“Mom, I’m gay.” There I go. I said it. Now what? So many questions crossed my mind when I first told my mom. Will she kill me? Will she throw me out? Will she cry? Will she bring up the Bible? Fortunately for me, she only did the latter two out of the four. This week marks the third anniversary of me coming out to my mother. I took it upon myself to tell her on Black Friday, the day most Americans flock to the malls for those extra special sales and actually have the patience to stand in line for two hours just to purchase those pair of shoes 70 percent off. Anyhow, a word of advice – don’t come out during the holidays. Society has placed holidays to be family-oriented, ensuring we preserve that sacred family mentality. More so, people are on edge during the holidays, ready to snap at anything that distracts them from getting Christmas shopping out of the way.

Needless to say, coming out to one’s parents requires so much emotional energy. It’s really important to reserve a high dose of positive self-worth. Having struggled with my own sexuality for a year prior to my coming out, I had done my fair share of research, providing myself with proper gay education, but also gathering answers to my mother’s questions. I knew that confusion on my part would in turn decrease her confidence in my judgment.

After the initial shock, she asked what seemed a million questions about it. I expected them and was answering them with poise and composure. As a matter of fact, I would give myself an award for the manner in which I answered these questions – the “Coming Out Award.” So what drove me to tell my mom I was gay?

I wasn’t sure myself until I got a chance to reflect on it this past weekend. Though I knew my mother would react the way she did, I couldn’t keep who I was from her. Overall, I was uncomfortable with the distance that had formed between my mother and me. I wasn’t going to deny who I was to my own mother. And though I knew that it would be ridiculously hard at first, relations between my mother and would improve.

With time, she found out more information. Acquainted herself with Web sites, books and magazines trying to learn more about me.

And it did get better. We began talking about it in the future tense, mostly what I expected of my life style. I found it critical to give off a positive sense to her, to at least make sure she knew I was secure about who I was.

So I told her that she and I now had something in common, the fact that we both liked men. Surprised that I had said that, she couldn’t but help to smile, unconsciously giving her approval. Since then, my relationship with my mom has been nothing but positive. Timing is key when coming out. And I managed to find the right time.

So I told my mom three years ago, and I found myself finally telling my dad this holiday weekend. Though I didn’t think it would make a difference whether or not I came out to him, I felt much better. It’s true what they say – a ton was truly lifted off of me.

So I’m done. I told my mom and my dad. Who’s left? Just about everyone I meet. This is going to be an interesting life.

Buitrago can be reached at jbuitrago@campustimes.org.

Dinner for Peace was an unconventional way of protesting for Palestine

The dinner showcased aspects of Palestinian culture. It was a unique way of protesting against the genocide, against the Israeli occupation, against the university’s involvement with the genocide.

An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.

The Clothesline Project gives a voice to the unheard

The Clothesline Project was started in 1990 when founder Carol Chichetto hung a clothesline with 31 shirts designed by survivors of domestic abuse, rape, and childhood sexual assault.