Things That Matter

Latino Families Are Trailblazing A New Culture For Deaf Latinos And This Documentary Is Highlighting Their Work

For some deaf Latinos, being a part of the deaf community can mean losing the Latino part of their identity.

In the United States, the deaf community signs using American Sign Language (ASL), which is based on American English. It’s rare for deaf schools to teach Spanish and rarer still to teach a Spanish-based sign system like Mexican Sign Language. So for deaf students from families like ours, the one place they are least understood is in their own home.

For one Latina mom, this just wasn’t acceptable.

Credit: deaf_latinos_org / Instagram

After giving birth to three deaf children, Irma was convinced that she had done something wrong in life. Often in our culture, women are taught to believe that if a child is born differently it’s because she, the mom, is being punished for something she did wrong in the past. Irma knew this just wasn’t true.

Even though she saw her children as beautiful gifts, she struggled to cope with the difficulty of raising her three deaf sons: Felix, Hector, and Enrique.

Language plays a major role in defining communities. Therefore, language can be a bridge or a barrier among cultures, and it can also be a source of cultural identity.

For Irma, one of the greatest worries was not being able to visualize a future for her children. It was hard to see her own kids in these Deaf white role models whose lives were fundamentally very different.

So then Deaf Latinos Y Familias was born.[

Credit: deaf_latinos_org / Instagram

Irma, who had been struggling to find Deaf Latino role models for her three boys, made it her mission to bring light not only into her boys’ lives, but for all deaf Latinos. In 2010, she founded the organization Deaf Latinos as a resource for people like her children and their families.

Irma’s three sons are all supportive of their mother’s newfound mission in life, saying they saw many parents struggling to connect with their children and that his mom wanted to bridge the connection between them regardless of how much they can hear.

Some parents struggle to communicate with their own children.

Another mother, Saira, came into Deaf Latinos after struggling to connect with her own deaf child, Jose. Saira refused to believe he’d forever be deaf and came to the U.S. from El Salvador hoping to find a ‘cure.’

Communication became super difficult and at times Saira would become so upset she’d sit outside of her home to cry. She felt alone and lost as if she was the only one with a deaf Latino child.

Discovering Deaf Latinos y Familias was a miracle in her eyes. Since joining the organization, she’s started learning new signs and new ways to communicate with Jose. But most importantly, she’s meeting other Latino families and realizing she’s not alone.

A family learns to grow together after challenging times.

Evelyn and Wilson have three children: Richie was born deaf, Darlin is disabled and requires therapy and wheelchair assistance, while Heaven was born prematurely at just six months old. Yet despite these struggles, they have persevered as a family and found new meaning in their lives.

After years of struggling to communicate, together they’ve started learning sign language with Deaf Latinos and feel closer as a family.

Fierce moms will do anything for their babies and these three fearless women show how powerful a family can be.

Saira, who is now pregnant with a girl, wonders if her little daughter will be born deaf. Her son Jose has asked the question which would she prefer and Saira responds: “It doesn’t matter, either way, she’ll learn to sign.”

While Irma, reflecting on her life and family, proudly proclaims that she wouldn’t change a thing about her life nor her journey. She’s grateful for her opportunities and vows to continue so long as she still has breath in her.

Now please excuse me while I go get a box of tissues to wipe away these happy tears.

READ: Your Mami Will Laugh And Cry Over These Super Relevant Mother’s Day Gifts

‘My Mom Insisted My Hips Changed’ Latinas Talk About Their Moms Finding Out They Had Sex For The First Time

Entertainment

‘My Mom Insisted My Hips Changed’ Latinas Talk About Their Moms Finding Out They Had Sex For The First Time

mitu / Youtube

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

@addictivestock/Instagram

“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

@lcdfotografia/Instagram

“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

@addictivestock/Instagram

“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

@addictivestock/Instagram

“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

@precious.earth.nature/Instagram

“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

@maarjavahiphotography/Instagram

“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

@jevgenijasorokina/Instagram

“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

@olga_lukaneva/Instagram

“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

@bailandoconjulieta/Instagram

“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

@glam_.dps/Instagram

“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

glam_.dps / Instagram

“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

All Of The Times Our Mamas And Abuelas Taught Us What Love And Fun Were In 2019

Fierce

All Of The Times Our Mamas And Abuelas Taught Us What Love And Fun Were In 2019

@ROCIOANDUJO / Twitter

Abuelas and mamas are the best. They’re wise, fierce, cranky, and, if you’re lucky, they are so loving. That is why it’s so important to pay them the respect they’ve earned, while also celebrating their incredible life. People should honor their grandparents each year as if it’s their last — and in a way that they’d love. In 2019, there’s no denying that they delivered!

Here’s a look at all of the abuelas and mamas who killed it in 2019.

This abuela who did a Mariachi howl after getting surprised on her 93rd birthday

A family in Arizona surprised their 93-year-old abuela on her birthday and holy hell was it sweet. As soon as nana opened the door, her family started playing mariachi music, and she loved it! We have no idea how many people were in that house, but by the sounds of it, there was a lot. Her stunned face clearly showed she had no idea a birthday party in her honor would be behind the door.

This mama who threw a lowrider birthday for her baby boy.

One Twitter user, who goes by the name of @whoissd, went viral when she had a birthday celebration for her son that emphasized just how much teaching the old to the new is vital. For her son, Silas Cash’s, first birthday, SD threw an authentic lowrider party — complete with the recognizable cruisers in attendance. For her son, Silas Cash’s, first birthday, SD threw an authentic lowrider party — complete with the recognizable cruisers in attendance.

This mom who hosted a job fair for her kids to teach them about life.

Shaketha Marion McGregor /  Facebook

One mom’s Facebook post went viral after she shared that she hosted a makeshift job fair for her children after they kept asking for a higher allowance. “My children continue to ask for a new cell phone, an allowance, and to go places,” the mother, Shaketha Marion McGregor wrote in her Facebook post. “Yesterday I told them that I’ve heard their requests and that I’ll have a surprise for them today when they get home from school. SURPRISE!!! It’s a whole hiring event. If you want it, work for it, earn it!”
And yes, she even had an in-home credit union (wait, what even is that? These kids are about to be ready for when #adulting hits them). McGregor’s Facebook post has already gotten over 212K likes, 35K comments, and over 130K shared on the social media platform.

This mom who still crushes on the father of her kids after all of these years.

Earlier this year in May, Rocio Andujo tweeted about her parents’ love story. The 21-year-old from Texas shared that her mom and dad, Rosalia and Robert, have been together for 27 years. Like any good romantic drama, their love affair started with friction. Dad, the playboy of the block, was head over heels for mom, who knew better than to give the player any play — until she did. “My mom always knew my dad was a ladies’ man & wouldn’t really take any girl serious so she always rejected him… because she didn’t want to be just another girl on his list (her words),” Rocio, who works as a server while attending college, said, according to BuzzFeed. “After a year & months of my dad chasing after my mom & trying to get a chance with her she finally gave him a chance since she saw that he kept insisting and insisting even after she would reject him.”

Apparently, her pops was sprung, and everyone around them took notice.
“Everyone could see how in love my dad was with my mom and everyone would get surprised because they had never seen my dad so in love with a girl before,” Rocio wrote. But Robert wasn’t the only one all heart-eyes in the relationship. Rocio discovered something recently that proves that her mom has been equally enamored all these years: a collection of all the flowers that Robert gave Rosalia during all the years they were boyfriend and girlfriend. “No one knew my mom had kept those flowers. She also still has the first bouquet of roses he gave her,” Rocio said.