Coming Out as Bisexual to My Latino Family Was Intimidating, But Here Are The Moments I Later Reveled In
Everyone’s coming out story is different — some may be received with accepting hugs and tears of joy, while others may require some distance from family.
For those with Latino families, the fear and anxiety of vocalizing our sexualities is intensified. Many of us grew up in religious households known for upholding machismo and expressing derogatory sentiments towards anyone that doesn’t align with lo que dice en la biblia.
While it seems to be a universal step to “come out,” for folks part of the LGBTQ+ community, “coming out” means finally having the freedom to live our lives authentically, as we were intended.
mitú sat down with Kimberly Hoyos, one of our very own junior production managers and first-gen Latina, to speak about her experience coming out as bisexual to her parents. Hoyos came out when she was 24 years old and now as a 26-year-old, lives her life more boldly as her true self.
When you think about your coming out, what emotions do you feel?
I don’t know, it’s hard, I really do think it’s sadness and a little anger. Coming out to my parents, coming out to friends, it’s definitely different. I feel bad for [the version of] me at 24 years old… It would have sucked at any point though, so I’m just happy I ripped the band-aid off at that point.
Can you describe your experience coming out?
It was definitely hard on my parents since I told them through a text message because I was just tired by that time. I was 24 years old, and I was just at my job and around awesome people who were themselves every day, and I just wanted to be open with myself, so I told them in a text message because it was Bi Visibility Day.
I was secure in my relationship with my partner — we’ve been together for years and he’s very affirming of my identity — so it was just definitely very awkward and very scary.
I was nervous to tell them even though I knew we had the experience of my older brother [who had come out as gay] but that was still difficult for them given the culture, given common fears, given what they grew up around, what they’d seen, and also what they just didn’t understand, so I don’t blame them for that.
My dad was definitely more open about it; my mom was mostly hurt that I didn’t tell her sooner. She was just like, “Why didn’t I know? Why didn’t you tell me? You should have told me.”
And I hate this because it’s sexuality. It’s only expected of queer kids to come out and to do these things, like “Oh, here’s who I am attracted to and what I present as.” So I also just had a lot of resentment, where I was just angry and that’s why I didn’t want to put more time or care into it because no matter what, I knew what reaction I’d get.
What was the moment that led you to decide to come out?
I just [thought], I’m tired, you know, I’m tired. This is already my life. It doesn’t matter. I wanted people to notice that anything — all of my art and all of my work, my writing, my films, everything — could just be in that lens and be in that space, so there’s not an open interpretation of that. It is what it is. That’s how I see the world.
What is your relationship with your parents now?
I’ve felt immense freedom from knowing they love me, they love me so much. I recently cut my hair, and that was a huge thing, a big thing with femininity for them, too. So I feel there’s been accepting moments but they’re not labeled “Oh because Kim is bisexual” or “Oh Kim’s more confident” or “Kim’s posting this, I love that.” They’re really sweet and supportive, but I wouldn’t say those labels are on it.
Not second guessing when I’m saying something has been really nice with the family or just saying what I actually mean is really, really nice. I’m so invested in political issues — you can care about identity issues, but it’s different when you’re part of that marginalized group, so it’s definitely allowed me to be more outspoken and advocate for myself and others.
It’s been really great. I can more boldly find the places I want to be in and seek those opportunities out because I am myself and that always comes first for me.