In an interview with comedian Phoebe Robinson, Rodriguez shared the story of losing her virginity, and it’s as Gina as you would expect.
“I lost my virginity, which I feel is pretty early, I was 17,” Rodriguez told Robinson. “It was my boyfriend of a year-ish. He was leaving to Chile to study abroad, and we wanted to lose it to each other. We wanted to make sure that it was special and that we would always have a beautiful memory of it. So… I lost my virginity to the sweetest guy ever. It was pretty magical. It was like safety. He put on a song, we were at my friend’s farm house in like the outskirts of Chicago.”
“It was like a Mandy Moore freaking movie, dude,” Rodriguez said in the interview.
“And like, to be Puerto Rican and he was Chileno, we were the furthest from that kind of experience, or, at least, grew up the furthest from that kind of experience,” Rodriguez told Robinson. “So it was really lovely to step out of the stereotype.”
By waiting till 17, Rodriguez says it was how she broke the stereotype of Latinas being promiscuous. She even talked about a friend who got pregnant at 14 before Rodriguez even had her period.
Rodriguez then explains to Robinson that before she started working on “Jane the Virgin,” she had a boyfriend who was very devout and was saving himself for marriage. In that relationship, she learned what it really means to make the commitment to save yourself, and it doesn’t mean you don’t have desires — you just have better control over those desires.
Since virginity has been such a thing in Rodriguez’s own life, she wanted to make sure she portrayed it well as Jane Villanueva.
“I didn’t want her to lack sexuality, she was making a commitment and this kind of commitment is just unpopular in our society,” Rodriguez told Robinson about portraying Jane. “All we have to do is make it popular.”
That’s right. Rodriguez is all about celebrating the people who can make the virginal commitment by making sure she plays her role right.
Like she told The Hollywood Reporter back in July 2016, she met a virgin who was 25 and made the commitment to save herself. Rodriguez was floored by the woman who decided to wait and has nothing but respect for her.
But that doesn’t mean Rodriguez doesn’t have some hopes for Jane in season 3.
The end of one of our favorite shows, Jane the Virgin, is near. For almost five years (it was first aired in 2014) we have followed the adventures of Jane Gloriana Villanueva, our heroine who was wrongly inseminated. Jane’s journey was also related to her career as a writer, a vocation that she tries to follow even though life sometimes gets in the way. The narrative accomplishes something almost impossible to pull off: it makes outrageous telenovela situations feel close to us. The 100th and last ever episode will be aired on July 31st, and fans are getting their tissue box ready for what promises to be a tearful finale. Because we don’t like goodbyes we will start our farewell now. These are some of the reasons why we consider Jane the Virgin to be a watershed moment in the history of Latino representation in mainstream television, and why we will miss Jane, her lovers, her family, and her amazingly quirky son. A llorar se ha dicho.
1. Jane the Virgin was finally a show that represented the many complexities of Latino communities in the U.S.: it made us laugh and cry in equal measures.
There have been some shows about Latinos in the United States, and titles such as Netflix’s Mr. Iglesias seem to be gaining more traction. However, Jane the Virgin could break into the mainstream, escaping the niche denominator of “Latino”. It was wonderful to see the very specific Florida Latinidad represented on the screen.
2. The show discussed the uncomfortable issue of migration and the perilous path to citizenship. Te queremos, Alba!
The show touched in one of the main issues that define the Latino experience in the United States: migration. Alba’s citizenship journey was equally stressful and hard to watch, and we are sure it resonated with millions of Latino families in how vulnerable migrants can be before attaining citizenship. A call to action that was also told in a tender, extremely human way.
3. Jane proudly wore her Latina identity, in her life and literary work.
Instead of trying to “fit in” with Anglo culture to blend, Jane Gloriana Villanueva embraces and celebrates her Latina identity. From her clothes to her cultural references (Chilean novelist Isabel Allende makes a cameo!) and her literary work, she tries to uncover what Latina identity means today in matters of love, family, sex and professional life.
