Giselle Ramirez, is a self-proclaimed “working class-chicana, a proud queer women, concerned citizen of the world, and a conscientious objector to dehumanization.”
In her YouTube testimony, Giselle says growing-up she was bullied because of her sexual orientation referring to a specific incident where she was physically assaulted by two other girls in a school bus. Her video appeared on CUENTAME, a non-profit organization which seeks to create a community by bringing a voice for latinos through short videos, documentaries and interviews.
She says in the video that “being a queer latino is harder. There is a lot ignorance and also a language barrier. My parents are only spanish speakers and there is not a lot of information out there for them that’s in Spanish. We get lost in translation and I think thats why there’s so much lack of acceptance and ignorance towards the subject.”
Giselle was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her parents are Mexicans who migrated illegally into the country but were granted residency through Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, according to Ramirez.
Her parents weren’t accepting of her sexual orientation and Ramirez says that growing up she was “constantly in fear I was going to go to hell because I’m a lesbian.” Giselle claims that being Catholic played a role in her parents’ reaction towards her sexual orientation. She says that her family isn’t very religious, but attending church was “still a big part of the culture, of being catholic, of being Mexican.”
New York State Senator Rev. Ruben Díaz statements support this claim. “I believe that God does not allow gay marriage. It’s the Bible, it’s Mother Nature,” Díaz said before same sex marriage law passed in New York, according to Fox News Latino. ”It’s the tradition… the culture. We are Hispanic, we just come from a different culture.”
But Giselle didn’t let religion or culture stand in her way. When the Ramirez family moved to Lubbock, Texas considered to be the second most conservative city in the country, according to CUENTAME. Giselle and her girlfriend Bianca Molina, organized a gay pride parade in the city.
“Lubbock’s first Pride Fest brought together more than 500 gay and straight individuals from around West Texas,” according to CUENTAME.
Giselle’s mother, sister, brother and sister in-law all attended the parade and according to Giselle “it changed their perspective of the queer community. Like we’re just people and they realized that… we’re just people.”