National Coming Out Day: Miguel Andrade
So one thing I’ve learned is that often times you never really stop coming out, but it gets a bit easier every time.
First time was around when I was 15 in school. Wasn’t really by choice though, there was a rumor going around that I was gay and at one point I just stopped combating it.
Second time was around 16/17 in the MySpace days when you could put your orientation as “not sure” My sister had found my page and brought it up to my mom and let’s lost say it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. For all the growth my mom has made over the years, her initial reaction to me being “bi” at the time wasn’t the greatest. Imagine the most stereotypical dramatic scene with a Catholic Latina mom. That ended with me “running away” to my friend’s house for the night.
Third time was a couple years later when I was around 21/22. I had generally accepted the fact that I was gay but I never really would post publicly about being gay. I would constantly monitor my online presence so I didn’t seem gay. Then Louie and the Gran Varones project came about and there was something about meeting an openly gay latinx man who was bigger with a beard like me that made me really feel seen for the first time. Although I thought I was slick at the time by never explicitly saying I was gay during my interview (LOL).
Fourth time was more recent. Last year while I was in the midst of fighting for my life in the hospital I vividly remember thinking to myself, “I might die in this hospital and I want my mom to know who I am” So in a drugged up dramatic scene I came out to my mom as gay and said I had a BF (I didn’t, but that’s another story) It was honestly the scariest one because I honestly thought this would be my last time to be completely open and honest with my mom. Her response? “Mijo I know, I’ve always known. I just want you to be happy and safe”
At this point I’m openly gay in almost every aspect of my life but there’s def some family members that I hide it from so a couple of more coming outs are for sure in my future.
Photographed by: louie ortiz-fonseca