4. It showed us that true friendship with your exes and your exes’ exes is possible (you know this is a telenovela, right?)
Well, maybe this is not that in tune with reality, pero se vale soñar. We love how Petra, Jane, and Rafael find a way to co-parent three cheeky monkeys.
5. It gave us a strong, independent, queer woman.
Petra is perhaps the character that developed the most. She went from being a terrible telenovela villana to being a member of the Villanueva clan. Her backstory is fascinating and through the seasons she found a way to discover herself: she is a survivor, and the ultimate way to survive is accepting who she is a powerful queer businesswoman, and a loving mother who allows herself to be vulnerable and ask for help.
6. It serves us some old-world Latino charm.
When Jane imagines her romantic epics, and also when Alba tells her life story, we get to see some of the old world Latino charms that have made the romantic narrative a staple of the region. This is also a way to deal with
7. It provided us with one of the most truthful representations of the joys, frustrations, and awesomeness of parenthood.
Right from her pregnancy, Jane embodied the shock and delights of motherhood. The show does not give us a vanilla version of how pregnancy sorta wrecks the female body and how hard it is to raise a child. Mateo is Jane’s world, and it is amazing to witness Jane embrace her power, but also her cluelessness as to how to be a mother. Nadie nace sabiendo.
8. Four words: Rogelio De La Vega.
Mexican actor Jaime Camil, a former telenovela heartthrob, found his ideal character in Rogelio De La Vega. He is funny and charming, vulnerable and the best father ever. We would totally watch a spin-off featuring only him!
9. The genuine chemistry and friendship shared by the cast.
Gina Rodriguez and Jaime Camil really do look like father and daughter in this photo. Judging by interviews and their social media accounts (including photos of Gina’s recent wedding), cast members have formed a true family offscreen, which translates into the amazing chemistry we see in the show.
10. The show is a true picture of the multicultural United States.
Yes, the cast is primarily Latino or plays Latino characters (even the blonde Michael has a Latino last name: Cordero), but the show has Eastern European, Anglo, Black and even Indian characters. Rather than being insular and only focus on Latinos, it is a mosaic of the cultural diversity of Florida, where the narrative takes place.
11. Primero la familia: a message that resonated with Latino audiences worldwide.
Through the show, we are witness to the perpetuation of family rituals. The Villanuevas have dinner together, come rain or come shine, and they spend time together even if they are upset at each other. Later in the show, Petra and Jane find a way to create new traditions for Mateo and the twins, unlikely half-siblings who are growing up together.
12. Simply put, Jane the Virgin is funny as hell.
Jane the Virgin is a cleverly written comedy that blends huge amounts of drama, very tender and human moments, and gags that are anything but cheap. Every joke or unusual situation in the show reveals something about the characters rather than looking for cheap laughs. For example, when Jane’s life spins out of control she usually becomes very clumsy: the physical comedy reveals characters’ inner state. We can also think of Rogelio’s hilarious gift baskets! (we wouldn’t mind getting one by the way). Or how Petra’s twins often make reference to the creepy duo from the horror film The Shining.
13. But above all, the show gives full agency to female characters, something rare in any TV show.
In today’s media industry, it is extremely rare for a female-led television show or film to be approved, even more so if the character is a Latina played by a relatively unknown actress. Jane the Virgin was a rarity and a novelty: a sitcom that got pretty dark at times, which offered dialogue in Spanish and was unashamedly influenced by telenovelas. The Villanueva queens and Petra drove the narrative, un matriarcado televisivo like no other. Jane did not make her decisions solely based on what her romantic counterparts demanded: she was in control of her feelings, her sexuality and her experience as a mother. We will miss you, Jane hermosa.
There comes a time in a young woman’s life when she has to venture out into the world and experience everything out there that the world has to offer. And yes, “everything” includes sex. And while sex is a totally natural and expected step in a young woman’s coming-of-age journey, the Latinx community often holds notoriously conservative views about when it’s “okay” for a young woman to have sex for the first time.
