Narratives on Race, Sexuality, and Love [National Coming Out Day]

Blog bestie Miriam Perez sends on these videos from Basic Rights Oregon.

The videos are poignant, and sometimes painful recollections of what it meant to come out. Siblings waiting for a moment of discussion that never comes; mothers wrestling with their religious beliefs and the love of their children; and children not coming out to their parents – or waiting for one parent to die to share the truth with the other parent.

There’s a great quote from Kevin: “It’s not good enough to be supportive of these things in general, or supportive of people in general. We tend to think the absence of hostility or the absence of negativity is support; but that’s not true. That’s nothing, it’s neutral. We, straight people, have to take responsibility for providing support.”

The video focused on Latinos (which is in English, subtitled in Spanish) featured Gisella Imar Contreras, a young woman who started life as male. Gisella’s story starkly differed from the others in the series, in that she was unable to reconcille with her family, and ultimately had to sever her family ties after coming out. Melanie Davis, also featured in the video, talked about how trying to conform to a heterosexual lifestyle drove her to alcohol addiction.

In the African-American focused video, Beryl “BJ” Jones talks about coming out in the 80s, and being challenged for the custody of her daughter. She lost custody – her daughter was raised by her mother, and she currently has a grandchild she isn’t allowed to visit. But most of the stories here focused on love, and the idea of creating “a beloved community.”

Happy Coming Out Day, all. Please love yourself – and let someone else know that they are loved.

  • guest

    Give me some indigenous love, I want to see my stories reflected. Two-spirit, queer natives out there, I wish we had a video. 

  • hm

    These are sweet stories but I find it massively annoying the video is called “Asian and Pacific Islander Stories” but it doesn’t include any Polynesian or Melanesian stories only Asian-Americans. People might think this comment is off-topic but if Black and White people were forced into the same category and  the “Black and White American Stories” video featured only White people I bet racialicious would have something to say about it.

    I don’t know if  “Asian and Pacific Islander” is another way of saying “other” or if people actually don’t know the difference.I get “POC” as a political label but “Asian and Pacific Islander” doesn’t make sense on any political level, particularly when actual Pacific Islanders are excluded. I don’t think people realise Hawai’i is colonised, Asians are part of the colonisers.  But it is a good message over-all, family is most important thing in PI cultures too.

  • Pingback: Narratives on Race, Sexuality, and Love on National Coming Out Day : Ms Magazine Blog()