Gaining Acceptance

Acceptance….It is a simple word to understand, but hard to gain. Despite the progress our society has made in recognizing people from various diverse backgrounds and lifestyles, a group that still struggles for acceptance is homosexuals.

As homosexuality is growing within our community, it is still difficult for young Latina lesbians to go around the city and walk with their head held high and show off their gay pride. According to three brave lesbian women, it is the difficult for young Latino homosexuals to come out of the closet and tell their loved ones that they love someone of the same gender.

“It’s not really easy to tell your parents that you’re gay. I mean you really can’t just walk up to them and say ‘Hey mom and dad, how was your day? Oh by the way I’m gay! Alright well I love you!’ It’s really hard,” said Magdalena Sanchez, a high school senior. Despite her worries, Magdalena’s parents were quite understandable when she told them. She felt very fortunate that they did not love her any less.

For some Latina lesbians, their religion becomes an issue for them as well. Maria Portales, a college freshman, feared that she would be kicked out by her church and not be able to worship as she normally did after announcing her romantic interest in other girls.

“I remember the time I ‘came out of the closet’ to my parents. They called my abuela, because she is considered to be the wisest of us all and the one who keeps the faith in tact within the family. When she came to my house, she had some palms and Holy Water with her. She started hitting me with the palms and threw Holy Water at me and yelling ‘Sale el demonio’, (Devil out of that body!),” laughed Maria.

At the time of this incident, Maria had thought that her relationship with her grandma would change, but was wrong. “We both look back at that day and laugh. My abuela has accepted me and has supported me and my lifestyle, as well as my parents. I am very grateful,” added Maria.

“The number of gay Hispanics is increasing rapidly, as well as the questions regarding our loyalty to our faith. We do sometimes fear if the Church or God will punish us because of the choices we have made. However, that day has not come yet! Whatever obstacles we must face, we [the gay community] will face it together with our head held high, and hope that our family, as well as our church leaders will back us no matter what,” said Christina Nevarez, a sophomore college student.

By Claudia Oliva

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