Culture

Famous Latinos And Their Coming Out Stories Are The Beautiful Thing You Need To See To Know Love Is Love

Happy National Coming Out Day! Coming out to your family and friends can be hard to do, especially in a Latino household. Whether it’s dealing with the machismo culture or religious ideals that shun your sexual orientation, coming out can mean tearing your family apart. It’s important to know that you should only come out when you feel ready and will be safe in doing so. The good news is that Americans, as a society, have become more accepting of LGBTQI+ people in general, according to a Harris Poll/GLAAD poll. In honor of National Coming Out Day, we’re celebrating Latinx  who have shared their own coming out stories.

Salice Rose hid her sexual orientation because her family told her it was not right.

Rose is openly talking about how she realized she was attracted to other women at a young age. In 8th grade, she had a crush on a female classmate. When she mentioned it to a family member, they quickly shut her down, telling her that it was wrong and that she shouldn’t ever think that way. So, like a lot of people in the closet, she tried dating members of the opposite sex but was not comfortable or happy.

“The thought of me coming out never crossed my mind. I know that sounds crazy,” Rose says. “Because in high school I was always getting kicked out of schools…I was going to military schools and all this stuff so I was just like, ‘Okay. Maybe I just don’t have time for a boyfriend right now. Maybe I just don’t want it. Cool.'”

It was while she was in military school that she realized that she’s gay. That made her finally feel at peace. Years later, Rose moved to San Diego and started to live as her honest self as an out lesbian woman. She eventually called her mom to let her in on the secret she had been hiding for so long.

“I was like, ‘Mom. I don’t know how you’re going to react but I like girls, I don’t like guys. If you don’t accept me for me than that’s fine. I’m still going to be me. But if you do, great. Thank you so much,'” she recalls. “My mom was actually very, very easygoing about it. She’s always been very supportive of me. She’s my hero.”

Manny “MUA” Gutierrez shared his experience of coming out while in a religious household.

Gutierrez grew up in a Mormon household, with his family was deeply involved with the Church of Latter-Day Saints. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the LDS church and its teachings, their website says there is nothing wrong with being attracted to someone of the same sex, but marriage is out of the question, as is acting on your desires. Basically, you can be gay but you can never act on it.

“I was terrified to death about the concept of me liking a boy,” Gutierrez admits. “I knew I couldn’t do it because it was a no-no for my family and it was a no-no for the church. So I was like, ‘There’s no way in hell that I’m going to like boys.’ Basically, every single night I would pray to please not like boys because that was just what I was doing. I know it sounds kind of sad but that’s what I was doing.”

Gutierrez says his first experience with talking to another LGBTQ boy was through MySpace. As a 16-year-old, Gutierrez met a boy named “T.” \While he thought T was attractive, he tried to ignore those feelings because he wasn’t ready to admit it. But, like most Latinos, his parents were not big on the whole privacy thing. One day they decided to look through his laptop to see what Gutierrez was up to. His parents read all the messages he had exchanged with “T.” Soon after, Gutierrez agreed to go to counseling to “work through” his feelings and attraction to men. However, that didn’t work and after six months, he had to tell his parents the truth.

“My mom and my dad sat me down and they were like, ‘What’s going on with you? What’s going on in your head? Why aren’t you acting like your normal happy self?’ Because I was a happy kid,” Gutierrez says. “Again, I break down and tell them that the counseling isn’t working. I’m not changing. Nothing this person is telling me is working at all. I’m not going to not be gay. I still like boys. I still like boys. I can’t help it. So, my parents, being the loving parents that they are, tell me, ‘So, let’s take a pause on this counseling and let’s just see how things go. We want you to be happy.'”

Recently the beloved Latina singer Joy, of pop duo Jesse & Joy, penned a heartfelt letter that announced she was in a loving relationship and that she and her wife were expecting a child.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwVsv7ulkSq/

The Mexican singer and songwriter who is also Grammy and Latin Grammy winner spoke of the power of love and how it has affected her. She also detailed the fear she experienced when she fell in love with her partner, a woman, seven years ago but how when she came to accept her feelings her world was opened up to all kinds of possibilities including a baby!

