I was born in Puerto Rico but grew up along the Mexico-U.S. borderland
and the streets of Little Havana, Miami, surrounded by the machismo, homophobia,
and heterosexism of Latine cultures and Catholicism. It was in these environments where I first learned the concept of familismo
, and since childhood, I rebelled against some of its values. I was known as “that” person in my family, the one who spoke out, who talked back to anyone, and who was labeled “special” and weird. “Porque no eres una niña normal,” they would joke, referencing the “weird” daughter Bibi from La Familia P.Luche
. I wasn’t normal to them because I dared to use my voice, because I left the Catholic religion
, and because I pushed back against the gender roles
they tried to ascribe to me. “Why do I need to serve food to my brother? He has hands,” I would protest when asked to serve my siblings.