Megan, 20, San Francisco, CA

As difficult as going to college has been, growing up my dad has instilled that education was the way out and the way up. Even when I’m struggling in school I’m like “I have these opportunities people in my family didn’t have before.”

I went to a private high school and most of my friends were also on financial aid, and we were also the group of color. It was sort of a no-brainer becoming friends with them; these are the people I can relate to. 

My friend group was also the queer friend group of our grade.  We only have one or two straight friends. Some of the things I was experiencing, I could tell them and it was like, “me too.” I didn’t feel ostracized or like I was crazy. It never really felt like there was judgment.

I’m a baby gay, figuring things out. I know for a fact that I’m not a hetero. I don’t know what category I fit in. The gender of another person doesn’t really matter to me. But if someone is standardly really attractive or hot, I’m typically not attracted to them.’

Getting older, I realized that straight people are boring. If I was walking down the street and someone said I was hetero, I’d be so offended. ”

My sibling is 5 ½ years older than me, and we’re the first generation of out queer people in our family. I have one uncle who’s definitely gay. He’s brought lovers on his trip but everyone’s like “his friend.”

In high school I basically came out to my dad  and he’s like “why are you telling me this?” My dad is my person in my family, and I was so upset. I was like, “Do you realize how painful it would be for someone to ignore a part of your identity?” I tried to explain it’s like if someone said “you’re not Mexican, you’re a human being.” I made a pact with myself that if he was like this I wasn’t going to tell him anything. I’m just not going to share any part of my love life. I didn’t tell him about my boyfriend. He’s always been the guy in my family who’s like “the only thing different is how they have sex.” More traditional people in my family are like that.

My mom on the other hand has always been way too open about talking about relationships. I’d hear a lot of the conversations my mom would be having with my older sibling. Stuff I don’t need to know about her and my dad’s sex life. I get it–you’re trying to set a positive example, but I don’t need to hear it.

We’ve had a lot as a  family, as far as  trauma and mental health. My family is really strong. When tragedy has happened we don’t really turn on each other. I’ve learned that family is everything.

As told to Diana Scholl

Photo by Laurel Golio, taken in Los Angeles, CA, 2022.