“Since I was young, I have seen sexual preferences beyond black and white: two people loving each other with consent for me is love, regardless of gender,” she wrote in both English and Spanish. “And even though I never thought that the love of my life would be a woman, 7 years ago, we met and love took us both by surprise. At first, it was difficult for the two of us to accept that we had reached our destination. But leaving aside the fear and who/what people would say, I opened my heart to embrace my happiness. Today, my wife and I are expecting our first baby, a beautiful and healthy baby girl.”


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

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Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

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Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

Bryan Bedder / Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES

CNN and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) hosted a historic town hall last night focusing on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community. The moderators and presidential candidates tackled topics and hard-hitting issues that have severely impacted the lives of millions of LGBTQ+ Americans. The town hall happened as the Supreme Court is deciding if LGBTQ+ people are deserving of the same discrimination protections as all Americans. Here’s what happened last night.

Texas politician Julián Castro made it clear that religion will not be an excuse for LGBTQ+ discrimination in his administration.

There have numerous attempts by local and state governments to legalize religious discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. The bills, often labeled as Religious Freedom bills, have been proposed in North Carolina and Indiana and failed. North Carolina wanted to legislate what bathroom people had to use and Indiana wanted to give religious organizations and business owners the license to outright discriminate against people based on their faith.

“If I’m elected president, the first order of business on January 20, 2021, will be to have a catalog with all of the different executive actions that this president, this administration, has taken, including exemptions that they’ve created or rolled back that has allowed people to discriminate against the LGBTQ, using as the reason their religion, their excuse their religion,” Castro told an audience member who asked how he will stop religious organizations from using their faith to dictate discriminatory laws. “I will go back to what we did in the Obama administration and then take it to the next level to protect the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that anybody should be bale to discriminate against you because you are a member of the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that folks should be getting funding if they’re doing that. I don’t believe that in the healthcare context, the housing context, the employment context that people should be able to do that. I support the Equality Act and will work to pass that. When I was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we did the transgender rule, which as I mentioned, expanded the equal access rule so that transgender individuals can find shelter in a manner that they are comfortable with and in accordance to their preference and that’s what I would do as president.”

Castro’s performance during the LGBTQ+ town hall has received praise from LGBTQ+ people.

Credit: @cmclymer / Twitter

Castro was able to speak about the issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community with an understanding that proves he isn’t going off talking points.

His conversation about faith and the license to discriminate showed his understanding of religion and LGBTQ+ people of faith.

Credit: @TUSK81 / Twitter

Castro wants to keep religion from attacking the very LGBTQ+ people of faith who depend on it. For many religious LGBTQ+ people, seeing religious leaders claim that their faith doesn’t accept them is a harsh reality.

Trans women of color let their voices be heard in a town hall that largely ignored them.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg was interrupted when he started his time on the stage. Trans activist Bamby Salcedo and other trans women of color stormed the venue holding trans flag that read “We Are Dying.” The women chanted “We are dying” and “Do something.” Some audience members joined the women in their protest however others jumped up to take the flag away and end the protest.

Anderson Cooper, who was moderating for Buttigieg, spoke up for the women as they were escorted out telling the audience, “Let me just point out, there is a long and proud tradition in history in the gay, lesbian and transgender community of protest and we applaud them for their protest.”

Cooper continued saying, “And they are absolutely right to be angry and upset at the lack of attention, particularly in the media, of the lives of transgender [people].”

Another trans activist, Blossom C Brown, also took on the moderators about the lack of Black trans voices during the town hall.

A lot of the conversation during the town hall focused on issues impacting gay men, trans women, and bisexual people. Many are calling out the town hall for ignoring trans people of color, lesbians, and non-binary people when it comes to health, housing, identity expression, and other issues impacting these communities specifically.

Ashlee Marie Preston, the only trans Black woman in the program, was taken out of the program by CNN so she publicly boycotted the event.

Credit: @AshleeMPreston / Twitter

There was a pretty glaring lack of trans women and men of color during the hours of discussion about LGBTQ+ issues. It is a common complaint within the community as trans women of color have long been ignored and silenced within the LGBTQ+ Rights movement.

