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My Life as a Rainbow: Homophobia

Chapter Two

By Denise Gotay
On February 26, 2012

It's not easy being a rainbow. I believe gays and lesbians are born the way they are and they have the right to love whoever they want to love; but unfortunately not everyone understands that. There are people out there who are homophobic – meaning they have an unreasoning fear of homosexuals. I thought coming out of the closet was going to be the toughest part, but I was wrong.

After I came out, the following three weeks were pure hell for me. My family treated me like I was diseased and just gave me the silent treatment. They reminded me daily on how much of a failure I was to them for coming out as a lesbian.

I mean I thought it was a damn shame to be a teen mother in the Hispanic community. I thought once you end up being 15 and pregnant, not only have you destroyed your future, but also your family's name as well. At least that's what I was taught growing up. So I figured if I confessed to my aunt about being a lesbian, at least she'll know I won't be like some of my other cousins who are struggling with a kid in their arms. But I guess I was wrong.

Aunt: You're disgusting. You make me sick…

Me: [trying to light up the mood] Well look at it this way…At least I won't end up as a teen mom.

Aunt: I would rather have you as a teen mom than a lesbian…

It became so ridiculous that I started to question whether or not it was worth living through this process of pain and hurt. It seemed like my whole family hated me and actually wanted me to writher way. I had no voice to defend or even express my pain that they were causing me.

At that time, the only way I eased out my pain was through cutting. It was an unfortunate outlet for me to even do it and even with the painfully obvious cry out, I was bombarded with homophobia without mercy.

The phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words would never hurt me," has to be one of the worst understatements I've ever lived through. Emotional and mental abuse takes a hell of a lot longer to heal than any physical bruise. It gets deeper when your own family is the one that's gay bashing you.

But of course, that died down once they realized that I no longer cared about them or their "expectations of what a woman should be". People say being gay is a choice, so if that's the case, then why would any sane person choose to be hated and being bashed constantly?

Months went by and all the negativity died down. Once in a while I get a comment here and there, but through therapy and support groups I've learned to brush it off and keep going. Through my LGBT friends that I've met online, they taught me to always love myself and to never let any negativity bring me down. Through my therapist, she taught me how to always be true to myself and be a strong woman.  

It's been a good two years since the last time I've cut myself. I can honestly say that I'm more emotionally stronger than I was a couple years ago. I think every individual has to go through a dark phase in order to become strong, to become the person that they are now.

It does get better later on, and yes there will always be homophobia but no matter what, homosexuals are human beings too. They're just like everyone else and yes, being gay or lesbian or bisexual or even transgender is actually normal. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


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