Ada & Norma

Ada & Norma

L to R: Ada, Norma

My sister and I married two brothers. Later on she split up with her husband and told the family she was a lesbian. She picked Thanksgiving dinner to share this information, so while we were cooking she told everyone. My mom was loving and accepting and told her it was all fine as long as she was happy with who she was. My brother was very angry; he left the house for a while, but then came back and told my sister that he loved her. It’s hard for people sometimes to accept this and I think Norma has helped us grow.

We grew up in the inner city among many African-American people, and we were some of the only Hispanics. We felt a lot of discrimination. We were raised by our grandparents and our mom; and if you have hung around Hispanics, you know that they always have to have their mom’s permission to do things.

When we were growing up Mom always said she didn’t care if we married white, black, or married at all, as long as we were happy. She set the tone for our family being accepting, which is good because in Hispanic culture there is a lot of homophobia.

I don’t think enough people love themselves or feel good about themselves. Especially people like us—people of color—grow up wanting to have straight hair, wanting to have green eyes, wanting to be everything except who we are. People need to be loved and to love themselves. When you love yourself, and you feel good about yourself, then you’re more willing to love those around you. I just love my sister and think she is an amazing woman.