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A Gay Latina Came Out to Her Family and Took Photos of the Moment She Broke the News

Paola Paredes is an Ecuadorian photographer who kept her sexuality hidden from her parents for years. Fed up with keeping her sexuality a secret, Paredes decided to come out to her family in a way only a photographer could: by documenting the whole experience. Paredes set up three cameras in a room and broke the news to her parents and two sisters. The results are gripping.

It was a tough conversation to start.

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Credit: Paoloa Paredes / Unveiled

Paredes wrote on her blog that starting the conversation was hard. She stared at the table for a while before she was able to muster up the courage to tell her parents two words: “I’m gay.”

Which is natural because coming out to your parents is terrifying.

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Credit: Paoloa Paredes / Unveiled

And being in a Latino family can make the fear of coming out much more intense, due to the strong religious influences in Latino culture.

There were three angles that captured Paredes’s coming out.

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Credit: Paoloa Paredes / Unveiled

“When I sat down to edit the photographs, there were thousands of frames; nonetheless, I found only one in which one person – one of my sisters – looks straight at the camera. The rest of us didn’t even flinch at the cameras. That gives you an idea of how their presence was not felt that much,” Paredes told Fotografia.

READ: Latino, Gay, and Undocumented in the Rural South

After years of hiding her true self, her family got to meet the real Paola Paredes.

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Credit: Paoloa Paredes / Unveiled

“Upon researching an idea I wanted to work on I found a book called Stolen Glances: Lesbians Take PhotographsI was taken by the many lovely pictures done by various female artists, expressing their sexuality through photography. I knew then and there that I wanted to do a project similar to that, one that would be close to my heart,” Paredes told Huffington Post.

Paredes’s parents did not respond immediately.

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Credit: Paoloa Paredes / Unveiled

They sat there as they listened to their daughter talk about the hurt and struggle she had coming to terms with her sexuality.

When her parents spoke, it was with love.

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Credit: Paoloa Paredes / Unveiled

“We don’t care. We love you,” Paredes recalls her parents saying on her project Unveiled.

The emotional conversation lasted for hours.

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Credit: Paoloa Paredes / Unveiled

“I had a chance to tell my family what I had gone through as a teenager, how hard it had been to accept myself for who I was. They listened intently,”  wrote Paredes on her site.

Her family loves and accepts her but dealing with Ecuador’s conservative culture is challenging.

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Credit: Paoloa Paredes / Unveiled

“As far as their acceptance goes, they are going through a process of their own. The most challenging part for them is living in a place as conservative and Catholic as Ecuador, where being gay is still disapproved. I can tell that’s hard on them,” Paredes told Fotografia.

The emotional rollercoaster ended with a family smoke session.

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Credit: Paoloa Paredes / Unveiled

“At one point Mum got up to get a carton of cigarettes, placing it on the table when she returned. We all reached for one in unison. None of us were really big smokers, and we rarely smoked together,” Paredes wrote.

What do you think about Paolo Paredes’s coming out experience? Did you have a similar experience? mitú wants to know. Tell us in the comments below!

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Instagram’s Beloved Summer Read Mexican Gothic To Become Limited Hulu Series Produced By Kelly Ripa

Fierce

Instagram’s Beloved Summer Read Mexican Gothic To Become Limited Hulu Series Produced By Kelly Ripa

Penguin Random House

During these times, Noemí Taboada is more than just the heroine of the novel Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. She’s also become the hero come to rescue us from our pandemic boredom. The story of the 1950s Mexican socialite summoned to save her vulnerable cousin has entranced summer readers stuck at home during the pandemic and without much new material to thrive on. Sales for the horror novel soared just as soon as the book hit shelves this past June and now fortunately for fans, news about the novel gets better.

Hulu has picked up Mexican Gothic and given it the greenlight a drama series!

The series comes from Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ Milojo Productions and ABC Signature.

According to Deadline, Moreno-Garcia is set executive produce the series alongside Milojo’s Ripa, Consuelos, and Albert Bianchini.

Moreno-Garcia is a Mexican-born author currently living in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the best-selling author of Gods of Jade and Shadow, Certain Dark Things and Untamed Shore. Speaking to Deadline, the author explained that she is “excited to see the novel come to life and to meet the talented, diverse crew and cast members that will take us on this journey.”

“We feel like we hit the literary jackpot, and cannot wait to bring Silvia’s gorgeous writing to life, together with Hulu,” Ripa also commented in a statement.

Mexican Gothic was published this past June and welcomed with critical acclaim.

The book follows Noemí Taboada, a young socialite living in 1950s Mexico City who takes to the Mexican countryside and the mountains of Hidalgo after being summoned by her cousin who is worried that her new husband, a rich and enigmatic Englishman, might be attempting to kill her.

But it’s not just the mystery and intrigue of the story that will captivate readers. For those interested in rich histories and exploring their own roots, this book will bring so much intrigue if you haven’t already read it.

At the heart of Moreno-Garcia’s story is an examination of the effects of eugenicism and colonization in Mexico. 

Speaking to NPR about her novel, Moreno-Garcia explained that the inspiration for it came from a real town in Mexico that had been mined by the Spanish and overtaken in the 1800s by British forces.

“It has an English cemetery, just like in my book. And that is what inspired the novel. I went there one time and I was walking around the cemetery and it was misty. And it’s kind of chilly and rainy there, especially certain times of the year. And I looked around and I thought, this is something out of a Hammer film. So it never really quite left me,” she revealed. “But the other reason to set it there is because, I think when people think about Mexico, sometimes they do know that it was conquered by the Spanish. And they think the Spanish left and that was it. That was the only case of colonialism that existed. But obviously, many other forces came into Mexico throughout the years and engaged in explicit warfare or more subtle types of control… Americans came and all sorts of foreign interventions have taken place throughout the history of Mexico. And I just thought it was an interesting bit of the colonial legacy, to look at the British legacy, and to set it in Mexico to examine some of those forces colliding.”

Readers of the hit book have been quick to comment on its new status as an upcoming television series. “I will say my favorite was the atmosphere and gothic suspense. I enjoy horror, but I’m quite picky with my horror and that aspect of this book was the least appealing part to me. It was tame for most of the book, but there are some really twisted scenarios towards the end that were really unsettling… and not in the spine-tingling way I generally enjoy. Prepare to be disturbed.⁣ And maybe even a little grossed out.,” one user wrote about the book in a post to Instagram.

“I love how the writer uses most of the key elements of the gothic genre, but at the same time subverts it in order to discuss racism, feminism, and colonialism,” another commented.

Fans who loved the characters and plot of Mexican Gothic will likely fall in love with Hulu’s new take and we, for one, can’t wait!

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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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