Show me the closet
While I was riding my bicycle I thought I really have nothing to offer to my community, I did not have a traumatic came out, I was not bullied about it, I was actually in a pretty nice gay bubble. I felt quite bad about it, I didn’t even feel like I belong to the LGBTIQ universe.
Caracas and How I never saw it.
I grow up in nineties in a tropical city, back in the time I was lost into my stuff, study and… well that was it. I had not gay friends, gays exist but not openly to society. Being gay was and still could be frowned upon what was allowed.
So I never hangout with open gay people, for me the straight version of sexuality was the norm, it never crossed to my mind that not being straight wasn’t an option.
Latin America is a pretty homophobic, sexist place to hang around, in a country that is obsessed with a beauty, you will, as a woman get bullied, by not being so tall, by being too small, by not being skinny, by not having big boobs, you are surrounded by external pressure, the pressure of fixing into a concept that it might not suits you. Being yourself is a enough task to deal with while you are growing up.
It wasn’t in my daily life, I couldn’t relate to the idea or the possibility.
My boyfriend told me
Once upon a time I had a boyfriend, he could see me through, we spend together around 8 years.
One day he said;- Listen, I think you should think about this: “You are Lesbian”
I was: Nooooo, me? Pause…
-Just take time and think about it.
I thought, I thought a lot about it.
I wasn’t living in Venezuela anymore, I was in a more diverse environment (The queer Mecca, The gay paradise… Berlin!)
Just a simple statement with some time to think about, another world.
At that moment everything click: That’s why I only checked out girls at the beach, that’s why I always called guys “cute” and never super hot, that is why I loved to played Tomb Raider for hours, and why when I went to parties ended up talking with a girl about making angels in the grass and not making out with the boys and why when I was 4years old I told my mom that I want to study just with girls cause I didn’t like hanging out with boys… I knoooow so blind!
One email to rule them all
My family live in Caracas, we usually meet once a year, my boyfriend and I broke up so… I felt it was a good moment to let them know.
I sat down, opened my email, add all my family (dad, mom & sister) and wrote:
Hey guys, I bet you already know that I broke up with my boyfriend, I’m dating now women.
I hope you are having a good time, Let me know if you have any question.
Yeeeah, I’m still waiting for an answer…
My sisters didn’t care she was a bit sad, “but your boyfriend is sooo pretty but I’m happy if you are”. My mom thought that I was a rebel without cause (she told me later on) my dad, well I think he is still processing.
Maybe wasn’t a big surprise after all.
Choosing an ice cream
For me wasn’t a big deal, so I didn’t make it a big deal of it either.
It was more like, I went to the freezer and instead of having chocolate I choose vanilla. I love chocolate, but I also love vanilla, Would you make a big scene out of the ice cream you want to eat? No. You just eat it.
That is how I felt.
My family is important to me, I care about their opinion, in many cases I stand by what I was feeling, steep out of their pressure (hardest task) trying to find my way.
So in that email I didn’t ask, I just communicate where I was at.
As my cucu says: There is nothing wrong with how do you feel.
Part II: Own where you at
It was the first time I was going to meet my parents again after my non glorious email about now I was into women. They didn’t directly talked about, instead they use a lot of suggestions.
During breakfast my dad asked me: -Who is that woman who constantly talk with?
My girlfriend, I sent you and email dad, like 2months ago.
My mom gave me a look, the room felt with silence. Dad didn’t react, Mom pretend that nothing was happening and I said:
Well apparently that email got lost in the internet so…I have a Girlfriend, she is not a men, it’s a woman, cause… I’m into women now. Women that are not men.
My mom finally said: Oh Lord, you and your things.
-Mom, you don’t really believe in the Lord… and that thing are women.
But why? (like if a reason but my black sense of humor is stronger that the situation specially cause there is nothing dramatic about being gay)
That is a very good question mom, thank you for asking, I thought so much about it, why am I like this?. While I was using my telenovela skills.
The answer is: because you made me gay! I just studied with woman, I never interact with guys, It is your fault! You put me in that girl school! Maybe it’s worse It’s in my genes, my genetics are twisted!
Dad: Why everything is a joke for you?
Well dad cause it doesn’t matter, It doesn’t matter if I like women or not and what made me this way… Cause honestly you can’t do anything about it.
Perhaps I don’t give a shit about it, maybe is I don’t need approval, or what I feel is bigger than what people opinion. Many of us needs that, many of us rely on our family’s opinion but for me is as simple as why do I want to be closer to people who doesn’t accept me as I am?
Yes, I’m lucky to have people around me that my sexual orientation and gender are not relevant for them. That I didn’t go through repression, and lack of self expression, I’m aware that many people have to deal with violence and rejection, that not everyone has the support. For you I have to tell you that out there in the gay galaxy are people willing to help, listen and offer you a hand.
Show me the closet
Some people don’t even transit in one galaxy, in my case for example. I was living in my own universe, not only isolated from reality but from the community. What is this closet?
By talking with some friends I realized there is a lot of trauma and pain in the community, that I have no fucking idea about… anything. I never felt rejection, my family didn’t make a huge thing out of it, I left Venezuela so I couldn’t relate to the society’s reaction toward me and Berlin is gay paradise.
So I asked my friends to show me that closet, to help me to swim deep into their experiences, it is hard for me to connect with the LGBTIQ community.
I have a hard time with identity in general, my process of feeling
identified with groups is very complex, in my mind everything is so abstract and complex that by the time I get something I’m already jumping to somewhere else, this happened not only in the sexuality territory.
The power of respect
Sharing my process, empowering trust on your own true, looking inside, learning every day and be confortable with my own truth, whatever that is, this is how I can do for my community.
I gave you what I went through.