bush.
Today, the indefatigable Mercado (now known as Shanti Ananda) continues his psychic mission on Spanish-language TV and newspapers, though now with enough cosmetic surgery and Botox to put both Joan Rivers and Amanda Lapore to shame.
Walter Mercado was not the first gay/androgynous/gender variant to succeed in the field of astrology, nor would he be the last. In fact, LGBT people's interest in astrology goes back to the beginning. "Gay people love astrology," Matthew Pizzuti recently wrote in outfrontcolorado.com, "After fleeing from their parents' homophobic Christian churches at puberty, they delight in coming across a spiritual system that has no god to judge you and no priest or minister to say that you are intrinsically corrupt. In astrology the key figures are planets, which are unconscious and therefore do not nag you about promiscuous sex, sodomy or tithing."
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