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Ruben Diaz Outed His Lesbian Granddaughter Before Working Against Her Right To Exist

“I was 16 years old when I sat my mom down and told her I was a lesbian. She told me that she loved me and accepted me.

I feared my father’s reaction most—since he is the reverend’s son. My mom told him for me, and he embraced me, too.

I never told my grandfather [NY Senator Ruben Diaz].

Three years later I was watching grandpa do a TV interview. “I’m not homophobic. I have gay family members. I have a gay granddaughter.”

I was stunned that he outed me on the air, since I never spoke to him about it directly. So I marched myself to his church and sat him down in his office and told him that I was a lesbian.

“You’re my granddaughter and I love you. I don’t agree with it, but I respect you,” he said.

When I was younger, marriage equality was not an issue for me. But now, as my grandfather ceaselessly and callously comments on the issue, each and every word stings, since I live with my girlfriend of 2½ years, Naomi Torres, and our two sons, Jared and Jeremiah Munoz.

This fight is personal…

I was so nervous [the morning of Ruben's May 16th anti-gay rally] that I threw up. I spoke against him across the street, directly within his view.

But then I approached a police officer who escorted me to the podium where he spoke. My grandfather introduced me to the crowd and kissed me on the forehead. “This is my granddaughter,” he said. “She chose her way of life, but I chose God’s way, but I love her.”

Grandpa even called me after the rally, to say that he was proud of me for “respectfully speaking up for what you believe in.”

You cannot tell someone that you love them and stay silent when people call for their death. “Love” is empty when you say someone’s life isn’t natural.

He could quietly vote “no” if that’s what he believes is right. But I want him to know that every word he utters hurts his own blood.”

— 22-year-old lezmo Erica Diaz discussing her relationship with her anti-gay grandfather, Ruben Diaz Sr. The DADT dischargee made waves within the queer community when she left her counter-protest to join her grampa onstage at his May 16th anti-gay rally in the Bronx. Two of Senator Diaz’s brothers are also gay.

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Jun 6, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,

    • EdWoody

      The fact that there are so many gays within Diaz’s own family seems like it is the reason for his hatred, as if “the gay” is hitting too close to him for comfort and he feels the need to fight back. Ironically it is also probably The Universe’s attempt to show him just how wrong he is.

      Jun 6, 2011 at 9:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz

      It’s a deeply personal decision, and I can’t pretend to understand their family dynamics.. I just know mine. For me, it would be very difficult to lend him support in any way. He basically called her un-Godly, you do realize that? I’ve gone and cut ties with people who are bigots. Even the ones who share DNA.

      Jun 6, 2011 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981

      I am with you Fitz. I realize that the second I get coupled up with another woman, I will be forced to choose between being true to myself and them. I’ve made peace with realizing that I will have to cut them loose.

      Yeah, Gramps telling her she’s ungodly, outing her on the air, and working against her in this way? Some loving family. Whether one knows the specifics/dynamics or not, the man is a bigot who values his hatred over his own flesh and blood.

      Jun 6, 2011 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James

      I feel sad for her I understand how she feels because you want to be out and happy with yourself but you still love your family.I some homophobic family members but I can’t just cut them out of my life.

      Jun 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zeus

      Why does she have two kids with a woman who she’s only been dating 2 1/2 years and she herself is only 22 years old? It’s not like they can accidentally get knocked up. I guess her gf used to have sex with guys, first.

      Jun 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • divkid

      well done erica for speaking out. it might have seemed an easier option for you to go down the mary cheney route; but the compromise involved would never be worth the betrayal of your long term happiness, personal integrity and dignity.

      please continue to try to influence him. he needs to be made to see that even if we take him at his word and he doesn’t hate gay people or wish us ill, many of his followers do, explicitly stated or not. and his words work to affirm those beliefs.

      i’m not holding my breath, however. i think he’s got too much ego and power invested in this to change course. but i distantly recall a thing about some persecut-y guy…blinded…scales falling from eyes…360°… or something. so who knows!

      Jun 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex

      To be clear, the problem isn’t that we’re called ungodly. Going by a strict interpretation of the Bible, (male-on-male) homosexuality *is* a sin. The problem isn’t that we’re being called ungodly, the problem is belief of Christians that the particular nature of our sin allows them to deny us equality. Remarriage and most divorces are sins in the eyes of the Christian God also, but we don’t see a national campaign to deprive straight people of their rights to those actions.

      Jun 9, 2011 at 2:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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