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Live And Let Live

Kassandra Cisneros, Staff Writer, Opinion Editor

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At eleven years old I wake up to the echo of slamming doors and screams. They belonged to my sister. She had just come home from a night out, there had been many in the wake of her eighteenth birthday. But tonight was different. Tonight I hear her begging our dad between sobs not to kill Her. To listen. To try and understand. Tonight I hear my dad say words that I never thought that I would hear, “If I ever see Her around my house again, She’s dead.”

 

At the time I didn’t understand what they were talking about. All I knew was that when my sister, my role model, and my best friend walked into our shared room that night and looked me in the eyes I saw something in her that can only be described as brokenness. She didn’t say a word. With red marks on her cheeks and tear tracks running down her face, she climbed into our bed, held me close, and cried. I couldn’t understand why and I didn’t want to ask because I was afraid of the answer.

 

That was the last night my sister lived in that house. The next day she got up, packed as much as she could into a few luggages, and left. I didn’t see her for months.  

 

In time, I learned what truly happened that night. She came out.

 

Now, she didn’t do it like how you hear about it in most youtube videos and internet posts. She didn’t get to sit down with our mom and dad and say, “Hey guys so you know my friend who I’ve been hanging out with lately and she’s always around and stuff, well she’s actually she’s my girlfriend. Surprise, I’m a lesbian.” Mostly because she didn’t get to do it on her own terms; it wasn’t her choice.

 

“Dad caught me and Flor making out in the car out front,” she later told me. Flor was my sister’s girlfriend. She’s now her wife. My sister is a happily married lesbian. Of course she won’t tell you that because, like the sap she is, she swears that Flor is the only woman that she could ever be with and that calling herself a lesbian implies that she likes “women” when in reality, she is only attracted to her woman.   

 

Regardless of how much she loves her though, for people like my sister there’s no happy love story.  She doesn’t get the love that you read about in young teen novels, with love-at-first-sight and the romantic first date. My sister met her partner online through a mutual friend and had to lie to my parents about going out with a “friend” for their first date. It’s not a happy story either, where the lover comes over for dinner and the father of the girl jokingly threatens them not to lay a hand on his daughter. It’s real life where my sister-in-law isn’t allowed around the house, we’re not allowed to talk to her or about her and basically, as far as anyone is concerned, she doesn’t exist in my parents’ home.

 

For many people, this is what it’s like after they come out. For some, it’s worse. Like Daniel Ashley Pierce, from Georgia, who came out to his parents in 2013. When they, along with his grandparents, staged an “intervention” Daniel recorded the exchange. The video that was uploaded to YouTube by the user Regina Ryan titled, “How not to react when your child tells you that he’s gay,” showcases a very common reaction from parents after their child comes out of the closet. In it, Daniel is told by his mother that he’s no longer allowed in her home because she doesn’t want people to think that she, “condones that kind of thing.” When Daniel turns to his grandmother for support she dismisses him and says, “I have gay friends, and that’s okay because they’re my friends. They’re not related to me.”   

Often times people think that “coming out” is met by acceptance, fanfare and pride parades. Because of what has been presented in the media, we have a distorted view about what being gay is actually like for people.

 

If people like Ellen Degeneres or Kaitlyn Jenner come out then they’re more likely to be accepted. Whether it’s because people are actually evolving or that they’d just rather keep their public image clean, celebrities have the easy end of the stick.

 

Since Ellen came out on Oprah in 1997 she has lived openly and proudly gay. She has hosted her own daytime-talk-show for many years, voiced a character in two Disney films, hosted the Oscars and in 2016 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 

But even she received some discrimination since admitting to the world who she is.

 

According to an article in Vanity Fair, in 2014 a comedian named Sandy Toksvig revealed that she was actually fired from a 1994 charity event because the organizers didn’t want Princess Anne to meet a lesbian.

 

We’ve traveled a long road to acceptance, but we obviously have further to go.

 

When a child is afraid to come out to the people who are supposed to love them the most, when their lives are being threatened for being honest about who they are, there’s an obvious problem.

What people often forget is that it’s possible to live your life however you want, and other people have the right to the same thing.

 

Live and let live.

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The student news site of Moreno Valley High School
Live And Let Live