The one thing you look forward to when you’re a stressed out college student is your holiday vacation. You count down the days, pack your bags, and think about how relaxing the next 2 to 3 weeks are going to be for you. However, holiday breaks are not all fun and games…
After a long and stressful week of finals, it’s always a great feeling being able to reunite with your family and spend quality time with them over the holidays.
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This is really the best feeling ever.
But as soon as you’re back home, you immediately lose all sense of privacy.
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Everyone at your house thinks it’s cool to be ALL UP in your business.
And all of a sudden you have a curfew again.
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You can’t go out anywhere without a rundown of questions from your mom like, “¿A donde vas?, ¿Y con quién vas a ir? ¿Y a que hora vas a regresar?”
On the bright side, you get to relax at home and forget about school for just a few weeks. Maybe even sleep in every morning…
Instead, you’re woken up by loud music and the voices of your parents telling you to get up and help with the chores.
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My mom loves doing this especially on weekends.
However, being able to enjoy some bomb home cooked meals is what makes all the chores totally worth it.
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Since I’m a bad cook, I enjoy every moment (and bite) of this.
In addition to home cooked meals, you also come across a ton of chisme at the dinner table, which can be so exhausting and invasive.
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You get asked about your dating life, your personal life and there’s no sense of boundaries when it comes to the chisme they want to get out of you.
BUT — being back home for the holidays means reuniting with your besties and hometown friends.
“Reunited and it feels so goooood.”
The only problem is trying to coordinate a time and date to go out with your friends, since everyone already has their own holiday plans.
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This is the ultimate struggle.
And once you’re on your way to go out, your parents assign you 15+ errands before you leave.
All of a sudden my shopping trip to the mall turns into a pitstop at the bank, a delivery to my grandma and a trip to the grocery store.
But no matter what happens, come next holiday break, you’re filled with just as much excitement about being able to go back home to your loved ones.
I suppose it’s not that uncommon, but my cuñada didn’t like
me much for many years.
“Nice to meet you,” she said, in clipped and heavily accented English the first time we met. She shook my hand taking it away quickly and barely made eye-contact, but I knew she didn’t approve of my short hair, my tattoos, or the fact that I was third-generation Mexican-American. If I had been someone else entirely, she probably would have found other things to hate about her too. My cuñada had left Mexico by herself. From what I know now, there were some dark reasons that she had to leave. It took her two tries to cross in Tijuana, but she made it all on her own, knowing that her brother would pick her up in Los Angeles, show her the way in the Bay Area, and support her financially for as long as was necessary.
She must have felt that my relationship with her brother was a threat.
When we first met, I was visiting the apartment that they shared then. We hadn’t been dating long, but things had gotten serious fast on account of our ages and his immigration status. I was 28 and he was 33.
“She’s just one of those women who doesn’t like other women very much,” my marido explained.
I hated those kinds of women. He squeezed my hand on our way down the stairs of his apartment on our way to eat. We always went out to eat those days. I could see the spring light shining through the large glass-front apartment door. Everything was shiny, new, and bright then, except for this one thing; this relationship with my cuñada.
I was pretty much the opposite of my cuñada. I was American-born, raised by women, had been in a band with women, and was about to start attending Mills College, a private women’s college in Oakland. I defaulted to hating or distrusting men and liking women, feeling a kinship through our shared inequality in a male-dominated world. But for months and months, maybe years, when I’d see her, my cuñada would attempt a smile and say, “Hola, Morena,” her lip sneering as it rolled over the ‘r’ in my family nickname, Morena.
Still, I had vowed to not default to hate her just because she was a woman who didn’t get along with women, or because she was my sister-in-law.
I wasn’t going to compete with her or play into the
catty-woman stereotype, and I was going to be kind and compassionate to her no
She made this very difficult.
When we first met, my cuñada had been living in the US for three years already, but she spoke very little English. I was surprised by how little English she spoke. She was surprised that I spoke very little Spanish.
“Hay muchos Mexicanos que no pueden hablar español.”
She said it a few months after my marido and I were married. She said it not to me, but to a friend who was bilingual, perhaps thinking that I wouldn’t understand her. Then she said it again to another friend. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I promised not to participate in the catty-woman stuff or be passive-aggressive or hate a family member. I made myself another promise – to be kind and compassionate no matter what, but not to take her shit either.
I knew, though, that this one slight was so personal that it was going to be hard to forgive.
My marido got into bed first that night. I put on my
nightgown, and sat down on my side.
“Hey, you need to have a talk with her sister ‘cause if you
don’t do it. I’m going to have to do it.”
He looked up. “About what?”
“About what she said.”
“What did she say?”
I put my hand on my hip and did my best imitation, “Hay
muchos Mexicanos que no pueden hablar español.”
“Oh, that.” He made a face.
“You better talk to her because if I have to do it, by the
time I’m finished with her, she will be so embarrassed that she has been in the
US for three years and doesn’t speak English that she will never want to speak
it. That’s what’s going to happen.”
It wasn’t my finest moment.
“Okay,” he said, “I’ll talk to her.”
He never told me how the talk went, and I never asked because I didn’t need the argüende and because she never said it again. Within a year, she made us the padrinos of her first born, but I knew that I was only the madrina because I was la esposa de su hermano.
I still get a flash of anger when I think about her “hay muchos Mexicanos” comment, or the time she wouldn’t get out of the car to come and see our new house, or all the times I saw her roll her eyes and sneer at me, but I’m older than she is, and committed to supporting women, so I just waited her out. I took my ajihada on weekends to give my cuñados a break, made sure to remember my cuñadas birthday, participated in their extended family’s parties, even when I didn’t want to, and tried to forgive and not hold it against her when they had to miss our son’s birthday parties, prioritizing her marido’s large family’s numerous gatherings over ours.
