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How I Came Out to My Family at a Family Reunion in Mexico

I was anxious, nervous, and did not know what was wrong with me, and neither did my mother. It was Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at about 8 o’clock pm. I was getting home from my friend’s house. I felt confined, as if I had a strait jacket on.


I remember being on the floor at the foot of her bed, she was on the other end. She was watching Caso Cerrado, a popular Spanish-language television court show where they were discussing LGBT issues. I thought, “This is probably a sign that I should come out to her.”


Coincidentally, just days before, my cousin told me my uncles made some comments about me being gay to my mom. I was told she responded by saying, “Even if Jesus was gay, I would still love him because he is my son.”


Hey 🙂

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Credit: @chew_me_chewy / Instagram

Even knowing this, I was still conflicted about telling her. She continued asking what was wrong and I didn’t know what to say. I remained quiet. Tears ran down my face before I said, “Mom, I’m gay.”


There was a loud and awkward silence that flooded the room until she said, “You’re confused and you need to talk to a psychologist.”


What?! How was she saying the complete opposite of what she told my uncles? I felt as if I had been rammed by a train. I immediately got up from the floor, furiously saying nothing and everything to her with a stink eye as I left the room.


Although her response was not the most positive I felt a sense of alleviation and tranquility. I felt at peace.


As a kid in elementary school, I was bullied for being “different.” I was called names and I was insulted. On one occasion a boy in my same grade questioned me as to why I was in the boys restroom and not in the girls. He said I belonged there because I was a girl too. Not knowing what to say, I just walked out before my tears rolled down my cheeks. In middle school I was often bullied for the same reason. During this time I would go to extreme measures to conceal my “gayness;” making my voice sound deeper, wearing baggy clothes, and saying every girl that came past my eyes was “hot.” All this so that people would not bully and confront me about being homosexual.


There was pretty people everywhere. #WilsonSnoball2014

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Credit: @chews_me_chewy / Instagram

It was not until near the end of eighth grade that I stopped caring about what others thought of me and I stopped being ashamed. I started being “me,” something that required an abundance of maturity and a strong mentality. It was here where my transition from childhood to adulthood initiated and I would no longer be a boy, but a man.


The summer before high school, I made a pact to myself saying that I would disregard the thoughts of others, and simply be me.


It’s been four years since I came out to my mom. Owning my sexuality has allowed for me to see the rainbow through the storm and accept myself for the person I am today: a young man that is bursting with life and color, who is charismatic and open to the change and differences of the world, who always sees the positive in everything, who is caring, respectful, and empathetic to others, and who is determined to persevere through the many obstacles of life.


Mother dearest.

A photo posted by j (@chews_me_chewy) on

Credit: @chews_me_chewy / Instagram

This decision has allowed for me to seek out the help and guidance that I once deprived myself. It opened doors to grand and impacting opportunities. I have also learned that when one accepts himself for the person he truly is and express himself without hindrance, others will notice and they too will accept, embrace, and love you.Just recently, I went to Mexico for a family gathering where I came out to my family, not because I told them, but because I showed them that I accept myself for me and that they should too. I prayed to God that they would be accepting and they were, including my mom.


How Gay Weddings And Honeymoons Could Be The Answer To Puerto Rico’s Problems

Things That Matter

How Gay Weddings And Honeymoons Could Be The Answer To Puerto Rico’s Problems

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La Isla del Encanto, or Puerto Rico as most of us know it, is going through a crippling financial crisis thanks to a $70 billion debt. The solution? Some are banking on gay tourism. Yup.

Lee Hall, who got engaged to his boyfriend on the island, says, “Everyone here, that I’ve experienced, is very gay friendly, gay accepting.” Unlike other islands in the Caribbean that traditionally follow the conservative rulings of the British, Puerto Rico abides by the same gay laws in the U.S. This means that being gay won’t land you a life sentence like it does in Barbados or in a mental asylum like in Dominica — a huge advantage for any openly gay people who want to travel to the Caribbean.

READ: Mexican Soccer Player Says He’s Not Gay, But if He Was, You Shouldn’t Care

Cecilia de la Luz, a gay activist, has been fighting for gay rights for more than 40 years, and advocates for gay rights on the island because it will improve the quality of life for everyone, not just gay people.

“There’s a connection between more rights for gay people in Puerto Rico and have more impact in regards to gay tourism on the island and that will have a domino effect in regards to improve the economy,” she says.

To no one’s surprise, 90 percent of the tourism on the island comes from the U.S. and of that percentage, gay honeymooners spend a lot more money than their straight counterparts. Ingrid Rivera, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company says that the island is a great wedding destination. Because of this, the government is pushing U.S. airlines to have more direct flights to the island and even has commercials geared towards the gay community. Although there are no hard numbers in terms of how much gay tourism can generate for the island, Rivera estimates it at 350 to 500 million.

Tropical island gay weddings and debt reduction? Boom. It’s a #winwin.

Listen to more details about gay tourism in Puerto Rico from NPR’s Latino USA here.

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