“In such environment… being openly gay is not something you hear anyone talk about as a positive thing, as an acceptable way of being. It lead me to live a double life, and move far away from the people I love just to try to have a life, a life I could live every second of it as me.”
1. Where are you from and where do you live now?
San Juan, Puerto Rico –> Dallas, TX
2. Tell me a little bit about what you spend most of your days doing.
I love to live life the fullest. Most days I am enjoying my time with friends, or pushing my limits at the gym, or reading to become a better version of myself.
3. Why do you feel that the simple message of the Promote Love Movement is important?
I truly love the Promote Love Movement because there are so many people in this world that live in fear of living their authentic self, of living the life that they want and to love themselves the right way. We are not alone and I love that the movement is here to extend the light to those in need to shine a little brighter and also for those who want to show others that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Tell me about your upbringing. Were you raised in church?
I was not predominantly raised in church. But I was raised in a Puerto Rican culture with religious family members and surroundings. My upbringing was filled with an amazing childhood, raised in a neighborhood full of kids around my age, but it was a very metropolitan town, and my parents were well-known in the community for their professions. Family status, the school you went to, the car you drove to school, the group of friends you had… you get the point. That was all very important to most people in this town. When you are a kid you don’t see the negative side affects of growing up in such environment, you also don’t voice it but as you grow up its starts to affect you, and you start to live in fear. In such environment being openly gay, is not something you hear anyone talk about as a positive thing, as an acceptable way of being. It lead me to live a double life, and move far away from the people I love just to try to have a life, a life I could live every second of it as me.
5. Why do you think it is important to be your authentic self?
We spend so many years in school learning math, history, science, you name it, and the one thing you don’t spend time on learning is the importance of that fact that you have one life to live and you should live it by being who you believe you are. I spent so many years running and hiding… I was lifeless inside. And the one person (the last person) I thought would grab me, bring me back to life and say “Laura… just stop… go be you.. IT IS OKAY!” ….was my mom. She is my hero. I can say if it wasn’t for her, the unconditional love of friends that always knew and the community, I don’t think I would be who I am today. The second I started living my authentic self, it was like I regained color and I could breathe. Life is such a beautiful thing, and it is so important to realize how lucky we all are to even be alive.
I know everyone has completely different stories, and/or completely different arrivals to the point in which you say.. yes, you choose yourself and you take your first steps with the weight of your shoulders. But for those who don’t know how to finally say yes or are afraid to make that decision, it is important to find the path to that arrival point. The LGBTQ community definitely helped me feel accepted, helped me get the support and awareness as to how to move forward with my life and how to not be overwhelmed with finally being me and living the life that I wanted to live.
I love that the Promote Love Movement is here to offer a space in which we can help and support each other to grow, remind each other of the power of love, as well as help those who are stuck or need support and awareness.
6. Why do you feel it is important for the LGBTQ community to have allies?
LGBTQ communities are extremely important, not only do they help save lives, but they empower us to live our lives to the fullest, without being scared, with support and more importantly with love. Those allies help the LGBTQ communities keep their door opens, continue to grow and get the access they need to the right resources to continue to positively affect and educate the surrounding areas.
7. Do you have a message to kids out there who come out and might not have the support of their families/friends?
Don’t be afraid to reach out for support. We have all gone through some sort of a challenge whether big or small, I know that at some point everyone of us needed support and love from the LGBTQ community, and the only thing you need to do is just not be afraid and reach out, we are all here and eager to spread love and support!