Growing up at my house, queerness, feminism, and anything outside the binary was viewed as a white issue. It was the societal cucuy or boogie man coming for my parent’s children. Sometimes it was even the devil, or so my parents would insist.

My parents were treated differently by white people when they were growing up because they were brown and what you’d call dirt poor. Some of that changed the way they raised us, including limiting the use of Spanish at home. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t learn to speak Spanish until I started my first job. It’s one of the reasons I grew up feeling detached from my culture.


Ever since then I’ve been on a journey to reconnect and find meaning in being queer and Latino. When I first learned about the word Latine, I felt seen. It was like a message of love from my ancestors, comforting me, letting me know I could be gay and celebrate where I came from at the same time. It was healing. They were lifting me up, helping me realize I could be me. And that’s who I’m going to be.

Cuídense. Take care.

– James

Call me Latine is a resource dedicated to addressing gender and heteronormative bias in Hispanic and Latino culture. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @callmelatine.

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