I don't know her personally. We met through Wise Latinas Linked on Facebook.
But her story on the "Brave Leaps" blog left me inspired. Anel talked about being a Chicana tomboy who revealed to her parents at the age of 16 that she was a Lesbian. Their relationship would change immediately.
This is Anel in her own words:
To my dismay, my parents were not the least bit happy for me. I was excommunicated from the family and “going to hell.” The following several years were to be the complete opposite of my splendid time in San Miguel, but the absence of my parents would be the same. Mami stopped talking to me and Dad told me, “I want you to be happy mija, but your Mami is my wife and I made a promise to her first. I am obligated to be on her side.” (more)
Anel admits her parents pretended she was not gay. Since then Anel's journey in life has included being a teacher, and trailblazer in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, better known as LGBT. She's also in a committed relationship, has two daughters and has had time to become an author.
Anel has proven that sometimes standing for your beliefs may turn people away even those who are supposed to love you. Then there are others, strangers who discriminate with a big "D."
But Anel's strength is also proof that some how and some way the will to keep going is not impossible. The will to fight for what you believe in is worth the struggles and challenges.
Hispanic Heritage Month is about recognizing the contributions of Latinos/Latinas in the U.S. That's why on this day I honor Anel for her contributions to the Latino and LGBT communities. And for showing us its OK to be brave.
Please read her blog on "Leaps from a tomboy---Anel's story."