What It's Like Growing Up As A Gay Latina
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Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

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Dear Closeted Latina,

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Some people thought they suspected all along

Others didn't care or shamed him for his identity

But you, little closeted one, you saw it as a chance to be yourself


As you grew older, you recognized the uneven balance within your culture

The machismo trends and female submission

You realized that gay men were accepted more than sapphic women

For us women had to carry on the bloodline, and that wouldn't work out if you married another woman

You stood in the shadows as your drunk tias y tios spoke out against homosexuality, calling it every name in the book

You thought about the girl who gave you butterflies and figured it had to be a phase


Then you realized it wasn't a phase after all

As women became more and more appealing to you

But Tio Fulano said that gays were causing the end of the world

And Tia Altagracia said that they were disgusting and immoral

You wonder why a generation that came from an affair had any right to judge those who loved differently

You wonder why a culture whose main flaws were over-drinking and infidelity had any right to speak out against a community whose main label is love

You saw gay Latinos openly out with their families and felt jealous

You cried when you heard "No Tiene La Culpa" by Romeo Santos


Then came the day when you told your mom you wouldn't be closed off to the idea of girls

You might as well have never said a word and told her to forget it

So you kept your feelings inside, threatening to tear your heart apart

You watched as Elena's father abandoned her at her Quinceañera after he found out she was lesbian

You cry every time you watch it because it hits too close to home

You keep your mouth shut when your family makes an emphasis on "¿y el novio?"


Chiquita, I see you

Chiquita, I hear you

So many of us are trapped inside a glass closet

It is too delicate to break, so you stay inside

Peering at the outside world and those free to be themselves

You attend your first Pride Parade and never feel more accepted and happy to be among those just like you

You are valid

Your emotions are real and pure

Wave your flag, Chiquita

It was made for you

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