Culture

Grab The Tissues! These Latinas Told Us Their Coming Out Stories And We Have Been Sobbing In Pride

Coming out can be an extremely personal thing. Yet, for a Latina living in a Latino community, where family, friends, neighbors are all considered part of the mix, they can be exceptionally stressful. From dealing with machismo and religious ideals, for many, coming out can tear a person apart. For many of us, on the other hand, our families can provide all the comfort we need.

In honor of Pride Month, we asked Latinas on Instagram about their coming out experiences and boy did they deliver!

A story that had a surprisingly supportive ending.

“I finally came out to my mom last year when I got into a relationship with my girlfriend since it was my first time dating a woman. My mother and I have always been close so I told her since I was living out of state at the moment and I wanted her to know about my relationship. I told her I was in a new relationship but that it was with a woman. She just looked and me and instantly said, “okay y cual es la problema? No importa con quien estes sea hombre o mujer, solo que estes feliz. Si tu estas feliz, yo estoy feliz. Si tu estás bien, yo voy a estar bien.” – @__shirls__

How pain and cutting ties wouldn’t keep her from being herself in the end.

Photo by Etty Fidele on Unsplash

“I came out to my parents 10 years ago when I was in high school. I had a girlfriend at the time and they had already suspected I was into girls. It didn’t go well at all. To sum things up, over the past ten years it’s been a battle on and off with trying to fight feeling invisible and invalidated, because God forbid we talk about sexuality. Anyway, it took me moving away and temporarily cutting ties for my parents to finally start coming around to it. Only recently after 10 years of trying to talk to my parents about it, my mom finally told me she’s accepted me for who I am, and will continue to work through it. And really, all I had ever wanted was for her to try. There was ten years of gritos and lagrimas, and finally this time the lagrimas were no longer out of enojo but rather love and compassion. t’s never too late.” – @ohluccia

Chisme did it all for her and she didn’t mind.

Photo by Edu Grande on Unsplash

“My mom accidentally found out (i do not know how, i think she saw a text on my lock screen), confronted me, and when i asked her how she did she know, she said “i mean… we all kind of knew… i mean what girl wears flannels and wants to live with her best friend and eighty cats?” and then came out to me also, she’s bi. unfortunately she also found out about my ex, and asked how our relationship was, i had to awkwardly tell her i ended things a week before, and it took me another 2-3 years to tell her that ex-girlfriend was an abusive shithead. my mama gas supported me always, and i wish other parents did the same to their kids.” – ki.kibug

The one where she was told it was “just a phase.”

Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

“I came out as pansexual at 15 and my moms first reaction was saying it was a phase and would pass, and telling me I needed to pray, that she would pray for me, and that i should try therapy. My mom has always been my best friend and I honestly don’t blame her for reacting this way, but I did make it clear it wasn’t going to change. I decided to take one day out of the year to remind her that I’m still pansexual, regardless of who I am with. I know for the most part she’s able to ignore my sexuality because I’ve had more serious boyfriends than girlfriends buy it’s still there, and a huge part of me. For the rest of my family I’ve only told those who have directly asked me or brought it up on conversation which have just been my younger cousins and they are completely supportive. There’s a good amount of my family that I haven’t said those words to yet, but I am willing to at a drop of a hat.” – @carmennurinda

The one where she threw up.

Photo by _Mxsh_ on Unsplash

“It was difficult… I was with my super religious aunt and she was asking why I still don’t have a bf how it upsets my mom that I haven’t given her grandchildren and stuff and I remember there was a big cross on the wall ( typical Pr ????????) and she said “ Mija te ves tristes porque?” And i just broke and said “ tia estoy triste porque yo se que mi mamá y todos en la familia vas hablar mal de mi porque dos mujeres no puedes tienen un bebé “ and i ran and threw up . My mom showed up when I was throwing up and she freaked out it was horrible …my tia had to calm my mom down she kept saying “what did she do wrong” it was bad.” – j_nyx_

A story about coming out in the most freeing way she knew how.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

“I said it via text. With my engagement ring on. Fuck it. At 34 I wasn’t going to hide myself any longer.”- vvaz__

A story that includes being outed before she was ready.

Photo by Felipe Bustillo on Unsplash

“Unfortunately I was outed before I was emotionally and mentally ready to endure the rejection. Blessed to say after 10 years my mom accepts my sexuality. People need to know the damage they can cause by outing a loved one when they are not ready. You might think you’re helping but not in all cases. Best way to help is by motivating them to be proudly be themselves. ” – karydred

When her abuelita found out on social but just wanted to be supportive.

