I’m over 50, and as a Mexican gay man, I suffered atrocities on the part of my cousins. Together with my brother, they made my life impossible. The used to tease, sometimes [they] still do by saying that only men drink Coke and that’s why I drink Pepsi. It did bother me when I was growing up. My brother is still very much a homophobe and still hates me.

da1Now that I’m older and don’t count on that side of the family, I’m very happy. There’s no family drama from those ingrates. I’ve closed all communication with those ignorant people. They brought their small ranch with them. Even today they still have interfamilial marriages. I have cousins who have the same last name and maiden names.

A while ago my mother spoke with my first cousin. She called to ask my mother for advice because her eldest son has come out of the closet at 19. My mother consoled [her] by telling her she went through the same thing, that she had to suffer many sleepless nights due to my depression and my fears of going outside and getting hurt.

I got angry. How can my mother tell her that she’s going to suffer? My mother suffered genuinely. There were the days that I’m surprised I’m still alive. Granted, I slept with half of that region. . .  Not my cousins. My mother acted out of place and still pretends that I’m not different. I realize how sheltered I have been. I think that’s what made me angrier — the sheltering. There’s no way that kid is going to go through with what I went through. His family is oddly supporting. I guess they realized how many gays are actually in the family. More are coming out of the word work.

My cousin’s little boy is not going to go through what I went through. Her brother is the one that made my brother turn against me. The one that made my life more miserable than others, [but] accepted him right away. In fact, the kid went to him first. I guess he felt safe going to him because he has a closeted son. We’re waiting to see when he comes out.

I confess. I am very happy that he came out. That his mother and uncles are biting their tongues and can’t say anything like they did [to] me. I was the poster child of gayness, and they were one inch from physically abusing me. Imagine a small group of towns in the high mountains of northern Mexico and they’re more gays per capita than any other state. And they are very much Machos to a T.

-Proud Pepsi Lover

Dear Proud Pepsi Lover,

I had the same thing happen to me. I hate one side of my family. Front the verbal abuse and the hierarchy of it all. I have a different view of the church for sure. I drink Pepsi. Don’t hate your mother; don’t be angry. She doesn’t know any better. Remember she comes from a small part of Mexico where life was different. It still is different. Yes, same-sex marriage is legal in some parts of Mexico. But it’s still frowned upon in small towns. My mother always asks to see who the information is coming from. If they say something, they’re most likely ignorant. Decades have passed. Life has changed. Don’t worry about your past–it has gone. Think of the future. Focus on you. Stop being a chismoso. No one likes that. It’s their problem, not yours.

Be patient and understanding of your background; it’s a different world. You’ve come this far.