Noe On Gay Hispanic Life
Gay.com Member Name: noegarciatx
Sexual Orientation: Gay
Birthplace: Andrews, TX
As a Latino/Hispanic, do you have a "coming out" story specific to your culture? Or do you have any stories describing why you feel you cannot "come out" as an LGBT Latino?
I came out after my first semester of college. I was back home for Christmas of 1998 and was sitting in my room back home. All of a sudden I got a phone call at home from a guy that I had really fallen for. My mom asked me who it was and I said he was just a friend as I was still not out. I had already come out at school but not to my family. After I spoke with him for three hours I felt ashamed that I had to say this great wonderful man was just a friend. At that point, I asked my mom to come into my room and she sat next to me on my bed. I cried and she just sat there asking why I was crying. I told her that I had something difficult to tell her, something that I couldn't hide any longer. I told her I was gay and that the man that called me was not just a friend. He was my first love and my first kiss. She asked me if I was sure and I replied yes. She remained quiet and asked if it was because she had not been a good mother or had done something wrong by me. I told her she was the best mother I could have asked for and she did nothing wrong. She remained quiet and told me that I was no longer her son. My heart sank and I just cried to myself more but I knew I wouldn't go back on my words. That sense of knowing that it was out of me, knowing that I no longer had to hide to the most important woman/person in my life regardless of now having to lose her was empowering. I gained pride/orgullo. I got up from the bed and started to pack my clothes from the chest of drawers. She then asked me what I was doing. I replied going back to my dorm to school. She said the dorms are empty and you will be there alone. I said I am alone here now so at least there it can be my new home. She then cried and said you will always be my son and you will never be alone and this will always be your home. She said, "Look, I said that you are not my son to see if I could fix you." LOL We laughed and cried and hugged and told her that was not nice to scare me like that and that's not going to make me change who I am. She and I then talked about me knowing that I was gay since I was 5 and her knowing also since I was 5.
Who is your favorite Latino/Hispanic icon? Why?
My favorite Latino icon is not so much one famous person. For me it's all Latina's. To me, there is no stronger woman than the Latin woman. I see what the women in my family have overcome. The way they wake up every morning with the attitude of every day is and another day and a new opportunity to improve your life. I see other Latino families and the women are the ones that work, nurture, feed, and bring love to the family unit. I respect women in general. They are strong creatures designed to endure more than men physically, mentally and emotionally.
Are you aware of any LGBT Latino/Hispanic celebrities or public figures, or can you name any that you know to be gay-friendly or pro-gay?
I am not really aware of any gay Latino celebrities that are out. Of course there is a certain Mexican singer I suspect (not alone on this one) and then there is a certain astrologer that's a bit over the top, but again none that I know are out.
How did you learn about sex and sexual orientation? Was it from family, friends, religion, etc?
I learned about sex from online and my own experiences. My sex talk consisted of a sit down and the words, "You get a girl pregnant and you marry her." Totally not applicable to me. LOL
What are your perceptions of what makes a gay man (top/bottom or other roles?) and a lesbian in Latino/Hispanic culture?
This is a difficult question for me as I have very strong opinions about this. Because the latino community is so machista/male pride driven, certain sexual acts are looked down upon. I also detest the attitude some guys have about giving oral. It's the same attitude that by going down on a guy you are feminine and the "bitch." While there is something to be said for Latino men and not all Latino men are like this, those that believe these things or that have the mind-set of, "I will fuck you or you can give me head but I won't go down on you and I won't let you fuck me." This saddens me because these are things Latina women complain to me about...being thought of as less because they are women.
Could you provide an experience where you were a victim of gay bashing/abuse from fellow Latinos vs. non-Hispanic people, whether you were "out" or not?
I have never been gay bashed, but I did have an experience where an uncle had just found out about me being gay. He went to my grandmother, mother and aunts and asked about my whereabouts and if they knew I was gay. They said they did know. He threatened them by saying that if he found me, he was going to beat the gay out of me because no man in his family was going to be weak and allow others to treat a man in our family like a woman. They all backed me up and told him that if he even talked to me about it or made a threat to me, he would no longer be a part of the family and he would no longer exist. If he physically attacked me, he would physically have to attack his own mother and sisters because that's what it would come to. We didn't speak for 8 years and even then it was awkward and it was hand shake as opposed to the hugs from before.
How did you learn about STDs and safe sex? Was it culturally specific through organizations or just through personal experiences?
I didn't know about safe sex till I was in college as it relates to the gay community. I had taken courses in Jr High and High School but it was general and about straight sex. I didn't really learn about AIDS till I made a friend in college who was HIV positive and learned more about the disease from him and from the doctors and staff.
If you are out to your family, describe how difficult/easy your "coming out" experience was. Was there any particular family member you felt most comfortable telling? Why? Was there someone you felt least comfortable telling? Why?
The person that I felt the least comfortable with telling about me was my father. Being the oldest son in a Hispanic family typically you are the one that sets the example for the others and you are the one that's has to carry the family and be the man a perfect copy of our fathers. To this day, I have not told my father myself that I am gay. I know others have told him and he knows I am because I was with the same guy for 8 years, but the words, "Dad, I'm gay," have not come out of my lips.
If you are actively involved in the larger gay community, do you, as a Latino/Hispanic, ever feel either objectified or discriminated against by others because of your race or ethnicity?
I don't feel objectified but I feel as if guys expect something from that I am not. I am not urban (have tats, say sup or bro, ultra masculine and thuggish) and I am not the beaner; the guy that knows Spanish, cooks authentic Mexican food, cleans the house, and is this little submissive "boi" to show around like a lap dog." Some guys think that because I am a gay Latino I should be some urban Chicano or some docile tiny little Hispanic boy that wants nothing more in life other than to clean and cook for his boyfriend and his friends. Sorry, that's not me. I am more than that.
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