“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.