READ: After Almost Two Years, Trans Activist Alejandra Barrera Has Been Released From ICE Custody

The Supreme Court’s Term Is Starting Off With Major Cases That Will Impact The Lives Of Many Americans

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The Supreme Court’s Term Is Starting Off With Major Cases That Will Impact The Lives Of Many Americans

Molly Adams / Flickr

The nine justices of the Supreme Court will return to the chambers to an explosive docket. The court is set to hear cases covering an array of social issues from abortion to DACA to LGBTQ+ discrimination to the Second Amendment. It is shaping up to be a major term for the highest court in the land.

The Supreme Court is getting ready to hear a series of cases that could impact some of the biggest social issues in American culture.

Credit: @hshaban / Twitter

All eyes are on the Supreme Court as major cases are being presented. Some of the cases included in the docket for this term of the Supreme Court are the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the definition of “sex” as it pertains to Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act and the LGBTQ community’s right to work without discrimination, an abortion case from Louisiana seeking to limit abortion rights, and a gun regulation from New York City.

On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court heard arguments about discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.

In almost half of the country, there are no laws protecting people in the LGBTQ+ community from being discriminated against in the workplace. The Supreme Court heard arguments from two gay men and one trans woman claiming that they were fired from their places of work because of their identity.

During oral arguments, when the employers being sued in the case argued that sex is different than same-sex attraction, Justice Elena Kagan suggested that the law does favor the employees.

“If he were a woman, he wouldn’t have been fired,” Justice Kagan told General Solicitor Noel Francisco, who is representing the employers. “This is the usual kind of way in which we interpret statutes now. We look to laws. We don’t look to predictions. We don’t look to desires. We don’t look to wishes. We look to laws.”

The Trump administration is aiming to get rid of DACA protections from almost 700,000 young people.

Credit: @SenWarren / Twitter

DACA is a program that was first created by President Obama. It gave almost 700,000 young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children the chance to go to college, get work permits, and protected them from deportation. The Trump administration ended the program in 2017 and immediately threw the lives of all DACA recipients in limbo.

United We Dream, a DACA-led media company filed its own brief with the Supreme Court. The brief is a first-of-its-kind video brief with DACA recipients arguing their case for preserving DACA. The organization also included an official written brief.

“DACA has accomplished far more than affording deferred prosecutorial action. It has created lifechanging opportunities for hundreds of thousands of promising young people. DACA has allowed them to lead fuller and more vibrant lives, including by seizing opportunities to advance their education, furthering their careers, providing critical help to their families, and giving back to their communities,” reads the United We Dream brief. “Able to make use of the basic building blocks of a productive life—a Social Security number, work authorization, or driver’s license, for example—DACA recipients have thrived. They are students, teachers, health care workers, first responders, community leaders, and small business owners. They are also spouses, neighbors, classmates, friends, and coworkers. Collectively, they are parents of over a quarter-million U.S. citizens, and 70% of DACA recipients have an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen. They pay taxes, contribute to their local economies in myriad ways, and spur a virtuous cycle of further opportunity for many Americans.”

Another case people are watching is an abortion case coming out of Louisiana.

Credit: @IlhanMN / Twitter

The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, isn’t aiming to overturn Roe v. Wade but it is hoping to limit the abortion rights of women starting in Louisiana. The law being challenged requires all abortion providers to get privileges are a hospital 30 miles from where the abortions take place.

The case is very similar to a Texas case that the Supreme Court rejected three terms ago. As such, the Louisiana case is asking the Supreme Court to distinguish between the two cases and to determine that the restriction is legitimate if a legislator vouches that the restriction is valid rather than it being valid in practice. As it stands, the law would leave just one doctor in the state of Louisiana allowed to perform abortions.

Another case getting some attention as it sits on the Supreme Court docket deals with the Second Amendment.

Credit: @DaigleLawGroup / Twitter

New York City’s original rule made it so handguns could only be transported to seven gun ranges throughout the city. While the case was originally contested because of the rule. New York City changed the rule and asked the court to dismiss the case as moot, but the court rejected the motion. This will be the first time the Supreme Court has heard a case about the Second Amendment’s reach in over a decade and is being hailed as a victory for gun rights advocates.

READ: DACA Advocates Shut Down Joe Biden At Last Night’s Democratic Debate, Here’s The Message They Delivered Loud And Clear