Slowly but surely over the years, the ice began to thaw between us. My warmth, no matter how awkward and forced, combined with time and maturity, on all our parts, has allowed something new to develop, something real. And it’s good that I worked hard not to hold grudges and forgave what I perceived as slights because learning to forgive is good for our health. It can lower blood pressure, risk of heart attacks, cholesterol, and forgiveness can help improve sleep.
“Hi, Morena,” she smiles when she sees me now (which seems like all the time), and hugs me tight, and dumps a pile of food she brought, leftovers from the Philipino restaurant where she works, or un bote de frijoles that she made at her place and brought with her, a whole packet of corn tortillas, the family-size packet, and cans of soda in any flavor anyone in the house might drink. The other night she brought me a bottle of my favorite wine, and I shared it with her because that’s what cuñadas do. That’s what we’re supposed to do.
It’s Pride Month. And, it’s also the month that we celebrate Father’s Day. So why not take the opportunity to celebrate the fathers that support their LGBTQ+ kids? We’ve scoured the farthest reaches of the internet so that you won’t have to and found 13 adorable and sweet stories that show the real love that fathers have for their LGBTQ+ children, young, or all grown up. Read on, and see if you can get to the end without tearing up!
Proud dad with an even prouder gay son.
It was this dad’s first time celebrating Pride, who accompanied his son to show true fatherly love and support at the Los Angeles LGBT Pride Festival. Of course, do the dad duty and try to embarrass his son with a silly t-shirt.
This dad took his daughter and her friends to Pride.
It doesn’t get much more supportive than bringing your kids to Pride, to celebrate who they are with a community of like-minded people. Even more so when it means that this dad would have had to spend hours trailing after his daughter and friends, as a chaperone. If that isn’t a labor of love, then we don’t know what is.
One proud dad at Pride.
One super proud son had this to say about his father, “This guy had me tearing up today. My dad attending his first pride parade in DC with my little brother. I love you … and I wouldn’t have you any other way.” Because love isn’t just about emblazoning how proud you are of your son on your shirt! It’s about showing up when your children need support. This dad clears knows that, and has shown up for his son – selfies and all.
This dad and daughter duo are well-suited for each other.
It’s great when kids show their parents love, but it’s even better when they show their love to their kids. And what better time to show off your love for your daughter, than when the two of you are dressed to the nines, and clearly having a good time? This dad knows how to make his daughter feel special – and wouldn’t we all want someone to look at us with as much love and awe as this dad does with his daughter?
A No. 1 supporter, through and through.
Being a good father isn’t just about making sure your kids are clothed and fed, with a roof over their heads. It’s about showing support for who your kids are, through whatever trials and tribulations they face. It’s obvious that this dad knows that the main thing his son needs is his support, through thick and thin – and this son has taken the opportunity to show his thanks.
All smiles for Pride celebrations.
This child was all smiles and happiness when both their dad and stepmom came to Pride to support them. And who can blame them? There’s a reason why Pride has the name that it’s been given. It’s not just about being proud of who you are, warts and all, but being proud of how far you’ve come as a person, and who you’ll grow to be in the future. Even though this dad has seen his child grow up, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t stop being a dad, or that he should stop supporting his child. And that warrants atleast one happy, candid selfie.
Sometimes a supportive dad just needs to taste the rainbow.
This daughter knew that the best way to celebrate Pride month was to fill up on Skittles. So you know what this supportive dad did? He bought them for his daughter. Only one rainbow matters during Pride.
Dads can support Pride, with our without their kids.
This dad knew that he didn’t need his child with him to go to Pride – it was his responsibility as a father to show up and give support to the community, anyway.
One super girl and one proud dad.
This dad knew that the best way to show his love and support for his daughter was to give her the spotlight when she participated in a Pride parade, bearing the Pride flag. Showing support as a parent means not only giving your love to your children but also having the self-control and smarts to know when to give your kids the attention and platform they need when they need it.
Someone else’s dad supports LGBTQ+ children, too.
Unfortunately, the reality is that not everyone’s dad is supportive of their LGBTQ+ children. The beauty of the LGBTQ+ community is that it is also filled with dads who are supportive of the queer children in the community. And sometimes we all just need to hear from a parental figure that we’re doing okay and that someone is proud of us. So thanks, someone else’s dad.
A simple message is enough to tell the young’uns that they’re okay.
They say that actions speak louder than words. Well, sometimes it’s just nice to see parents taking the action of sending a quick text to tell say how proud they are of their child and what they’re doing, and that they care about their safety and wellbeing. This dad took the time to make sure his daughter definitely knew how loved she is – no matter who she loves. Because hey, love is love, guys.
Who says working and supporting your son are mutually exclusive?
This son was excited to announce to the Twitterverse that, “… my dad shows off my boyfriend and I at work”. There’s nothing more reassuring than knowing that your dad loves you so much, and is so overwhelmingly proud of you, that he wants to tell the world about you. The fact that this dad is doing the digital equivalent of whipping a roll of photos of his son from his wallet to talk the ear off his workmates really shows the strong bond he has with his son.
Dads can support their kids and their LGBTQ+ journey at any age.
Sam painted his nails not only because it “looks pretty”, but because it gave him time to bond with his grandmother, who was a manicurist in her working life. But, this gave rise to bullying at school. So, you know what his dad did? He took to social media, to break down barriers around masculinity and show how much he loved his son for who he is. Even if this is just dabbling in nail polish, or if Sam wants to explore his identity further, he’ll know that no matter what happens his dad will continue to be proud of him, and support him in what he does.
So, how long did it take for you to start shedding a tear or two over these loving fathers? Have you got your own stories about your father supporting the LGBTQ+ community? Let us know about your experiences on Facebook – just click the logo at the top of the page.