With the Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry, and the success of Logo, an LGBTQ television network, the gay community has crossed societal barriers that were once taboo in national and global mainstream and legal standards. But many moral, religious and traditional views condemn this community, often in Latino families.
Somos Familia, an organization based in the San Francisco Bay area, supports the needs of LGBTQ members who struggle to gain acceptance from their families, communities, and society.
"We provide those resources, provide them in Spanish to these families who are looking for something that can speak to them as a culture, as a Latino family, so that the parents can sort of see, see and feel what it's like for their children to come out," said Joshua Delfin, president of Somos Familia.
Founded in 2007, the organization provides workshops, social events, welcomes volunteers and participates in various activities that engage and connect the LGBTQ community with local stakeholders, ultimately forming partnerships that lead to more leadership opportunities for gays. Additionally, parents and other family members become more accepting of their gay family members and positive bonds are created as they engage in information sessions and events presented by Somos Familia.
"It's a process when parents hear their children come out," Delfin said.
Somos Familia was founded by Laurin Mayeno, whose son is gay, and Mima Medina, a native of El Salvador, whose son is bisexual. Both women believed, with Medina having limited English proficiency, that there were many Latino parents who did not speak English and lacked the resources in their native language to understand and find the support to better understand the needs of their gay children. They spoke to a Spanish Catholic congregation and attended pride parades to inform the public of their organization and advocate for communitywide changes.