Domingo & Norma
I was right around 10 when my mom and dad got divorced. It was a really hard thing for me because suddenly I hardly ever had men around. My mom tried really hard to wear two hats and be both parents to me. She really did everything she could, signing me up for Boy Scouts and all kinds of things to keep me busy, maybe things that a father would usually do.
I probably didn’t figure out she was gay until I was about 12. We had some big argument and it just kind of came out, “Well, I don’t feel that way towards men anymore.” We are Puerto Rican and there are cultural beliefs about how men should act and how women should act. I was really resentful of my mom, and I took this out on her sometimes. It was partly about not having my dad around much, and partly knowing she was gay that I struggled with. It took me until my twenties to really be able to put this into words and get in touch with my emotions about it.
For other people going through the same kind of situation I would just want them to know that what everyone wants is acceptance. I have kids of my own now and I am just beginning to explain to my 12-year-old about my mom and her long-time partner. They are not together anymore, but we are all still close. I have really worked to mend the relationship with my mother and I can see now that she was always trying to do her best for me.