Love is Love No Matter What Sexual Orientation – Feature Article

PicsArt_06-05-11.12.45Originally written some time in 2011.

Feature article:

Homosexual relationships have been around for centuries but until now the act has not been accepted as something worthy by most people. My gay friends complain too much about being cheated on and not having a steady relationship but are nonetheless still looking for one; on the other hand, my lesbian friends are getting engaged, are already married or are simply in a long term relationship with their partners. But both are always looked down upon and it’s time for a change; I have realized that homosexual relationships are not much different than heterosexual relationships: they both just want to be loved and be happy with whoever they’re with even if it is with someone that has their same sex.

Judith Gonzalez, 19, has been in a lesbian relationship for four years and like every other person coming out of the closet she suffered prejudice by some people including her loved ones for a while.

“Coming out was something totally new, at first it was like a walk through the park; then as the years went by I started to feel it, not just in my family but in school. Some of my relatives stopped talking to me or just treated me different; I could feel it and see it. In school I would get weird looks and some people wouldn’t even get near me,” said Gonzalez.

She said she officially came out of the closet at the age of 15, during her sophomore year at Juarez-Lincoln High School. The first person she told was actually me when we were best friends at the time and I kept her secret just as she kept mine about being bisexual; we stopped talking for maybe three years due to a big mistake that we did two years into our best-friend relationship. She was already going out with the girl she’s with right now and I had a girlfriend at the time also; neither of us respected the relationship and we ended up pulling a “Jennifer’s Body” scene. Jennifer’s body is about a best-friend relationship between two girls, one is really pretty and stuck up (me), the other is shy and different (Judith). One time during a sleepover the pretty one kissed the shy one, but the shy one stopped and said “Oh my God, what are we doing?” Only we went all the way. Her girlfriend obviously forgave her since she’s still with her right now, but had her stop speaking to me or at least that’s the reason I thought that had broken our friendship apart, although she kept denying that that was it.

The second person she told was a family member, who betrayed her and told her mom behind her back. Gonzalez’s mom didn’t really believe her cousin when she was told that her daughter was a lesbian, but she was kept with a doubt about it. Gonzalez said that the way her mom ended up finding out was by hiding in her closet one day, around a year later after she had been told by the cousin, to eavesdrop on her while she was on the phone with her best friend. She said she heard it all, her step-father whom she calls dad found out also and she was forced to tell them who she really was.

“They took it bad, there were even tears and stuff; then they told me that it was just a phase I was going through and they did the impossible to get my head in place. Nothing worked of course but things are different now, they got used to it,” said Gonzalez.

After four years of being in a stable relationship with her girlfriend Ariana Picasso, 22, they decided to get engaged. Now that Gonzalez’s parents have gotten used to the fact that she is in a lesbian relationship they treat her partner like their own daughter and are okay with the engagement; Gonzalez said that they are so close now that one time her mom called to invite both of them to Six Flags, but she couldn’t go because she was going to be busy. They said Picasso could go with them if she wanted without Gonzalez and she did. She said her mother invites them both for either lunch or dinner about three or four times a week since they started getting along.

For their engagement Picasso proposed to Gonzalez by leaving a letter for her in the limo that was picking her up after graduation; she moved in with her after that, they are currently living together in Picasso’s parents’ house. They also tattooed a diamond ring with their anniversary date inside it instead of buying each other rings, as they’re both women and they couldn’t decide who would play the man and who would play the woman. Gonzalez tattooed her diamond ring on her hip and Picasso tattooed it on her arm.

Gonzalez said that her relationship with Picasso is very healthy; they rarely have problems and if they do they fix them right away. She said she gets hit on by guys and sometimes they even give her their phone numbers; Picasso tries to act cool and lets her get the phone number in front of the guy but once alone she tells Gonzalez she better throw away the number and not have one single thought about calling the man. Gonzalez said she never thinks about calling them and that she never even wants to get the numbers in the first place but it’s just to be courteous.

Gonzalez is bisexual, but practices being lesbian at the time with her partner Picasso; the way she dresses doesn’t shout out that she’s a lesbian, unless she’s holding her girl’s hand she said. The type of dressing style she uses the most is the punk rock/Goth, it mostly depends on her mood she said but no matter how mellow she may feel she will not wear pink or high heels, unless it’s completely called for, like for a wedding or quinceñera. Her hair is very short, spiked up in the back and bangs in the front; she said most women look at their hair as a jewel, the longer the better but she is not most women.

