“For the past four years I’ve learned that there are (at least for me) two kinds of ‘education’, the one your parents give to you when you are growing up, and the one the life shows you, your own experiences, good and bad ones; both which have allowed me to really define myself as a person, as a friend, as a human being, and as a gay man.
Being a gay man in Mexico is hard; we have big stigma and racism about homosexuality. Of course there’s people who just don’t care about people being gay, people who accept the gay community and people who believes this is all wrong and we are doomed to hell. Being such a catholic country, were man has to be a ‘macho’ to be a ‘real’ man; we have more people of the former kind. With time you learn to ignore this kind.
Growing up in a little town was not easy, most of my classmates from elementary and middle school referred to me as faggot or queer. Those comments hurt, and made me realize there was something different about myself, and I really wanted to change that. Then for high school I moved to another city for a better education, which meant a new school, a new city, and new people… But it was all the same, or even worst. I made really good friends, but the boys were meaner and the girls overprotective. It was here where I felt for the first time for a guy, a really handsome one, even stunning. I knew this wasn’t normal for the social standards I had been raised, and I began to understand I wasn’t the same as the others.
So, for college I moved out as far away as possible to one of the major cities in Mexico: Monterrey. Far from everyone I had met, thinking I could start all over again. Here I understood that it wasn’t about changing everything around you, but changing your disposition to evolve mentally and emotionally. I began to accept myself, made some new friends and realized I liked man really hard. Exactly a year later, in 2008, I came out to myself and it was the biggest relief. But then I faced another issue, coming out to everyone else, friends and family. I was scared about their reactions and how they were going to take it and I even made up a story about me meeting some guy, I don’t really know why, I guess I thought it was going to be easier to accept the fact that I was gay if I was dating someone (dumb logic, I know), and I told this story to a friend who was very comprehensive and nice, and with time she became my best friend, always supportive and there for me.
After I told my friend, coming out to other friends was easier, but my family was a big issue. My parents are a little open-minded but I wasn’t sure about their son being gay. So I started with a cousin, I was really close to her and luckily everything went well. Next my sister, she just told me ‘whatever, do anything you want’, so I knew it was fine. The most difficult one was my mom, since it was never the right time I just spit it out one day ‘‘Mom, I’m homosexual’’, it wasn’t easy I freaked out before telling her and cried for so long. She told me that nothing was going to change because she was my mother and she will always love me, but she needed some time to understand. About my dad, mom told me it was a delicate issue and that she will tell him. My sister told me that dad already knew, but we haven’t talked about it, it’s like taboo at home. I know he needs to hear it from me. It’s sad because I can’t go home and be myself, talk openly about my life. Every time I mention a male friend, my mom looks at me all freaked out thinking I’m dating this guy and that I’m going to say something ‘gay’. But I have confidence all of this are going to be better.
Right now I’m in grad school, moved out again to a small city named Irapuato, where I’m learning so many things that I want in my life and future, and also a lot of good things about being gay.
About the LGBT community in Mexico, I’ll say I’m not so in touch with it. From the little contact that I’ve had I’ll say I don’t like it, maybe it’s because the concept I got is that being gay meant wild and loud parties, which I’m not really into. I prefer to go out with friends for a drink or coffee, a good talk or book.
At the beginning of my transition of acceptance I believed that being gay was going to define me, but after all this years I understood that it’s only a part of who I am, there are many things that distinguish my personality and being gay is just one of them. After a retrospective analysis of my own, I now realize that I was always gay, I remember being little and asking my mom why I couldn’t wear the hairpins my sister did and learning all the dialogues of The Wizard of Oz.
I would like to finish, this big open letter, with a quote (because I’m a quote lover). “You are free, so choose; in other words, invent. No general code of ethics can tell you what you ought to do; there are no signs in this world.” (Jean-Paul Sartre).”