I Am, Who I Am, My Gay Latina Narrative – Sharee Yveliz

The problem, or part of the problem, with homosexuality in the Latinx community is the threat it poses to the machismo culture that it’s so deep rooted in. It threatens the notion that the woman is to be home barefoot and pregnant, doing the leg work and the man is to work and at least throw out the garbage.

Then throw in all the religious beliefs, societies’ opinions, etc and etc. My sexuality threatens the true Hispanic family dynamic. It highlights the desire to live outside of the norm; the idea of doing husband things with a wife, while being a wife myself.

From a young age I was interested in other women. I recall meeting my first masculine presenting woman when I was a little girl in summer camp. The idea of her sparked an interest I wasn’t even able to formulate thoughts on. As time passed I find myself remembering memories I’ve repressed about my interest in other girls. I thought of my family and the status they held. What would they say or think? So I stuck with boys.

Honestly, part of me always knew this isn’t what I really wanted but it was the life I lived out loud; loving women behind closed doors and in the confines of my phone, telling people “we’re just friends; she just prefers to dress masculine”.

I’ve spent my teen years and the majority of my adult life on a need to know basis, shielding my sexuality from my family and associates because I wanted to keep my name. I didn’t want to be known as “la lesbiana” which is the name you’re given by the public the moment you ‘come out’. I didn’t want my sexuality to define my place in people’s lives. Its either you loved me because you love me, or you didn’t and don’t.

I give a lot of credit to this amazing woman I met who kind of flipped the switch in me. She made me want to live so true to myself as a whole that I decided to stop living for the world and live for me. I originally announced my sexuality at young age but kept it hidden for the most part, and then I ‘came out’ again at 27, out loud, shut down any opposing questions or statements and continued my journey. How do claim to be true to me if I deny what makes me me?

I’m a feminine woman with androgynous energy who likes to be adorned in jewelry, boldly colored long nails with a bomb wig or a bald head, wearing men’s clothing with some cute healed booties. Nothing about me as a whole fits into a category so my sexuality shouldn’t be held to those standards. 

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