While some parents try to look for things to make their kids reveal the truth, like Gonzalez’s mom did by eavesdropping and putting her on the spot for truth telling, others wait for their kids to tell them anything they have to say to them when they’re ready.

“At the age of 18 I told my mother and she didn’t turn her back on me. In fact, she said she was glad I had told her the truth and that the only thing she wanted was for me to be happy. At the age of 20 I told my dad and he reacted differently; I had waited so long to get the courage to stand up to him and tell him what really made me happy, but he did not even want to see me,” said Minerva Marin, 20, another individual in a lesbian relationship.

She also said he told her many things that made her feel like she was alone and no one was ever going to accept her. He took everything back later and she forgave him because she still loves him she said, but it still hurt her very bad.

Angela Ramirez, 20, has not told her parents because she doesn’t think they’re going to support her due to their high religiousness. She said she knows they’ll still love her because she’s their daughter, but she’s afraid they’re going to start acting differently with her and doesn’t want to ruin the relationship she has with her parents.

According to one of the counselors in UTPA, Mirta Rodriguez, parents act the way they were raised, they go by religiousness and culture, the values that they were raised with and society. Anything contradicting the so called normal is foreign to them and they don’t see it as something you were born with they see it as a choice. So, they try making their kids change the “choice” of their sexual preferences and don’t realize that they are hurting their kid in the process.

Gonzalez said that she never tried being straight she thought she was straight. She said she dated a couple of guys that she only messed around with but never had any sex with. She actually lost her virginity to a woman, the one she is with at the time.

“I realized I liked women when I saw the movie ‘But I’m a Cheerleader,’ that movie opened my mind in ways that scared me, but I liked it. I think some guys are okay, but they’re not really my thing. Women, now that’s something I could totally work with,” said Gonzalez.

While Gonzalez thought she was straight until she started liking women too, other women in lesbian relationships always had a much bigger feeling for women from the beginning. They tried being straight by dating men for a while but they realized they liked women more.

“I did try at one point to be straight by having a boyfriend and being sexually active with him, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I am now in a loving, committed relationship with a woman and I am very happy with her,” said Re-Shawndra Jackson, 21, who also got engaged not too long ago to her girlfriend whom she’s been with for seven months now.

The other individual in a lesbian relationship who tried to be straight before she came out officially is Marin. She said she dated a guy for five years without loving him and she felt disgusted every time he would kiss her. “It was a complete nightmare with him,” she finished.

This may not be the cause of Gonzalez’s gayness, but it might be what triggered it; when she was younger she got sexually molested. It happened thrice: the first time was by one of her male cousins from her mom’s side; she was about 7 years old. She said he tried putting it in her in the back but didn’t and went down on her instead; this went on for about a year, she told no one but her best friend at the time and her girlfriend whom later convinced her to talk. She decided to tell her mother, but she didn’t believe her and is forced to act like nothing happened and greet her cousin and uncle like nothing happened. The second and third times happened by her uncle from her dad’s side, who also happens to be her godfather, she was 15 years old the first time he did it, she said he was drunk and had no memory of doing it the next day or so he acted like it; the second time it happened she had stayed over at her cousins’ house and he went inside her room drunk again. She pretended she was asleep because she was too scared to do anything, plus she said she felt paralyzed with fear so she couldn’t move anyway.

Both Gonzalez and Rodriguez don’t think this is the reason that triggered it, but it was a big influence for it. Rodriguez said that a lot of people believe that homosexuals are like that because of sexual molestation but there is no research showing that. It’s not because of abuse because there are a lot of people who have been molested and are not homosexuals; I believe it is something you are born with, it is not a choice.

Her biological dad hasn’t been around since her parents’ separation when she was younger. She said she didn’t see him again until her senior year and that was because her fiancée and she looked for him. She said his first words when he saw her after so many years were, “Which one are you?” pointing to both her and Picasso. She said she didn’t feel affectionate toward him; on the other hand she wanted to scream to his face everything she felt for all the things he had done to her over the years by not caring about her. She said she felt like doing it, but couldn’t really bring herself to actually doing it. She feels like she does want to see him; she said she wants to go to his funeral when he dies.

She mentioned that her dad had several other kids with other women, but she wants to meet one in particular that she said looks like her.  She said she found him on MySpace and he looks exactly like her, only in a boy version; there was a lot she found in common with him, but he had no interest in meeting her since he deleted her once he realized who she was.

