Hard to Tell
Hard to Tell
Hey, this is Stephanie, and I'm here with my fellow producer.
A: And I'm going to remain anonymous for the day.
S: Yes. And in this episode of the podcast
we will be having a discussion about our experiences being queer and Latino in our families.
A: So Stephanie, who are you out to in your life right now?
Steph: I'm out to almost everybody in my life except my family.
I'm out at school and I'm out at work, but I'm not out to my family except from my sister.
A: Who are you out to in your life?
A: Right now, like you said, I'm out at pretty much everyone in my life except my family. No one in my
S: So why are you not out to your family?
A: The reason I am not out to my family is because I am really scared of their reaction and
how they'll treat me after I do tell them.
I come from a very Mexican religious family who follow life pretty much by the Bible,
you know, like getting baptized, then having your first communion, then getting a confession and then
getting married to the opposite sex.
I don't really know - I mean I have an idea of how they will react if they were to find out
that I was gay.
And I just, I really don't want to go through anything in my life 'cause, I mean I relly don't want to
go through that right now 'cause I have too much other stuff going on, like work and school and all that to worry about.
How about you? Why aren't you out to your family yet?
S: I'm not really out to them kinda from the same reasons as you, I'm afraid of what their reaction would be
because they, my parents and most of my family are very traditional Christians
or Jehovah's witnesses and they come from very, like - I guess you could say conservative
backgrounds in their native countries and here and I know that they wouldn't be open to it
as most people that I know here have been.
And I'm just afraid of what their reactions would be, 'cause I know it wouldn't be good.
A: Do you want to come out to them?
S: I do wanna come out to them.
It's just such a hard thing to do, it's always hard to tell somebody something that you don't know
what their reaction would be and as much as I really wanna come out to them I'm afraid that...
I really... I know that their reaction is gonna be negative so I don't want to come out to them.
So, what I'm kinda doing right now was being someone obvious with my sexual orientation or my non-straightness,
you could say, and by just being really involved in the LGBTQ community and doing a lot of things
Queer-related that I'm passionate about, like activism and all that stuff
and in that ways I think they kind of wanna ask what they're afraid to ask.
So, I don't know...yeah....
Why do you want to...
Do you ever want to come out to them?
A: Yeah, of course I do, I know I can't keep the secret for the rest of my life from them, but...
Yeah, I just, right now I feel like it's not the right time
because I just have so much other priorities and, like if I was to tell them it would just make
my stress level go much higher. It would be just really bad.
But, yeah, I do plan on telling them when I move out someday, 'cause that way I'd feel like
I wouldn't have to deal with their reaction to it as much and I could just give them time
away from me to think about everything.
S: So I heard you say that you have all other of priorities in your life right now.
If you want could you, like, could you elaborate on what those other things that you are being kept busy with right now?
A: Yeah, so first is school. You know, college could be really stressful 'cause the amount of work
is twice as - ten times as more than what I had in highschool
and it's something I need to get used to.
And I'm also trying to balance out school with two jobs
and I really haven't had time just for myself, to just relax.
So , yeah, I mean I'm just, my mind is just being kept occupied, like 24/7.
And it's good, I guess but you know, sometimes you just need time for yourself to just think
and relax and just get some sleep.
S: So why do you think your familes are the way they are when it comes to your sexual orientation?
A: So, kind of like I said earlier, I come from a very Mexican religious family, and they grew up as
being taught to follow the Bible and you know, growing up and marrying the opposite sex and all that
and I know they want the same for me and if I were to tell them that I was gay, it would just be
such a big change for them, 'cause not only like one or two people in my family are gay
and that are out, that I know of, and they don't like that.
Like, they always talk about them behind their back and that sucks 'cause, you know,
I know and I can't do nothing about it.
I can't put in my sense, 'cause they would be like 'Why do you care so much?'
Yes, so I guess it's pretty much, like all, like about the way they were raised and religion and all that.
How about you, why do you think your family are that way?
S: I think my family is very non-excepting of homosexuality in general 'cause they grew up with traditional
westernized Christianity in their native countries of Mexico and El Salvador.
And I know at some point in their native culture that being non-heterosexual was something very accepting
and even praised because of its spirituality but now it's -because of the religious aspect they've grown up in
it's seen like something more negative and they've been raised to think that religion,
I mean that homosexuality is negative and they don't want to see anything other that being brought
into their family, they're close family.
So I really just think it's just the way they were raised and the way they've been brought up
and they're just afraid to see anything other ways.
S: Do you have any examples of the way your family has been just non-excepting in general of homosexuality
or any example like that?
A: Yeah, I have two examples that I can think of.
So, the first one would be, my sister's husband, he's really homophobic, I don't know why, but he is.