Photo by Damir Bosnjak on Unsplash

“Told my family, my mom goes “finally, we were wondering when you’d come out.” and i was like “huh??” and my sister said “you wear flannels everyday, you want to live with your best friend with no men, and you want to have a household of cats??” my abuela basically found out via facebook and bombarded my mom with questions on how to support me.” – ki.kibug

A sad story of still not being totally out.

“I haven’t yet because at 15 when rumors about me were said at school my sister told my mom about it and my mom cried and said she’d disown me if they were true so I lied and said they weren’t.” – tired.latina

A mother who is proud of her daughter no matter what.

“I’m 41. I’m Hispanic, my husband is 46, Mexican & Puerto Rican. Our daughter was a straight A student in elementary. All of a sudden her grades slipped, she became depressed and withdrawn. Then the summer going into 8th grade, she wrote us a letter coming out. She said she was so full of anxiety, not knowing if we would still love her. We basically let her know that it was a nonissue for us. We knew from the time she was a toddler that she was gay. I felt like, there didn’t need to be a big coming out. I don’t see her any different than I see my other children. She’s 15 now & has been with her girlfriend for 11 months. We love her too.” – shes_crafty77

It happend over email and “things are so much better, but not perfect.”

Photo by Joe Gardner on Unsplash

“I did it via email at the age of 27… I was scared, felt ashamed, and thought I’d lose it all… It was hard for me. It was hard for my mom and we took some time to really talk about it almost a year later… Things are so much better, but not perfect. I’m blessed to openly be with my wife in our family, yet there’s still lots to unpack.” – labruxapg

The Latina mama bear who loves her son no importa qué.

Photo by Rashid Sadykov on Unsplash

“I’m a proud mom of a gay son who came out at the age of 12, as a Latina mom, our culture is harsh on LGBTQ+ every day I try and break that cycle and barriers. My house is a safe haven for my son’s friends and for those kids that have been rejected. As a mom I want you to know that you are loved, you are unique and you are so brave! Hugs and hugs and hugs, you have a mom here that is so so proud of who you are.” – arco___iris___

The Latina who sacrificed herself for her sister.

Photo by Karina Carvalho on Unsplash

“My abuela is Dominican, very religious and old school, and doesn’t like my sister’s Haitian boyfriend. One day, my sister was crying to me because my abuela said some harsh things to her about Haitians. My sister screamed at me, “NO! YOU DONT UNDERSTAND! Abuela doesn’t dislike who you are and who you love!” So I said fuck it, I came out to her as bisexual and told her that she’s not alone. We’ve become closer since and I can finally tell her the tea about the girls I like.” – slunaa24

A short story that has long-lasting tears.

Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash

“Mine had tears mainly my mom she kept asking what did she do wrong with me. It was a lot for her she’s better now but it’s been over 10 years.” – j_nyx_

Reminder! Come out only when you feel ready and safe to do so.

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Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Mike Windler / Getty Images

Ricky Martin has long been an international superstar – even long before ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ took over virtually every airway in the world. But it’s hard to deny that with that song, the Puerto Rican singer entered the global mainstream and ever since he’s been a pop icon.

From being one of the first major pop stars to publicly come out as gay, to acting in popular TV series, and getting married and becoming a father of four, Ricky Martin has always been a very busy man.

And despite a global pandemic that has forced all of us to stay at home and find a ‘new normal,’ Martin has forged a path forward. He recently sat down for an interview with Billboard to discuss everything from new music, the global Coronavirus pandemic, and his identity as an out and proud gay Latino.

Considering we’re all still living amid a global pandemic, the Billboard interview started on this very relevant topic.

Billboard points out that Martin and his family live in a very big and beautiful house in Beverly Hills, which likely makes staying at home a bit easier compared to the rest of us. However, Martin points out that he has a very loud home – with four kids and his mom all living under one roof. But he admits, “…I am very lucky. I am in a comfortable home where my kids can play.”

Ricky Martin is also working on new music. He released Pausa in May, and now as he works on new music the world is a very different place. He told Billboard: “I started working on my music maybe nine months ago. In my mind, the album was going to be called Movimiento, which means movement. But with all this [pandemic], it just told me… “The way it was, was not working. Let’s do it differently.” I have music with rhythm, but I was not going to tell people to move! So I named it Pausa.”

He also speaks about his close relationship with fellow Puerto Rican, El Conejo Malo.