She said she feels way better with her fiancée’s family; she likes them more because they’re a lot nicer to her. And because of what some of her family members did to her.

A dysfunctional family has been said to be one of the reasons to provoke something different for someone such as homosexuality, but for some the attraction towards the same sex comes before even puberty has, before any problems have started to trigger.

“My father always had an idea about my sexual orientation since I was in the seventh grade, but my mother never believed him until I came out on my own last year,” said Jackson.

She said her mother was actually the one that was okay with it when she officially came out and her father disowned her for a while, he didn’t talk to her for almost a year but then he started to come around later.

Another individual in a lesbian relationship also said she knew she liked girls before puberty hit.

“I always knew I liked girls from the very beginning, but just the fact that my dad was so against it scared me a lot,” said Marin.

Friends can be a little more lenient with things like this. Gonzalez told me, her best friend at the time and I understood; Marin told her closest friends and they understood too; Jackson told her best friend Tasha Balls and she understood also; Ramirez was scared at first to tell even her friends but when she did she said they completely understood also, they told her they were going to love her no matter what. So according to most of these women in lesbian relationships, parents prejudice their own kids, but friends completely understand and say they’ll love them no matter what.

According to Rodriguez the majority of humans believe in some sort of higher power such as “God” and the bible. There are several verses in the bible that say that homosexuality is wrong but there are also several verses that say that God accepts everyone the same way no matter what. Unfortunately, people focus too much on the negative side rather than the positive and parents are just in fear that their kid will go to “hell” and not be saved.

Parents take religion way too out of control, they think that just because the bible says no to homosexuality their kids have to be changed immediately to heterosexual so they “can be saved from hell.” If parents want to go the religious way toward their kids that’s fine but personally I don’t believe in any “sort of higher power such as ‘God’.” Parents should learn how to take things a little more positively like Rodriguez said and pay more attention to the part about God accepting everyone the same way no matter what; that way they’d have a better chance in getting along with their kids and having an easier time accepting them however they are.

Parents accepting their kids as homosexuals would just be the beginning. The government does not allow same sex relationships or adoptions for same sex relationships. The government is supposed to pass bills to help the country and homosexuality provides no harm to anyone; they are of course taking the religious excuse, I didn’t know politicians were so religious. Once a homosexual relationship is stable and has been together for many years the thought of having a family naturally comes to mind. It would be easier for a lesbian couple to take the artificial insemination choice by just visiting a sperm bank to get pregnant. Say that they are both infertile or it is a gay couple instead, they would have to go through adoption but with it not being legal it would be quite impossible.

Rodriguez said that it all goes back to beliefs and the right thing should be to raise a child with a man and a woman, but a family is a unit and it shouldn’t matter if it’s two men or two women. A family is a union of people who love each other; the definition of a family does not specify that it should be with a male and a female.

I have witnessed a family consisting of two females being the parents with a little boy as their son. They are from Mexico, they adopted him there and everything in their family looks normal to what a definition of a family is. The boy is respectful toward their mothers and is respectful to everyone else including people who are different such as homosexuals.

As I mentioned before, homosexual couples are no different than heterosexual couples, they both want the same thing: to be happy and to have a family one day.

“We’re both going to get pregnant by artificial insemination, Ari first because she’s older than me a couple of years later. We’re just waiting for the right time to have a baby at the moment; Ari is the one that works and I am just a housewife for the time being,” said Gonzalez.

For gay relationships or just gay men aspiring to have a baby it can be a little harder because their only method to have a baby is adoption and that’s not legal either in most states.

“When I get in a stable relationship, I want to build a family and adopt a little black boy and a little Chinese girl, but I don’t even know if it’s going to be possible with all the prejudice going on against us homos,” said Jose Fernandez, 20, a gay man currently looking for a stable relationship to settle down in.

Prejudice against anything is bad, but it happens a lot against homosexuals. They get treated like they’re different because of their sexual orientation when in fact they’re just human like anybody else. Just like the ones doing the prejudice wouldn’t like it being done to them, homosexuals don’t want it being done to them either because it’s wrong and hurtful.

“People who are gay are the same as straight people except we like people of the same gender. We are all human no matter what race, gender, or sexual orientation; we have feelings and care about other people too. I’m just like any other girl; I go to school and work every day, I like watching movies and bumming around whenever I have the chance,” Ramirez said, “Just like any other girl,” she repeated.

Parents, family, friends, strangers, people in general will never get that the only thing that is important is for one to be happy and it shouldn’t matter who it’s with.

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