'cause one time I remember seeing, like some guy walking down the street and he was like "Ugh, look at that faggot,
he's hell of a gay, ta-la-la-la" you know, saying so many negative stuff.
I was just sitting there like quiet, thinking like "Why so much anger towards them?
They never did anything to you."
And he's just that type of person who always talks smack about people like that.
And I guess I never really asked them why he is that way because he's just... he's really like...
he's just a really negative person, he could be very mean sometimes.
I don't know, I just.. I wouldn't want to deal with him, 'cause we had big arguments before and it just
it was all bad. And then another example would be when my mom's seen pictures of me
and the girl I was dating. We were just, like... I was hugging her I guess and we were all over each
other. It looked like we were a couple and so she confronted me one day about it, put it like in a very
very angry tone.
She was just like "Why, like why ... like what's up with these pictures? Like, what is this?"
Like in a very...
She was yelling at me. And I was just denying it, of course, 'cause at that time I wasn't ready to tell
her, I didn't know how to tell her. I was still young and I just didn't know, I was so confused.
I was scared.
And, yeah, how about you?
S: Your story of your mom sort of reminds me in a way of the way my dad has reacted
to not seeing me in any of, like, queer ways, I guess, but, like me trying to stand up for other queer people.
So like when my dad watches novellas on TV he'll like, he'll see the stereotype
of gay male on TV and he'll say "Hey, Steph, look at that, ain't that super gay?"
And I would be like, I would feel like that's kind of, I'd try to stand up for my beliefs,
and tell him that "That was rude", I'd try to educate him.
He would just go off saying, like "I have really close friends who are gay, I'm just messing around, you know, I don't
really mean that", but even if he's just kidding, it still hurts, you know, and I've tried to take steps
to, like, tell my dad that, tell my brother things like that, just educate them about things,
and they just don't really wanna hear it, and I'm at the point when now that
I just don't really go out of my way to try to stick up for myself anymore, 'cause it doesn't, I'm just kinda
numb right now, it just doesn't bother me as much.
A: Was that it?
A: So you said your dad has some friends that are gay.
Do you want to elaborate on that?
S: Yeah, it's interesting, my dad's mentor, kind of like his father, who we've lived for since I was a baby
he's actually gay, and he's one of the closest males that my dad has in his life.
And it's interesting that he's gay and that my dad seems to, like have an exception for queer people
with him, to an extent.
A: So you said your dad had some friends that were gay. Do you want to elaborate on that a little bit more?
S: Yeah, sure. My dad actually has a mentor that he grew up with, who's gay, and he seems to
in a way, have an exception for him being gay.
And at the same time he doesn't because when my dad and my mum first moved in with him
and the mentor told them that he was gay
my dad basically said that, you know "It's ok for you to - like, this is ok as long as you don't mention this again,
and you never tell our children, and you just don't ever mention it again. We'll be ok with it."
And so, in a way my dad kinda accepts his mentor for being gay but at the same time he doesn't,
'cause he doesn't like him in general.
S: So what do you see the future being like with you being queer and you not being out to your parents yet?
A: Well, the way I see it as, is if I continue to date girls then
I would you know, eventually tell my family that I am gay when I move out,
so that way I wouldn't have to deal with their reaction
living there with them, I could just give them time and space to think.
But if from now on I, like start to date guys, and that's all I date is just guys, then I'm just not,
I'm going to keep it for myself and just act as if, like me being gay was just a phase
and I am better off not tell them anything at all.
How about you?
S: The way I envision the future right now is
for the next few years I don't plan to come out, as much as I really want to, I don't think it's just the safe,
a safe place for me to come out to my parents right now
with them and everything, but hopefully when I move out I would want to tell them at least
and hope they will be accepting and that everything will be ok and everything will be great again.
But right now it's just kind of tough, like, figuring out what I would come out as,
so it's gonna, I really don't know...
It might be a while before I can come out.
S: I have a question for all you outLoud listeners. If you are a queer person living in a Latino household,
we'd like to hear your experiences of being Latino and queer.
And if you want, you can send an email to us or send a text to
A: So, thank you Stephanie for sharing your story with me today,
and I would like to wish you luck on your situation.
S: Yeah, I wanna wish you luck too. It's really cool talking to another queer Latino person.
I feel like our voice doesn't get heard enough.
And I wish you luck too and I'm glad we had this conversation.
A: Thank you.
S: Yeah. And I actually have a question for all you fellow outLoud listeners.
Are you a queer Latino living in a Latino household?
If so, I wanna know about your experiences, if they're similar to ours or if you've had different experiences
we would like to hear from you.
You can leave a comment on our Facebook page, which is outLoud radio
or you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or leave a voice message at 415 658 6010.
This has been Stephanie..
A: And Anonymous.
S: And thanks for listening to outLoud radio.