July 31, 2014

Being Latino and LGBTQ

By Isaac Villela-Guzman

A problem that has affected the Latino community in my own personal experience is inequality for the LGBTQ community. I feel that the LGBTQ community is seen as gross, dirty or different by people who can’t or won’t understand our lifestyle. Homosexuals have been hated by many for years; targeted by the Nazis during the Holocaust and also by the Ku Klux Klan. Gays are believed to be hated by God or a disgrace to humans, but the truth is gays can be some of the most religious, kind, loving, and friendly people you can meet.

I see no reason two men or two women can’t get married or have kids. We are human like the rest of the world. We are not evil or a sin. We’re not controlled by evil. God created us as homosexuals so why would he hate us if he planned it that way. We don’t look for fights or anything. We just wish to live our lives happily. Homosexuality has been around for thousands of years. The Spanish Conquerors tried subjecting the natives of the new world out of fear of homosexuality. The human mind has always been afraid of what it doesn’t understand, but there is no more reason to fear us than yourself.

Hate crimes are committed against us to keep us afraid and unhappy. For example, in Portland, Texas, on June 23, 2012, Mary Kristene Chapa and Mollie Olgin were found with gunshot wounds to their heads. Mollie did not survive the attack and Kristene was put in the hospital. Ricardo Muñiz is a gay man that was beaten, and when he went to report was threatened with deportation due to his immigration status. These are just a few examples of hate crimes and discrimination against homosexuals. Some teenage homosexuals are also bullied and as a result some have committed suicide. All these crimes against gay people have aired on TV and the internet with plenty of talk about helping these children and adults. Yet, nothing has seriously been done to change our communities.

An uncle of mine, who is gay, has experienced acceptance and discrimination from different classes. His personal experience has been that lower class families and people are more open to accept others. He says that the middle classes are much less accepting than the less fortunate. I’ve heard and seen some Hispanic families taking their family members’ coming out stories quite harsh. Some families went as far as booting them out of the house, others outright disowning them. This is wrong for any family, but Latinos are all about family. To see, hear, and even experience this makes me think, “Will this happen in my family?” It’s very scary to lose family, especially just because you don’t like someone’s lifestyle.

My uncle mentioned that gay Latinos had to rely on one another for support in his experience. I have seen this as well, mainly when I felt my own family couldn’t understand or help me. When I came out I had it fairly easy because my uncle is gay, and my friends and school accepted me for who I am.

I also have a great support system.  If I come across an incident of discrimination my good friend is always there. She is Latina and a lesbian and her family accepted her. Other people don’t have it as easy.  Another friend of mine came out and her mother didn’t agree with it but in the end accepted it, her father on the other hand didn’t want to deal with her at all. Many homosexuals have hardships like this, afraid of “coming out of the closet” due to family, friends, and school mates not accepting their lifestyle.

Being a Latino and Homosexual is hard when there are people that believe it’s a sin.  A lot of “old school” Latinos are less open. Sometimes even the people closest to you can make jokes and comments about gays that are offensive when they think they are just making a harmless joke. Being people of color can also make us doubly targeted.

I wish to aim in the right direction and help LGBT programs expand and get the word out that there are safe places for Latino gays and their supporters. If we can make the cities and towns safer places for gays to come out, our homes will already be working towards a more peaceful world for everyone. I envision a place where we can all live with our own families and have jobs we want without worrying about hatred.

8 comments

Monica July 30, 2012, 15 42 pm

Thumbs up!

ester July 30, 2012, 16 29 pm

I think we are all children of God and were made all by him. We need to all be ourselves as He has made us and try to live with each other in harmony. God is love and we should all live in in that manner. Especially our families should be the first to understand our children, because we’re suppose to love them with out condition. I am so proud of you and all you are doing with you writings and the subjects you choose are very interesting to the Latino community.

Sarah Rafael Garcia July 31, 2012, 07 04 am

I am SO proud to hear your voice & support for the LGBTQ community! Keep writing & sharing!

