NY State Senator Ruben Diaz’s Openly Lesbian Granddaughter: ‘Love Is Empty When You Say Someone’s Life Isn’t Natural’

The New York Post has published an editorial by Erica Diaz, the openly lesbian granddaughter of anti-gay New York State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. The 22-year-old reveals that her grandfather outed her to the public on television in an attempt to unconvincingly declare that he is not homophobic.

Diaz writes about what it was like to speak up for marriage equality across the street from her grandfather's hate march last month.

I decided to show up at his rally last month on the steps of the Bronx County Courthouse so that he could face a person he loved, a person who was gay, as he spoke against us. That day I waded through the religious crowd and saw children as young as mine say hateful things. "You're not God's child. One man, one woman. You're not living by God." I was so nervous that morning that I threw up. I spoke against him across the street, directly within his view. But then I approached a police officer who escorted me to the podium where he spoke

My grandfather introduced me to the crowd and kissed me on the forehead. "This is my granddaughter," he said. "She chose her way of life, but I chose God's way, but I love her." Grandpa even called me after the rally, to say that he was proud of me for "respectfully speaking up for what you believe in." You cannot tell someone that you love them and stay silent when people call for their death. "Love" is empty when you say someone's life isn't natural. He could quietly vote "no" if that's what he believes is right. But I want him to know that every word he utters hurts his own blood.

You can read the rest of her editorial here.

Image via NY Times


  1. Danny says

    Well, we know that homosexuality occurs in families–pointing strongly to the idea that it is genetic.

    Ol’ Ruben has a granddaughter is who gay. Maybe, just maybe, ol’ Ruben is so strident because ol Ruben is struggling with his own desires. It happens a lot–particularly in ol Ruben’s community.

    Kudos to his brave granddaughter!

  2. Dastius Krazitauc says

    Well, Danny, ol Ruben said, “She chose her way of life, but I chose God’s way”, which makes it sound like he did consider his options.

  3. Steve says

    She was still naively mistaken when she assumed showing up there with him would further her cause anyways.

    She just validated his lies about loving her and gave more credence to the “but I have gay friends” BS

  4. Steve says

    Whoa Erica!! What a powerful message! I’m glad someone in your family understands family values. God bless you, your wife, and your children.

  5. Justin L Werner says

    Good for the young woman for speaking up. Aside from wanting the world to see Ruben Diaz for exactly who he is (the perceptive ones already know), I was hoping his LGBT family members would not give him a pass – for their own sake as well as that of everyone else. Nicely worded, Ms. Diaz. I’m so sorry for your pain, but you have shown dignity and grace. Good for you.

  6. MacroT says

    I know she meant well, but that was a bone-headed move to allow herself to be used as a propaganda tool by Diaz, something that I’m sure she regrets now. It’s a good object lesson, that one cannot negotiate or act in good faith with christians and other hate groups.

  7. elg says

    A few days ago, on another thread, a commenter described State Senator Ruben Diaz as a “stupid Negro”.

    I’m wondering if Senator Diaz’s lesbian granddaughter will be called a “smart Negro” or, maybe, a “brave Negro” because she stood up to her homophobic grandfather?

  8. says

    How is being out and honest “bone-headed”? He was using her as a propaganda tool without her permission, and now she is speakout out against his lies. More power to her. She probably didn’t convince many among the religious zealot crowd, but her bravery in putting forth her genuine form of family values should resonate with more intelligent and open-minded NYers. She makes him look, appropriately, like an a-hole.

  9. candideinncc says

    I find her explanation of the events confused. It makes little sense to me. I can see she is trying to mend fences with her gay brothers and sisters, which is commendable, but I get the feeling she wants to be loved by everyone, including her grandfather. That isn’t terribly surprising. She has been put in an untenable position by people who profess to love her, but are simply manipulating her for their own selfish purposes.

  10. says

    I understand the point, but I don’t see her going to him as allowing herself to be used. If she had remained invisible, that would have been allowing herself to be used, because his hypocrisy would have gone unchallenged. If she’d let it stay at the rally, then that would have fed his manipulation, but I think in going public, she ultimately used the situation to write a personal, effective, and widely read editorial for our side, while–unlike her grandfather–staying on the high road. If I had a grandfather like him, I’d be a lot less charitable, but I admire her handling this in the way that felt right to her.

  11. says

    Mr. Diaz, unless your referring to the old testament God of the Jewish faith as I understand it, you are not choosing God’s way according to my understanding of the New Testament of the Christian faith. The new testament God is a god of love, encourgement and respect; not one of hate, vengence and intolerance.

    And for the umteenth time, Homosexuals, DO NOT choose our attraction to the same sex. Any “choosing” one might make in this regard is the choice to accept we have this attraction, and live happy and full lives accordingly, as opposed to repressing, denying, ignoring, loathing, and any other method one can think of to describe the millions of homosexuals who for whatever reason, won’t or can’t accept themselves as they are, and live what must surely be sad and lonely lives even if they are somewhat successful in convincing themselves otherwise.

    On some level, they KNOW the truth.

    And come judgement day, I’m convinced that it is people of your ilk who will be judged harshly for all the pain and human suffering you have caused since the dawn of time in the name of God.

    May God have mercy on your souls.

  12. John B. says

    Since they’re so fond of quoting the “worthy of death” bits from the Old Testament, how well would it go over if a preacher got up and started quoting from Deuteronomy 21: 18-21? (Look it up, it’s very interesting.) Not so well, I’m guessing. But so-called Christians pick and choose the parts that validate their own ignorance, bigotry, and prejudices, while overlooking the more inconvenient parts. When they start spouting this kind of nonsense we should laugh in their faces and say “but what about the rest???”

  13. wyocwboy62 says

    Ya know brothers and sisters I hear a lot of people talk about how “unnatural” homosexuality is and these people seem to be religious people. Well if they are going to say that homosexuality is unnatural well so is religion. Religion has to be taught…you are not born religious….Religion teaches hatred….you are not born hateful…Religion teaches you to deny yourself…you are not born to deny yourself…Religion teaches you to shun those that are not like you…you are not born to shun but taught by religion to shun. Such a sad sad sad story of those religious people…

  14. Jerry6 says

    When people start quoting the “BIBLE” I always ask them “Which Bible?; ie: is it the Bible Of Moses?, or the Bible of the early Christian Church; or the Bible that the Popes have had “Edited” several times since; or the King James versions of the Bible; or the Muslim versions of the Bible?

    With so many different “Bibles”, it appears that even GOD cannot make up his mind just what he really wants us to do. Or just maybe the Bibles have nothing to do with a “GOD”,but are the works of a bunch of humans who have invented religions as business enterprises collecting dues every week in the collection basket.

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