I feel so honored and blessed to be part of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance group. They have published my story of my brief history.. add the group!
When I was five years old, the last thing I wanted to do was to migrated to the U.S. I was a very happy content child, and from what I remember I excelled in school. I was madly and deeply in love with my grandmother who was my main caregiver. Unfortunately my father couldn’t find work and moved to the states when I was two. It was then my parents decided it would be best if we all moved to the United States.
Leaving my grandmother and my life behind was heartbreaking. I didn’t fit in at school, and felt I was an outcast. I wasn’t black or white, I was brown. On top of that I didn’t speak the language. The first few years were miserable. We lived in a run down apartment, and I missed my grandmother more than anything.
Eventually I picked up the language and was happy with my life. I did pretty well in school and starting earning friends. Although it was very apparent at a young age that I was different, I didn’t really wrap my head around it until later on in life. I was your typical tomboy. I wore only boys clothes and begged my mother to allow me to have short hair. I felt no sexual attraction to either gender but assumed I would inevitably grow into liking boys.
I learned of my two biggest differences the summer I turned fifteen. After a decade of living in the states my mother decided we would be better off living in Mexico. She realized our lives without documentation would be too tough. I was still very much a tomboy and it was apparent in my town in Mexico that I was in fact gay. After several alarming incidents that proved dangerous to my safety, my mother quickly realized that my life was at risk and that we couldn’t live in Mexico.
We fled in the middle of the night. We attempted to return to the U.S. As we were approaching the border my mother turns to look at us and explains that we’re not supposed to live in the U.S. She explains to us that we are to tell immigration officers that we live in Mexico and are only visiting for a trip to Disneyland. I wore overalls and a Mexico world cup jersey.
The officers asked us a few questions then looked at my mother and said, “ma’am, I see your daughters’ name in our records. You’re not visiting, you’re coming to live as you have the past ten years. We’re going to have to deport you back to Mexico.”
I saw several officers surround us; I looked to my left and saw a room full of detainees. After twelve hours we were released in Tijuana. What would we do? Time was of the essence. My mother forbid me from going outside until we figured out a plan to return to the U.S. We were for the time being unsure of our next step.
Within a few weeks one of our neighbors was able to cross us over. My sister and I traveled together. My mother had to stay behind for a duration of five months. I returned to the states on a Saturday and classes began on a Monday. I was attempting to cope with my sexuality, with the fact my mother was gone, with the fact that I was undocumented and with the memories of events that had happened in Mexico. I wasn’t able to do any of that because I had to take on my mother’s role and take care of my family. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I quickly fell into a depression that I couldn’t allow anyone to see.
After my mother finally returned and resumed her role in our home, I began to rebel. I no longer needed to be responsible so I let lose. I wouldn’t bother coming home, and I began experimenting with drugs but thankfully it didn’t last for too long. I met and fell in love with someone and I quickly began suppressing everything I felt inside. I didn’t rebel anymore, I didn’t do anything. I just numbed everything I felt in order to be normal
enough to date her.
After we broke up all the emotions that I had suppressed finally exploded, and to say that I began experimenting with drugs was an understatement. I was constantly high on something; blacking out drunk was something of the norm. I didn’t give a shit about anything. I was angry, I was pissed. I was 21 and I had nowhere to go, I was undocumented and gay. I felt like the most unwanted person in the world. The country I loved and in which I wanted to succeed, wanted nothing to do with me. It refused to recognize me, it refused to allow me to live. I finally hit a wall and attempted to end my life.
After my failed attempt, I still couldn’t kick my depression. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Some mornings I would just lie in bed and not want to get up. What was the point? Why go out there and work a low-paying dead end job, For what? I wanted to travel the world. I wanted to start my own business. I wanted to be more than I would be allowed to be, and it worsened my depression. I felt like a caged bird that had to witness all the other birds at play. After twenty years of living in a country in which I paid taxes and which I actually cared about, I had nothing. Hate for immigrants is very evident, hate for gays is also very evident. I constantly face being discriminated against because of how I was born.
I’m now 27, and 6 months ago I began a case for asylum. I finally decided to come forward with what happened in Mexico and on March 8th 2012, my case went to Washington D.C. for approval. On June 10th, 2012 I will be applying for my work visa and soon after my driver’s license.
After years of struggling, I have finally found a chance for happiness.
San Francisco, CA
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