Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Coming Out Story #6 - Joserra Z.


Joserra Z. was born in a small town in Mexico, but his parent's divorce and mother's remarriage when he was only 5 took him to Mexico City.  He bonded quickly with his step father and remembers a happy childhood filled with family, friends, travel, birthday parties and big holiday dinners.  Looking back, there are memories of being a bit eccentric - wearing costumes for days, enjoying time alone reading and the constant memory of being told by many people that he was "...An old man in a kid's body."

The earliest memory that hinted at Joserra's sexual orientation was when he was only 5.  He remembers, "My brother used to be a big fan of Vanilla Ice - something he denies now.  I remember he asked, 'Do you think he is hot?' and I answered, 'Yes!' - But he was asking my sister who was right behind me." During puberty he made an effort to do the “normal” thing by having girlfriends, but definitely never felt sexually attracted to them. Things changed at the age of 13. He was dating a girl who played soccer and was immersed in the drama club, when lightening struck.

Joserra became very close with a guy who was dating a mutual girlfriend.and the attraction was overwhelming. "When I touched him I felt like I was going to faint. Butterflies flew in my stomach and I heard music in my head. That was only when we hugged good-bye. Imagine when we kissed for the first time!"  What started out as experimentation became serious when he realized he was in love. "Only at that moment did the word homosexual come into my head."  He was 15.

Coming out to teachers, friends and their parents quickly followed.  Some were surprised, but most were not.  Joserra was fortunate to receive acceptance and was allowed to bring his boyfriends to parties. Heavily immersed in theatre, he won the role of Danny in the high school production of Grease.  Everybody knew he was gay, so it was only a matter of time before his family began to ask questions and honesty was the only possible response.  Joserra remembers, "They said they needed time to think about it.  10 months later they told me they were okay with it.  I was equal to my brother and sister, so my friends and boyfriends had a place in the house, etc.  And that was it."  Years later his mother shared that it took time for them to realize his sexual orientation had nothing to do with the way they had raised him.


After graduation, Joserra went on to film school - an artistic environment that is very accepting - and now works as a writer for TV and theatre.  He lives with a straight room mate and shares, "I have never been called a name to my face.  A lot of people have probably insulted me, but it had nothing to do with the fact I'm gay - it comes more from when I've been a jerk."

In closing I want to share Joserra's answers to a couple of questions.

1. What are the positives and negatives since coming out?  -  "For me being gay has been a really positive experience.  When I have a new job I assume that everybody knows it and that has always worked for me. The challenges I have faced in my life have never been linked to my sexuality."

2. Any advice for those still struggling in secrecy?  -  "There is something about coming out that earns you the respect of the people...that's why you should do it."

3.  Do you consider yourself part of a minority in any other way? - "In my circle of gay friends, I am the only atheist.  I think that's really funny."

For anyone who would like to be a part of this series, please email me at justbusiness1@gmail.com. 

Links for those who are interested - 
LGBT - www.qmunity.ca
Out in Schools - www.outinschools.com
PFLAG Canada - www.pflagcanada.ca
Check Him Out - www.checkhimout.ca

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