Op-ed: Coming Out as Gay And Undocumented

Published: October 12, 2012

Although I was busy trying to convince everyone else that I was still worthy of their respect and love, I still really wasn’t sure myself that I was a decent person. I didn’t have any personal role models or mentors who were gay, and I was struggling with what kind of man I was going to become. Then I met several members of the LGBT community from different backgrounds who changed my life, and who have become my family. From them, I’ve learned that gay men can be respected individuals who can achieve their personal and professional goals.

It took some time, but with their love and support, and that of the other allies I’m lucky to have in my life, I feel like the jury found in my favor. I’m confident that I’m a worthy human being, and that if my new role models are OK being gay, then I will be OK, too. Though I do recognize that discrimination and violence against the LGBT community still exist, it feels like things are getting better. I know that one day I will not be viewed as less because of my sexual orientation. Except there’s one area in which I feel I’ll always be judged harshly. In addition to being gay, I am still an undocumented immigrant, or what is sometimes referred to as undoqueer.

I don’t reveal my status because detention, deportation, or vigilante violence are real risks for undocumented immigrants. But I’m ready to come out about being undocumented now. I’m ready to face the jury and present my evidence that I deserve a chance. Thanks to the new policy established by the Obama administration, the thousands of other young undocumented immigrants living in America now have the chance to stop looking over their shoulders for immigration authorities.

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