WOW does THIS hit home! I’m not going to say that coming out to a traditional Latino family is any more difficult than coming out to other non-Latino families. However, I would venture to say that it is extremely difficult for so many reasons. For those of you who may not be familiar with the dynamics of the Latino family I’d like to provide a little insight.
Most tho not all Latino families are raised Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah’s Witness, etc. So most Latino children have been constantly given the message of how sinful we humans are and the consequences of our sinful ways. It’s very frightening to say the least. Add to that the fact that most traditional Latino parents believe that the way to help their children stay in line is to control them with strict discipline. Girls/young women more so than boys/young men. I know of someone in her late 20’s that still has a curfew of midnight. If that isn’t enough, we Latinos have been passed down the “what would the neighbors think” mentality. Sometimes being embarassed by your children is thought to be worse than your children committing a sin in the eyes of God.
All this has added to the most unfortunate responses from parents. I’ve known of young adult women being beaten and/or kicked out of their homes permanently. It’s one of the most painful, heart-wrenching issues that our community has and continues to experience.
So how do you come out to your traditional Latino family? I would say to FIRST and foremost find as many venues of support for yourself. Not only finding friends to talk to but organizations that are there specifically to help you deal with this step in your coming out process. There are many organizations that can be of help specifically for Latina women such as Amigas Latinas, Orgullo En Accion, etc. The one I most strongly suggest is part of Amigas Latinas called Entre Familia: PFLAG en espanol. That group includes Latina LGBTQ & their families. I think talking with other women and their parents could bring tremendous insight into how to best approach your family. My advice, having experienced it myself, is to surround yourself with those that love & support you, be strong and know that there are MANY like you. You are NOT alone! Take advantage of groups like PFLAG to help you plan how, when, where and what to tell your family. And of course if you’d like to speak with me further contact me at email@example.com I’d be more than happy to help. That’s what I’m here for! Un abrazo fuerte!
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The information provided on The L Stop is meant to raise awareness about different perspectives, cultures, values, etc. Because everyone is different, the ideas expressed on this site are the ideas of the individual writer’s and cannot be used to diagnose or treat individual sexual, romantic, or psychological problems.
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A Chicago original of Mexican decent, Alma has been part of the Chicago’s LGBTQ community longer than she’d like to admit. She’s been maneuvering through its diverse social circles, networking relentlessly in an attempt to satisfy her need to understand and get to know the people that make up our amazing and unique community. Her path began as a social butterfly whose interests were solely to meet and entertain friends. Now her desire is to channel her strengths, talents and passion into ways she can be of service for the Chicago LGBTQ community that she so loves and respects.