Letters from a Lesbian
by Lauren Shiro
In what little spare time I have, I have been consumed by genealogy. I’ve been researching my father’s side of the family as there are a lot of secrets, mysteries, and lies. This is the Puerto Rican side of the family.
What I have found not only explains the family’s dark coloring and certain traits, but now some of the mysteries have been clarified. Suddenly now, the pieces of the puzzle are coming together.
There were rumors of racism. Now I can see where they fit in and how they happened. The shame my father carries him now makes sense. It’s sad, and I pity him for it. I understand that his was not an easy childhood, but there is no reason to be ashamed of who you are or where you come from. Especially after all these decades.
I have found more relatives than I ever would have imagined! I’ve connected with a couple. It’s great! I love being able to connect with them and to learn more about my family and my culture. It’s an absolutely wonderful experience.
It’s also saddened me, though. Because it’s shown me how racism can tear apart a family. I’ve seen how it crushed the soul of my father. I’ve seen how it separated me from my heritage, my culture. I’ve seen the devastation that racism, bigotry, hatred and ignorance cause.
We as minorities are so segregated from our families and cultures as it is. Our identities are no longer rooted in our heritage, and that’s sad. For a people who are so closely connected to our history, our ethnicities, and our culture, to be divided from that is to be divided from our identity.
I feel it is important for us to embrace ourselves, our civilization, and all that makes us unique. Though our heritage may not be our complete identity, it is a part of who we are. It explains where we come from, what we are like, our DNA, and so on.
Embrace all that you are, where you come from, who you are, what makes you you. Our culture, our heritage, and our family trees are one piece of the glorious puzzle that make us each the wonderful human beings that we are.
Don’t end up like my father: sad, lonely, bitter, and disconnected from his family and his heritage. Love yourself, and all of the things that help to create all that is you!
Live life in your own special way,