Our Families: LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander Stories

I grew up knowing that I was gay my whole life.

There are lots of things I really enjoy and love about being a Fillipina in the Phillipineculture.

but coming out as a lesbian I think is very challenging when there is really onlyone way to be in that narrative.

In high school I was in the drama club and we were very likewould have long talks and talk about like probably everyone is a little bit bisexual.

Ultimately I think I had to come out because I couldn't stand it I felt like I just couldn'tbe a whole person.

I think I had a sense that Sean might be gay but I wasn't going to askhim about that kind of thing.

It's like you ignored the fact that I was gay or was straightlike you didn't want to take the time to even get to know if I was or not.

I was kind waitingto see if you wanted to tell me and you were kind waiting for me to ask you so obviouslywe never talked about it.

I decided to come out to my family first in high school.

It's the first time I've heard how my mom felt since I came out.

I can only imagine how hardit was for my Mom being in a Korean Catholic community.

It's a small community it's probablywhy I stopped going to church was because I thought if I'm not there then people won'task about us.

If my parents didn't accept me I may not have been the best person I wantto be and I hope to become.

Being able to live in this house and get the Korean foodmy that Mom makes and the love she gives me.

What I love about my Mom is that she has the most solid foundation around.

How she wants to live her life and our families life it's what moves me and inspires me andkeeps me happy and centered.

The process for my mom I think was challenging because mebeing a lesbian contradicted her cultural values and then also she's a devout Catholic.

She just asked why would you choose something that would make life harder? when she saidthat I realized her reaction had less to do with me being a lesbian as it was her abouther general worry and concerns as parent.

I'm not out to my parents.

I'm not out tomy Mom or my Dad.

And you know in some ways I think it's almost typical in South Asianfamilies it's like it's hard to come out as straight let alone as queer.

It didn't feelthat hard until I got into a really serious relationship.

Now it does feel hard not totake my partner home.

I feel like I could tell my Mom but probably not while my Dadis still alive and because he is older I don't know how long I have him and so I just sortof need to keep my relationship with him as it is right now.

Growing up I would have likedto have heard Kevin talking maybe more about issues that are strong to him like equal rightsor LGBT rights.

I really didn't know.

It made me realize then and there that it's not goodenough to be supportive of these things in general or supportive of people in general.

We tend to think that the absence of hostility or the absence of negativity is support andpositivity but that's not true, that is nothing but neutral.

That's what Sean has helped merealize.

We straight folk need to take the responsibility to show that we're supportiveso that they can, gay people, transgender people can come out and know that they aregoing to be supported by us and welcomed.

To the families out there I would say I thinkthe most important thing is sticking by each other and not letting go.

Especially whenit's the hardest.

What I would say to straight siblings, just know that nothing has reallychanged.

This is the same person who you've always known and you've always loved.

Havingkids certainly makes you very aware of the bigger picture.

Family is important and that'sa strong cultural value and I think really now that I can look back, I see that thatvalue trumped all the other values about who I was supposed to be and that my Mom's beliefin love of family really is what I think eventually dismantled whatever stereotypes or homophobiathat she had.

Everyone should have that.

Everyone should have that level of people who willlove you forever, no matter what.

Source: Youtube