Looking back at my early childhood years, I can honestly say I laugh when I visualize the mortified look on my Christian mother’s face as my hippie liberal father shrugs, while I gallantly parade around our tiny basement apartment proclaiming my status as Queen of the Moon. Truthfully speaking, when I was growing up I didn’t care much about what my parents thought of me, be it confused, concerned or worried. And so, on I went, not caring about how my mother would tell me not to do that, not play with my sister’s dolls, not wear dresses, not look at the muscle hunks on TV; the red Power Rangers and Tuxedo Masks in their tight glittering costumes gallivanting across the television set, making my eyes swell and little heart pound two extra beats.
Clearly my mother knew I was going to be a raging queer. Clearly she was going to have an issue with that.
What I didn’t know is that all this concern came from fear, fear of something happening to me. It wasn’t a fear based out of misunderstanding; it was one that is second nature to any mother on the planet. She was afraid for her child, this special creative child, who back home in our native Guatemala would be lynched in the town square just for being the slightest little bit feminine.
So, as the years went on, my spirit began to get crushed with the bullying on the playground to the locker rooms of junior high. I was reaching my breaking point at 13, because at this point I knew, I knew why I liked Tuxedo Mask. I knew that I was Gay. So, I thought I was going to keep it as this huge secret, and attempted to sneak away one lazy Sunday to my first Pride. I needed to get away. I needed to feel some kind of love.
“Where are you going?” my mother asked.
“Downtown,” I replied.
“To do what?” she asked.
“To walk around,” I said.
"Are you gay?“
“Ok well I always knew, so just know that I love you and just want you to be safe.”
Once she knew, she was able to let go of that fear, and became immediately warm and accepting, being protective in a different way. It was refreshing, it was freeing. It was love.