January 1st 2010.
I had waited for a complete year to tell my parents those words that, for a long time, caused a rush within my body; those words that echoed every day inside of my mind and made me feel like an outsider; those words that led me to take endless amounts of pills and encouraged me to end my life.
I am lesbian, Dad. I like women, and I think I have always known it.
And what do you want me to do? Those people never get married, do not have families, they are sick… Lesbian… go and talk to your mother!
Just like that, my life turned upside down. Everything I thought was going to happen, didn’t. My parents did not support me by telling me something like “Oh! We’ve always known!” on the opposite, they were in denial of who I was.
I will never forget how I went to my bedroom, and I just felt a huge hole in the middle of my chest. “What have I done?” I kept asking myself this question, every single day; and the answer would always be the same: “I just came out… I am out… they know… now they know…”, But something was still missing! I did not feel relieved; I did not feel amazing… I felt terrified, and the same time, I felt like I wanted to go around and tell the whole world “HEY Y’ALL! LOOK AT THIS LESBIAN, RIGHT HERE!”… And so I did.
I came out to my family, to my friends, and to every single person that I considered part of my life. I remember walking into my brother’s bedroom, sit down on the bed, and tell him: “There’s a reason why I have been supporting gay rights… I am gay, this is not a joke”. He hugged me, and said: Whatever makes you happy; makes me happy. My two brothers were my only lifesaver at that moment.
So, off I went! Trying to discover what the world had for this little Mexican lesbian… what I found, was not at all what I was looking for; but it was everything I needed, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I found 4 years of my life living with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, drugs, meaningless sex, self-harm, a boyfriend, no sense of purpose; and the words that my dad told me when I came out… “You will never have a family”.
I dropped out of college, I quit my job, I hanged around with the wrong people, I ran away from home, I hid myself inside of a cupboard with a razor to cut myself, I self-medicated antidepressants, I cut my hair; and I started destroying every single bit of the Fernanda that I hated with all my heart. I have never hated anyone else more than I hated myself back then. I couldn’t bear the pain that I felt, I couldn’t control my thoughts, and I couldn’t call my friends because “what would they know?”; so I went to the 2 things that helped me control my anxiety the most: Television and Youtube.
Day by day, I would wake up, medicate, cry, cut, watch TV, draw, cry, medicate, watch youtube, sleep for 2 hours, and repeat it all over the same day. Until, I couldn’t sleep anymore. I spent 2 full weeks without sleeping; only praying to God that I would just not be alive the next morning. I became aggressive, and the more I was alone, hating myself… the more I just wanted to disappear. So, I tried. I tried to end my life. I tried to not feeling any more pain for who I was; I tried to go back to whatever place I came from, and just stop bothering people with my sadness.
Ellen DeGeneres and It Gets Better saved me. Despite the fact that I was not in United States, The It Gets Better Project gave me a ‘safety bubble’ , it made me feel that I could get out of the hole I had gotten myself into; most importantly, the way GOD sent me a clear IT GETS BETTER message had a name: Ellen DeGeneres. I keep on blessing the day that I had an anxiety attack, and I did not know what to do with myself, that I started watching TV, just to find her.
7 years later…
I just celebrated PRIDE 3 weeks ago. I am living in Washington,D.C, and I’m the Founder & President of It Gets Better México! I still haven’t met Ellen DeGeneres… but it’ll happen eventually.
After all these years, I still haven’t figured out the right words to express what I feel during the month of June. Even starting to hear the word “PRIDE”, gives me chills! Walking down the street with my LGBTIQ+ family, with my community, out and proud!; waving my flag, shouting “I’m queer, and I’m here!”…that’s something I could have never pictured happening in my life.
Today, June 28th 2017,
I want to shout it to the whole wide world, from the top of my lungs: IT GETS BETTER! Today, I want to be the role model Ellen was for me. Today, I want to change the Mexican government, the same way Harvey Milk did it. Today, I want to fight! I want to stand up at the top of a hill and tell every single person who is struggling with their sexual orientation: I FREAKING GOT YOUR BACK! And I will fight every single day of my life, for YOUR right to be accepted, loved, cherished, acknowledged and validated in this world.
But this fight, is not only about me. It is about everyone! It is about having PRIDE, every single day! It is about daring to be you, every morning you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror. That’s how It Gets Better; that’s how my amazing team is changing Mexico. Sometimes, it may seem that everything sucks, literally, but I believe that as long as people like the ones in this photo, exist in the same planet that you are… things do get better.
Go follow us on twitter: @ItGetsBetterMx