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.”
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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.
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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.
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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.