Paul July 31, 2012, 14 14 pm

I was really excited to read your article. I always enjoy hearing different opinions, and gaining a different perspective, especially on the bigger issues. While there are many facts in your article that I agree with, mainly that the LGBTQ community has to deal with inequalities and discrimination in various forms; there are also some things that you stated that I don’t believe are true. I’ll touch on those shortly. First, let me give you an idea of where I’m coming from.

I am a self-proclaimed follower of Jesus Christ. Now, I understand that these days the word Christian is synonymous with the word hypocrite. There are many people who call themselves Christians, but their lives look nothing like the life Jesus lived, and their actions are far from gracious, compassionate, or righteous. I’d like to give a different Christian perspective on some of the things you mentioned.

First of all, I absolutely, positively, DO NOT believe in any way that God hates you. I believe he loves you more than either of us will ever be able to fully comprehend. Maybe you are unaware of that FACT because all you’ve encountered or seen in the media is the exact opposite, or maybe it’s simply because nobody ever told you. Whatever the reason is, I want you to hold on to that truth. And while no, I don’t believe for a second that God hates you, I do believe that homosexuality is a sin.

Many of the protesters speaking out against homosexuality would agree with me that it is a sin, but one thing we DO NOT agree on is how to approach the issue. I have seen many news programs and magazine articles showing “Christians” holding signs that say “GOD HATES FAGS!”, and then they tack on 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 to support their case. That has to be the most overused verse in the struggle between the LGBTQ community and the “old school” demographic. If you haven’t already looked it up, the verse states that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. But if those people using that Scripture verse paid a little closer attention to it, they would see that it also includes the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, SLANDERERS, and swindlers!!! We as humans like to classify and categorize things, including sin, into levels of least to greatest, and unfortunately for the gay community, they fall close to the top of that list….. but God doesn’t see it that way.

The Bible says that, “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). Simply defined, sin is a failure to conform to the moral law of God, and it’s what separates us from Him. According to 1 John 5:17, Romans 14:23, and James 4:17 God says: all unrighteousness is sin, whatever is not of faith is sin, and if you know to do good, and don’t do it, that is also sin. Many believers have an incomplete view of sin. They believe sin is only an outward act, but in Matthew 5:21-48, Jesus teaches that sin is not restricted to an outward act, but also includes an inward motive or thought. So, those very same protesters speaking out against the homosexual community would themselves be considered sinners for some of the reasons and methods they use to do it. Nevertheless, all sin, whether an inward motive or thought, or an outward action, produces the same result – spiritual death.

I would also like to add that as a Christian, I don’t think that I, nor any other believer, have the right to pass judgment on the actions or lifestyles lived by those individuals who have made absolutely no commitment to Christ. Why should I condemn the actions of someone who has never agreed to live by God’s standard? On the other hand, I do believe that if someone has chosen to live for God, that I have the right as a fellow believer to hold them accountable to His standards and His Word. (1 Corinthians 5:12).

The second thing that I don’t agree with in the article is your statement that God made you homosexual, and that he planned it to be that way. I don’t believe there is any “gay gene” that makes you more prone to being homosexual either. It is my opinion, and I personally believe, that it is a conscious or subconscious choice made at some point in the individual’s life, as a result of a realized or unrealized relational need not being met, or some physical, mental, and/or emotional trauma inflicted upon them during their developmental years, possibly a combination of the two. Yes, homosexual behavior is a sin according to Gods’ word, and sin is what separates you from God, but it is His deepest desire to have a close, personal, intimate relationship with you, and to love you unconditionally, so I refuse to believe He would design you to be permanently separated from him. It has always been, and will always be, his plan for you to spend eternity with him.

God loves each of us so much that he gave us a choice. We can choose to love Him, and to live for Him, and to glorify His name; or we can choose to love the world and to live for and glorify what the world says is right. But even if we mess up, and we all do, the good news is that He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins, so that we can be in right standing with Him, and when turn back to Him, he will be right there waiting, with unconditional forgiveness and love, and your sins will be taken as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12), and he will make you a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Regardless of whether the choice is God’s way, or the world’s, I think the most effective witness I can be to anyone, gay or straight, is to love them the way God loves me; with grace, compassion, and without condition.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share what I believe to be truth. I look forward to reading more of your work. I’d also like to end on something that we do agree on. Growing up Hispanic, I was raised to place a high value on family, so I want you to know how much I love you. And regardless if our opinions or perspectives align or differ going forward, that love will never diminish.

