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Hispanic Family with Two Gay Kids Tells Powerful Story of How They Both Came Out: VIDEO


Cuéntame, part of the non-profit Brave New Foundation, presents the latest in its series called 'An Honest Conversation', which features an interview with Olga Valenzuela Moreno, who came from Culiacan in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, to live in Phoenix, Arizona, many years ago, and her children.

Moreno's gay son Guillermo and lesbian daughter Samantha, tell the compelling story of how they came out in a conservative, Catholic Latino family:

"Dad asked me to go outside, and he goes, 'what's wrong with your mom', and I'm like, 'I don't know.' 'What's wrong with your mom?' He was smoking a cigarette, and I said, 'Well, ok, I’m gay.' He happened to be inhaling at the time and he inhaled extremely deeply, like he was going to maybe ingest the whole cigarette," said Samantha Moreno, 33, in the video.

She was the first to come out, but was followed soon after by her brother, Guillermo Moreno, age 29. "I told my mom and she jerked her head and my dad came walking, crying, and told her, you know, we have another child that is, you know, gay," said Guillermo -- who at the time was studying to become a priest (he is now a graphic designer and entrepreneur).

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. "It's gonna be 12 years in August since my dad even said a word to her" "He cares about us; he is happy as long as we are happy. He never disrespected us"

    The cognitive dissonance is very strong in both. Not unsurprising given that they are hardcore Catholics

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 27, 2012 11:17:42 AM

  2. internalized homophobia, much? this was pathetic.

    Posted by: wtf | Mar 27, 2012 4:16:20 PM

  3. the twelve years thing hurts - but you know, there's a way to deal with that, and it's neither tolerance nor keeping the peace.

    you stop enabling this evasive behavior. until he can "make nice" with you and your partner, you and your family shouldn't be bending over backward to "make nice" with him.

    While I started out enjoying this video, it ended on what felt like (to me...) a rather sad and low level of settling for whatever one can get.

    12 years and he's not said a word to her partner? that's because nobody in the family has given him any reason to change his views or actions. they've enabled his ongoing distance by caring more about "keeping the peace" instead of addressing the prejudice.

    for all some of you can't stand me, my mother and father have some rather specific and applicable advice about this reality:

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 27, 2012 4:29:26 PM

  4. amen, kiwi! as the first openly gay person in my entire extended family, i've had to deal with some serious shyt from my dad. now that i'm married, he's become even more emotionally distant. but we'll see about all that after my husband and i give him grandbabies. he desperately wants to have a relationship with all his grandchildren. he surely won't be having his cake (prejudice & making bigoted comments) & eating it too (seeing my future children with any regularity)....

    Posted by: redball | Mar 27, 2012 5:20:20 PM

  5. redball, that's how it's done.

    i hope this video serves as a reminder to people that progress doesn't come if you let "issues" stay stagnant.

    i had a friend whose mother stopped having sex with her husband, refused to cook him dinner, and the other siblings would not speak to him until he started working on understanding and accepting his lesbian daughter.

    all too often the families cater to the bigot, and thus the bigotry, rather than doing what needs to be done to challenge it.

    i'm sure this video was meant to be inspiring, but I can't imagine to whom. it serves as a perfect example of How To Waste Time.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 27, 2012 5:24:21 PM

  6. kiwi: that's an amazing story. i love that her family banded together for her like that. how long did it take for the dad to start turning around?

    Posted by: redball | Mar 27, 2012 6:27:40 PM

  7. within a year. it was a family commitment - the father was throwing an adult tantrum. he, of course, came from an age when one was an outcast for being gay. the tide was turned - he was made the outcast for being anti-gay.

    if he wanted his family back it was up to him to come around. his family was, of course, always available for him to talk about the issue, but they turned their backs on him otherwise.

    it's one way, of many, to move progress along. give them a reason to change. the father didn't want her girlfriend there at thanksgiving, so he spent thanksgiving alone while everyone else joined her and her girlfriend at another place for dinner.


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 27, 2012 6:39:17 PM

  8. For some reason the mother seems to be harder on her and more accepting of him. Perhaps the parents feel that she turned him gay?

    As the mother points out, she knew from an early stage that the guy was gay, but she wasn't expecting it from Samantha. Either way it's sad, and I feel it more for her. In their mother's eyes, he will still be "mommy's little boy", but perhaps the parents still cannot forgive her for rejecting her a future wife and child bearer. It's evident that they still think it's a choice, and to hear the mother say that "it still hurts". Now why is that? Are they murderers or drug dealers?

    Being latin american, I can assure you that not all families feel this way or are this repressed. My best friend lives in a household where his mother is very accepting; he is bisexual, his older brother is gay and his younger sister is a lesbian.

    Posted by: Stranded | Mar 27, 2012 8:24:04 PM

  9. fierce. i wonder if he went w/o sex & cooking for that long. the thought of my dad going without my mom's cooking for more than two days is truly HILARIOUS...and, hm, quite inspiring.... *thinks seriously about calling his mom*

    Posted by: redball | Mar 27, 2012 8:39:48 PM

  10. Hey LittleKiwi, maybe their dad should just do them and the world a favor and die. What do you think?

    Littleahole is more like it.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 28, 2012 6:30:00 AM

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