National Coming Out Day: Jessica & Jaydon | Philadelphia, PA
i was just starting my day at my new job. it was right after my brother died and just as my boyfriend was recovering from surgery. so, i had just dropped jaydon off for school and when i am work, i take off my mom hat, my daughter hat, my wife. i’m like, from 9-5, don’t call me! – unless it’s an emergency of course.
it was about 8.30am when i hear my phone go off. it’s a text message from jaydon. it read “oh yeah, by the way, i’m gay.” i’m looking at my phone like “is this happening now?” my first thought was that i wanted to hug him, love on him and tell him i love him. i wanted to tell him how brave he is. i texted him, “i love you. are you ok? i love you.” i’m like “wow, that took so much bravery. i’m so proud of you.”
as soon as i turned 14, i spent that entire year figuring stuff out. i knew that my mother was not going to be NOT accepting but i just didn’t know how to approach it. i had never said it out loud.it was the summer before high school and i was like i need to come out because i’m not going to be closeted in high school, i wanna be myself.
i told my sister in march 2018 after we saw “love, simon.” i told my mother may 15, 2018.
that morning i woke up and was like “i’m gonna tell her today.” she was at work and i couldn’t wait until she got home. so i thought it was easier to tell her through text so she could read when she was alone. i remember her texting back, “i love you and are you ok?” that was because in middle school, i was teased a lot. my mother and i have always been close. she is even more protective now. when i got the steps of the school, i told my friends that i came out to my mother and started to cry. i felt free.
Jessica & Jaydon
interviewed & photographed by: Louie A. Ortiz-Fonsec
note from louie: i grew up with jessica. she was always one of the most supportive friends i had. on the day jaydon came out to her, she called me to celebrate. i am so proud to know her and now work in partnership with jaydon in national lgbtq organizing. happy national coming out day!