Culture

Years After Coming Out To Her Parents, They Finally Joined Her At A Pride Festival

Ymijan Baftijari came out to her parents years ago. Baftijari, a blogger and writer for Vivala, says that her mom knew early on that she was a lesbian, but she didn’t come out to her dad until 2013. While they slowly became supportive of her sexuality, they never celebrated the annual Pride festivities until this year.

For the first time ever, Baftijari’s parents and grandfather joined her in Chicago for the biggest annual LGBTQ party of the year — and they had a blast. In an interview with mitú, Baftijari says that Pride was a new experience for them even though they had heard about it before.

Ymijan Baftijari

“After I came out to my parents I knew that they had to process something they weren’t too familiar with,” said Baftijari. “My mom was born and raised in Mexico and never talked to me about any queer friends or relatives. My dad was born in Ohrid, Macedonia, and the same thing goes for him. After a year or two of them feeling comfortable and accepting and embracing me, I thought I would ask for them to experience Pride with me. When I did, they always pushed it off and I was totally OK with that. It’s a lot of people. It’s a lot to take in.”

A recent study shows that Latinos and Catholics are now more accepting of gay relationships and same-sex marriage. It’s been a slow process, but progress is being made. The Pew Research Center report shows that “Six-in-ten or more whites (64%) and Hispanics (60%) say they favor allowing same-sex couples to be married legally.” In 2007, 38% of whites and 37% of Hispanics supported same-sex marriage. That’s a big increase.

“My parents have become so supportive of me so I never stopped asking and when I mentioned them coming to Pride this year, they said ‘Yeah, we’re definitely going to try and make it,’ which truly shocked me,” said Baftijari.

Ymijan Baftijari

“In the back of my head, I imagined them calling me a couple days before the parade and saying that it would be too hard for them to come down to my apartment or that something would come up. I honestly didn’t set my hopes too high, but knew I wouldn’t be heartbroken if they didn’t come.”

Baftijari tells mitú that her parents expressed interest in attending the Pride march — especially because it was taking place right in front of her apartment — but she still couldn’t believe that they would actually come. It didn’t feel real until her parents and grandparents showed up outside her door.

“So when I got a call to come down and open the gate to my building I ran,” Baftijari says. “I thought it was a joke but there they were: my mom, dad, and my grandpa! My mom had just gone to Mexico to bring my grandpa to the states (because he’s deaf and mute and needs assistance when flying) and I nearly lost it. It felt so unreal to see them all staring and smiling at me waiting for me to show them what Pride is all about!”

Ymijan Baftijari

Then her parents told her what any kid longs to hear: “They told me they wanted to make sure that I knew that they supported me and the LGBTQ community and wanted to make it at least one year to show how proud they are of their daughter.”

So, how did her parents react to all the craziness that Pride has to offer? This speaks for itself:

“My dad was waving the rainbow flag on the balcony and danced for four hours non-stop as the Parade went on,” Baftijari says. “He was so popular and I think all the love radiating throughout the city really made it magical for him. My mom was so sweet and took pictures the entire time and kept telling me how amazing it was. And my grandpa couldn’t stop smiling. I felt like I was on Cloud 9, and it was nice to experience it all with my family and my current girlfriend.”


Today is a huge day for Illinois for passing the same-sex marriage bill, but it marks an even bigger day for me. I have…

Posted by Ymijan Baftijari on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

She used this historic moment to finally be honest with her dad. And now as we see him having so much fun during Pride, we can say he’s come a long way.

READ: LGBTQ+ Latinos Showed Up And Represented At One Of The Largest Equality Marches Of Our Lifetime

Do you think your parents are becoming more open minded? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting below!

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The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Entertainment

The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Photo via Getty

On Thursday, the cast of “Glee” paid tribute to Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Media Awards. Rivera was a once-in-a-lifetime talent the touched so many lives personally and through the screen while she was alive. But perhaps none of Naya’s roles were as impactful as Santana Lopez was.

This year, GLAAD decided to take time to honor the impact Naya Rivera had on LGBTQ representation onscreen.

During a time when LGBTQ represenation onscreen was rare, Santana Lopez was groundbreaking for being both queer and Latina. Santana went from a shut-off closeted cheerleader to an out-and-proud lesbian woman. This was a story arc many queer kids had never seen before.

Demi Lovato introduced the cast of “Glee” with a touching speech. She described how honored she was (and still is) to have played Santana’s girlfriend, Dani, on the show.

“I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year,” Lovato said. “A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me: losing my friend Naya Rivera. I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on ‘Glee.’”

“The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls — like I was at the time,” she went on. “And her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Then, dozens of former “Glee” cast members gathered via Zoom to pay tribute to Naya Rivera.

The tribute featured former “Glee” actors like Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, and Kevin McHale. There were also many others.

“Naya would be honored to receive this recognition,” read the statement. “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said ‘I feel great about it!'”

“This year marks the tenth anniversary that Naya’s character, Santana Lopez, came out on ‘Glee’,” said Dot-Marie Jones, who played Coach Beast on the Fox series.

“Santana basically got disowned by her family. And as alot of us know, that’s a feeling too many LGBTQ kids know too well,” continued Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel.

The loving tribute then ended with a written statement from Naya Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire, who couldn’t make it to the call.

“Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community. Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice.

“She continued: “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

“Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice,” the message read, in part. “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

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Selena Gomez Tells Senate to Pass Equality Act, Credits Gay Community with Launching Her Music Career

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Tells Senate to Pass Equality Act, Credits Gay Community with Launching Her Music Career

After the Equality Act was recently passed in the House, Selena Gomez is now telling the Senate to pass the bill that would give added federal protections to the LGBTQ+ community. The Mexican-American pop star also talked about her history with the gay community and how they helped support her music career.

The Equality Act would extend protections from the Civil Rights Act to the LGBTQ+ community.

The Equality Act was first introduced in 2015. The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend protections against discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity when it came to employment, housing, education, and other public and federal accommodations. In 2019, the Senate under President Donald Trump refused to vote on the bill.

The Equality Act recently passed through the House and now Gomez wants the Senate to pass it as well.

In February, the Equality Act was reintroduced to the House of Representatives. The bill passed through the House for a second time on Feb. 25. In a recent interview with the Recording Academy, the institution that hosts the Grammy Awards, Gomez is telling the Senate to vote on the bill this time and pass it through.

“We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years, but we have so much further to go,” Gomez said about the progress of LGBTQ+ rights in the country. “The Senate must pass the Equality Act. It’s absurd that this is even being debated in 2021.”

Gomez says the gay community helped support her 2009 breakthrough hit “Naturally.”

While Gomez was promoting her Latin music EP Revelación, she also revisited a few of her past hits. In 2009, she launched her music career with her band The Scene. Later that year, Gomez got her first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her breakthrough smash “Naturally.” While talking about her relationship with the gay community, she says they were the first ones to show that song love.

“Earlier you mentioned my song ‘Naturally’ and I remember when it was released, it truly started getting played in the gay bars before anywhere else,” she said. “I would hear from older friends that they heard when they went out. I was so jealous that I was too young to be out and dancing to it with everyone. The LGBTQ+ community has been there for me and I don’t take them for granted.”

The Equality Act is waiting to be debated by the Senate. This is Gomez’s first time speaking in support of the bill. Last year, she launched the Black Equality Fund to support groups like the Movement for Black Lives.  In March, she also asked for the Senate to pass the People Act.

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Read: Selena Gomez and Myke Towers’ “Dámelo To’” is Everything: Listen to the ‘Revelación’ Standout

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