I am a chica struggling with the choice to come out to my parents about my sexual orientation. My family is Catholic, and my parents are old-school. While we are very close, I am scared of how badly this can go. My parents have been living in the U.S. for about 45 years, and they have adopted some American attitudes about life. What are your thoughts concerning those of us who juggle Catholicism, homosexuality and old-fashioned (but great) Mexican parents?
An Innocent Bi-Stander
There's only one thing you can do: Come out to your parents. But don't take my heterosexist word for it. I asked my amiga, the hilariously subversive writer Monica Palacios, to give you some advice. The queer señorita offered this beautiful note for your use:
"Dear Chica with Muy Catholic Parents: Slip a note into the piñata that reads, 'Queridos Padres: Happy anniversary. I love you very much, and by the way — I'm a lesbian. My sexuality is not a reflection about you, it's about who I am — and I am a healthy, happy woman in love with another woman. My girlfriend and I would like for you to attend the performance of Monica Palacios. She's a hot Chicana lesbian performer who will be doing a piece about the importance of same-sex marriage. Please come, learn and laugh, and then we can all go out for menudo.' Be true to yourself, amiga: Your parents might be upset, but better them than you living a lie."
Wait a minute, Monica: Only I'm allowed to shamelessly self-promote in this column! (OK, for more info on Monica Palacios, see monicapalacios.com.) But do take her advice. And for any homophobic Mexicans out there: Get over it. Gays and lesbians are the illegal immigrants of American sexuality, perfectly normal folk who, because they're just the slightest bit different from mainstream norms, must suffer bigots and stupid laws. If you care for your raza, you'll help defeat Proposition 8, the pernicious California resolution that seeks to ban same-sex marriages in the Golden State. And if you don't care about equality for all, may the Minutemen camp outside your abode tonight.
I have a Mexican stepson whom I love dearly. I go to all his boring soccer games, and they win all the time, and these kids are so happy when they win. But when it comes to taking their picture, they never smile. Why don't Mexicans smile in pictures? Why so serious?
The Joker's On You
To hide our gold and silver teeth.
All my Mexican friends who are Catholic don't know anything about Catholicism. Sometimes I go to their church for weddings or gang members' funerals, and they don't even know when to sit, stand or repeat the father! I don't think they even know who the woman in the green poncho is! I know the wabs and some first-generation Mexicans know their stuff, but most of my Mexi friends (second generation and up) haven't even done their First Communion. Are the Chicanos going to hell?
Our Lady of Perpetual Porno
Any Catholic — observant or not, Mexican or otherwise — who hasn't risen up to fight their leadership's role in the Church's horrific sex-abuse scandal is going to hell. And any Catholic who doesn't support the Church's pro-reconquista stance on immigration also has a date with the diablo. In conclusion, worship Huitzilopotchli.
ALERT! Buy my new book, Orange County: A Personal History!
Submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.