This conservative attitude towards woman and sex is nowhere more prominent than it is in the minds of Latinx mothers. Many Latinx moms, especially from older generations, have been trained to believe that a young woman’s worth is tied to her virginity and that it’s a sin to have sex out of wedlock. This attitude makes it hard for girls to talk to their parents about sex, which means a large portion of the Latina population is uneducated about STIs, unwanted pregnancy, contraception, and how being sexually active can impact your emotions. Because of the shame surrounding extramarital sex in the Latinx community, many young women hide the fact that they’ve been having sex from their mothers in order to avoid conflict or avoid being shamed.
That’s why Fierce by mitú took to our Instagram page to ask our followers how their madres reacted when they found out their daughters were no longer virgins. We also wanted to know if our followers decided to keep their virginity statuses to themselves.
Check out the answers below!
1. This mom’s nosiness gave her more than she bargained for
“My mom found out I was having sex when I was 23 years old and she found my birth control (cringe!). This is a pretty common story I share with a lot of my friends but the way my mom found out was pretty mortifying. My novio, who I have been dating since I was 14 and who she has known for as many years, was over at the house. Because my mom has always been very nosey and a helicopter mom I would give him my birth control for safe keeping (For so many reasons Don’t DO THIS!!) Anyway. The birth control fell out of his bag and my mom flipped out. Any other scenario, had I hid it in a closet or sock drawer she would have found out sooner but I probably could have convinced her it was just for acne.” – Veronica, Chicago
2. This mama read between the lines and stayed silent
“I kind of had to fess up to my mom because I was moving in with my boyfriend. She’d been asking me since we started dating if I was using protection over and over again and I was too embarrassed to even say that we were having sex. I finally just told her that I was moving in with him and I think she got the deal.” Kathryn, Los Angeles
3. This mom insisted she could tell by just LOOKING at her daughter
“I told my mom years after, but she swears she knew the night I came home that it happened. I’m like c’mon, Mom. No way did you know. But, you know how they are–they know EVERYTHING.” – Laney, San Bernadino
4. The old “hyper-emotional” reaction
“My mom cried so so hard and then instantly got mad at me and gave me the silent treatment. She also claimed she “knew” that I wasn’t anymore anyhow ’cause I “started talking back”. But, I was 21 at that point!” – Yvette
5. The mom who doesn’t know…but c’mon: she knows
“To [my mom] I’m still [a virgin] ’till I’m married….Nahhh I think she probably suspects I’m not by now”. – Connie, Southern California
6. The mom who lives in blissful ignorance
“I’m 30 years old and still haven’t told my mom. At this point she’s gotta suspect I’m not [a virgin]. But at least I waited until I was 19!” Anna, Chicago
7. The Suffocating Silence
“Literally my current situation, lol. I want to tell her but, I’m afraid of her reaction. I don’t think she’ll be mad, but I really would hate for her to cry about it. Send help!” Darlene, Riverside
8. The “Live Your Life” Type of Mom
“I keep it to myself, but I’m pretty sure she knows me better. 😉 ” – Belle, Puerto Rico
9. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy
“She never asked and I never told her… but for what it’s worth, I waited till I was at least 18.” Tania, Los Angeles
10. The Mom Who Tries and Fails to Guilt Trip
“She said: ‘Why didnt [you] wait ’till marriage like [I] told over and over again?’. So, I said: “Who said I’ll ever get married?” Lizet, Bakersfield, CA
11. This mom who started crying when she walked in on the act
“I had skipped school to lose my virginity to my high school boyfriend. We had planned it out so that I would play sick and he would skip school and do it when my parents were out of the house. They boy work long hours so we figured we had some time. The actual act went well, but literally just as we finished we heard my front door open. No snuggling. We both jumped up to hide. I’ve always thought it took maybe 30 steps to get from my front door to my room, my mom took five. My boyfriend ducked out of the bathroom and somehow my mom got to the front of the house to confront him. I mean he had no shirt on and was pulling him his pants. She knew. She knew so much she cried.” Ana, Austin, TX
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