Letter to Parents

María Estefany Gramajo

Dear mami y papi,

Being a part of this religious immigrant family has been hard on me and has taken a toll on how I view myself. It is hard to explain my identities to you without having you shrug off their importance or not care to even listen to me when I start talking about something that you would rather ignore.  

You see the gender binary and heterosexuality as something safe and comfortable and I often fear that you would rather me live a comfortable and safe life rather than celebrate the multiplicity of my identity.

I remember growing up and being made sure of the fact that I knew where I stood in terms of the other kids. I was and continue to be: brown, short, and fluent in Spanglish. I am still the student that is looked at as having made it this far by mere chance. Since coming to college, I have become more comfortable within my marginalized identities and am working every day to empower and celebrate myself and other Latinx queer people.

I am thankful for everyone who has helped me accept myself and claim identities that are more me than I could have known growing up. I am thankful for you both, but hope you know that I would rather be a proud and loud queer than a silent queer.

Gracias por todo, los amo!

Maria (she/her) is a third year from the Bay Area pursuing a BA in American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences as well as a Sustainability Studies minor from the Kogod School of Business. She enjoys going to museums and concerts, making zines in her room, and having dinner with her friends on the quad.