Shortly after Billboard released its history-making cover with Bad Bunny on the the cover, Martin described San Benito as a “Latin queer icon.” Many people – of all backgrounds – took issue with that. But Ricky Martin tells Billboard that “allies are so important. Without them, our fight for equality is impossible. It really tickles me to see Bad Bunny as a gay icon — just like Cher could be. Why not?”

The Puerto Rican singer shared what his coming out experience was like and reveals he never tires of sharing it.

In the interview, Martin is very open about his coming out as gay. The singer came out as gay in 2010, married husband Jwan Yosef in 2017, and together the couple is raising four children.

Rolling Stone asked Martin, 48, what it was like to remain closeted during “the most public, exposed period” of his life.

“I had moments of extreme positivity, and not so positive [moments],” Martin answered. “Life was a bit on steroids in those days. Everything was really intense, but I could take it! I come from a school of military discipline when it comes to training for music, dance, and acting. I started when I was 12. So for me, it was about not being ready to open [up]. When you open an egg from the outside, what comes out is death. But when the egg opens from the inside, what comes out is life. It’s something that needs to come from within. Every time someone forces someone to come out, what you’re doing is you’re destroying the natural flow of the self-discovery.”

When asked what motivated him to come out publicly, Martin said that a kid somewhere in America needs to see positive headlines about coming out.

“Today I woke up to this beautiful headline that I know someone out there is in need of. The headline was something like, ‘I came out. And ever since I’ve been the happiest.’ Something like that, something… My heart is beating faster because I know today a kid somewhere in America woke up needing to hear those words. A lot of people say they get tired of talking about the same thing. Why would I? Are you kidding me? For so many years I had to keep it inside. And then the effect of someone… What people are getting from it in their healing process?”

Billboard also asked Martin his feelings on how the media is profiting and accepting Puerto Rican and Latinx culture.

When asked if he feels that the American media has gotten better or more open to understanding Puerto Rican culture, Martin responded: “We certainly have a long way to go, but the important thing is that we see that there’s an audience that is interested. And it’s up to us to bring [the] education.”

And he’s absolutely right. This year has seen several Latino artists rise to the top of all sorts of charts. Bad Bunny and J Balvin are among the most streamed artists globally and Bad Bunny is one of the most streamed artists on YouTube as well.

Meanwhile, Maluma and Jennifer Lopez are working on a film that will be out early next year. The Emmy’s, VMAs, and other award shows finally had decent representation of artists of color – particularly among the Latinx community.

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The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Things That Matter

The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for his progressive views on contemporary issues. Since his election to papal office in 2013, Pope Francis has largely been considered open-minded due to his comparatively laid-back stances on controversial topics like divorce, climate change, and LGBT issues.

On Thursday, the Jesuit publication American Magazine reported that Pope Francis recently told the parents of LGBT children that “God loves your children as they are.”

via Getty Images

According to the publication, the Pope was having a dialogue with the parent of a lapsed-Catholic gay child who had left the church because “he did not feel accepted in his diversity”. The woman, whose name is Mara Grassi, is the Vice President of an association called “Jonathan’s Tent,” which “welcomes and provides information and formation to L.G.B.T. Christians, their families and pastoral workers.”

Before describing her interaction with the Pope, Grassi explained her journey as a Catholic parent of a gay child to American Magazine. “For many years I was like a blind person,” she said.

“After I came to know that my son was homosexual, I suffered a lot because the rules of the church made me think that he was excluded from the love of God. Nobody helped me,” Grassi added.

via Getty Images

It was only when Grassi attended a Catholic vigil against homophobia and connected with other parents of gay children that she realized that “faith and homosexuality are not in opposition” and that “God loves my son as he is.” And according to this most recent report, the Pope’s opinion seems to be in accordance with Grassi’s beliefs.

Grassi told American Magazine that she told the Pope she wanted to “create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.” It was in response to this statement that the Pope told her: “The church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”

According to the same report, before he left, Jonathan’s Tent gifted the Pope a rainbow-colored T-shirt with the words “In love there is no fear” written across the front.

Considering the Catholic Church’s traditionally conservative stances on gay issues, the Pope’s statement was surprising to many. In the past, the Catholic Church’s stance has been that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law.”

The Pope himself also has a complicated track record on gay rights, implying that gay marriage “threatens” the “very institution of marriage”. However, he has also previously expressed sympathy and modest support for people in the queer community as well as their loved ones, saying “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?”.

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