The Fear of Going Home

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Photo by Sarah Pearlman
By Fátima Casas

Soy una flor con espinas atrevidas y hermosas que no todxs saben valorar. 

I am a flower with daring and beautiful thorns that not all know how to value.

Bailo y Canto: 💃🏽

“Como la flor/ Like a flower

Con tanto amor/ With so much love

Me diste tu, se marchito/ You gave me you, it withered

Me marcho hoy, yo sé perder/ I march now, I know how to lose”


(Selena, Queen of Cumbia)

Soy la primera de mi familia que decidió irse de mi casa, the first of my family to leave home.

I hopped on the Greyhound in the middle of the night to Berkeley and flashbacks crossed my mind of the moments my parents dropped everything to cross during the night to this country and hide from the migra.

They were scared of this country’s xenophobia and I was scared of their homophobia.

Years and years of fear and anguish of accepting who I am in the face of Machismo and Heteroseuxalism, I was imprisoned in my own mind, body, and heart.

I was driving with my Mami to El Super and I jumped at the opportunity to finally tell her my sexual orientation. I asked her, “Do you accept me?”

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

I learned that in Latinx families, pain is not talked about behind the closet until an explosion of feelings rush out:

“You are confused, you need to see a psychologist!”

I did not know in that moment what to tell my mom,

  • How Berkeley did not make me gay
  • How I am not confused
  • How she is not to blame

We live in silence within an open wound that does not know how to heal.

I won’t give up because I know it took years to love myself and it would be unjust for me to not give my Máma time to love me despite who I am.

For queer people of color, the ultimate rebellion, is to speak back against their culture, religion, and home. That is why for National Coming Out Day, I want to honor those who choose not to come out for the fear of going home, for the fear of not being accepted, and for the fear of losing loved ones. For you, I write and love.

I have high hopes that the love of family can overcome this fear one day.

Somos Familia gives the tools to build bridges of compassion, acceptance, and unconditional love. This is the love that everyone deserves <3

3 replies added

  1. MM October 18, 2018 Reply

    Thank you for sharing this powerful story. We all deserve love and acceptance. <3 <3 <3

  2. MAH October 18, 2018 Reply

    Thank you for this. So well said! You were able to put into words how I have felt before. Gracias.

  3. Mudd October 18, 2018 Reply

    Great story to share! I hope we can hear more and ideally it’s about the process of acceptance. I almost wish and maybe you can do it for her, but the process your mom went through. I realize it’s unfair to ask, but there is a beauty in the truth of our journey if it can happen... I know my request is an imposition Mea culpa

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