Uncle Paul <3

THE BIBLE SAYS…

John 12:34-35 (Jesus speaking)

34”A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 John 4:20-21

20If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

7coldfires July 31, 2012, 21 48 pm

I’m proud that you have always been yourself and stood up for yourself no matter what. You have always stood forthright in your beliefs and let no one sway you from what you believe is right.

rvillela August 06, 2012, 00 46 am

Well before I get to the subject of this blog… I’m dumbfounded how people view and use the bible to sit according to their views. You can throw all the biblical quotes you want, however there again it is all according to how you want to view the world. If biblical verses is your ammo, why not share the story of Jonathan and David from the book of Samuel (1 Samuel 20-42) ? Their story was all about love. A love stronger than that of a man and woman. I learned of this story growing up in a Presbyterian church, where my mother’s uncle was once the pastor and her father was a long time leader and part time pastor. Both my uncle and grandfather showed nothing but love… unconditional love. When the time came for me to come out to my grandfather, he just looked at me and told me, “Your journey is going to be a rough one. mainly for the prejudices of others. As long as you have God in your life and know Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, then the words of others doesn’t really matter.” To this day, I still carry those words with me. As soon as the words,” I’m Gay,” are part of a conversation, then I know I have to respond to the questions or concerns. Which brings me to my next observation… the closeted. Many people, (and from my experience many straight men), tend to be more gay then they let out to be. They tend to hide behind the words of God, behind the use of violence, or even marry a woman and have children to obscure the obvious. Those are the ones, that do the damage and create the hate. These are people that come from all walks of life: from politicians, church leaders, lawyers, professional athletes, to the stay at home dads, They’re so afraid to let anyone know how they eagerly but, discretely jump “across the fence for some variety in their sex life,” with little or no thought of who’s at home waiting for them… but that is another topic for later.

Okay, now to the topic of this blog… I believe it takes a little longer for our Latino community to digest homosexuality as part of our culture. For some reason, as a whole, Latinos seem to be so concerned with what will people think? If we’re so concerned about what people would think, don’t ever leave the house! Life is too short to focus on the comfort level of others. We GLBTQ people have always had to conform to the masses’ beliefs. Remember not too long ago, Blacks and Latinos were seen unholy by the church, and interracial marriage was illegal. We’ve come a long way from those days. Why can’t we do that now?

Carl Webb August 20, 2012, 03 45 am

Homosexuality in the Hebrew Bible

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_the_Hebrew_Bible

Monica September 01, 2012, 00 20 am

Follow-up comments, in response to those of “Paul” (above) and others of similar mind/thought:

“Unfortunately, many Christians use the Bible to support their own prejudices and bigotry. They talk about “biblical family values” as if the Bible had a clear message on marriage and sexuality. Let’s be clear: There’s no such thing as “biblical family values” because the Bible does not speak to the topic clearly and consistently.”

-From “What Does the Bible Actually Say About Marriage?” by Greg Carey
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-carey/bible-weddings_b_887979.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000008

… and …

“I suspect that many Christians hold on to an anti-gay stance out of fear. Having been told the Bible condemns homosexuality, … But the Bible has never delivered that sort of certainty, nor can it. That’s why every town has dozens of fundamentalist churches that think they’re the only ones who have it right. There’s no avoiding the problem of interpretation — or the responsibility that goes with it.

Julius Caesar said, “People believe what they want to believe.” Modern psychology has confirmed his wisdom: Our moral choices tend to reflect our biases and passions more than an unbiased process of moral reflection. Let’s be honest: if you’re anti-gay, you’re anti-gay. Just don’t blame the Bible for your bigotry.”

-From “Christians Who Are Against LGBT Misuse The Bible” by Greg Carey
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-carey/bigotry-hiding-behind-the-bible_b_1693680.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Add Your Comment