Gay, Mexican, and Adopted?

me and my sister (and my Mickey)

me and my sister (and my Mickey)

Living in New York City, you meet people from many walks of life. When people meet me, they become fascinated and overwhelmed with my history. And I sometimes forget what makes them take interest in a little chubby Mexican Gay boy who was adopted at birth. But then I think about it and realize, “Oh, yeah, I guess that’s why–but still, I wonder?”

My story started June 30, 1975 in Mexico. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. (Child, I hope I don’t get sued for that line) My biological mother didn’t want another child, so the midwife (my future aunt’s mother) made a quick phone call minutes after I was born and called my future adoptive parents and explain, “I have a little boy that nobody wants, do you want him?” My parents, not being able to have children of their own–mom had something wrong with her uterus and my dad was sterile–immediately jumped in their green Cougar and drove all night from Odessa, TX to El Paso, TX. The midwife, after placing me in a wicker basket and covering me with newspapers–making look like she was a newspaper carrier, illegally crossed me from Juarez, Mexico to El Paso, TX–where she prayed that I wouldn’t start crying when the border patrol stopped to question her trip across the border. My parents were at her house hours later and that’s how I got my start.

A few months ago I asked my mom what her favorite childhood memory with me was and she replied, “It was the next day after bringing you home and I had you on the bed (Mexican’s didn’t use cribs back then) and all my friends were present and they all said that you looked like me. I also appreciated not having any scars from childbirth.” That’s my mom, a modern day woman of  the 70s. My sister, who was also adopted–from a different family–is eight years my senior and was super excited to have a baby brother. According to her, her favorite memory was when they brought me home and she pretended that I was her baby.

Because of my parents generous nature (which I hope to one day acquire because I am one greedy Mexican and according to my dad I am the spawn of Satan), when they found out that my biological mother was out of a home, out of money they brought her to the USA and hired her to be my live-in nanny/babysitter for the first few months. Later, they’d come to discover my eight-year-old sister was skipping school to stay at home with me because my biological mother was letting me go hungry and wouldn’t change my diapers during the day–this was 1975, so “Pampers” were not in the picture. They fired her and my independent woman of a mother stayed at home with me instead. My parents always wanted my biological mother to be a part of my life and when saying  my nightly prayers would force me to include her in them. I see now what beautiful people they are–but back then I just thought they were crazy.

My sister and I slept in the same bed and had some of the best talks ever–once I was older. We’d stay up talking about being adopted and what it meant to us. See, to us, it wasn’t a big deal and still to this day, we both don’t feel one way or another about it–sometimes we forget we’re adopted because “family is family” and we all argue, love and gossip–just like yours. Since then, both my sister and I have met our biological brothers and sisters, something that our parents helped us do–and people will look at us crazy when I say, Oh, this is my sister’s sister–when we all hang out together–because it’s all complicated! (But when you ask us, we say we only have one sibling–each other–but then we have to back track)

When I came out to my family, I knew my mom and sister would be fine with it–in fact after telling my mother, she lit up a cigarette, requested a Pepsi and told me to move out of the way, because Hunter, her favorite show, was about to come on. It was my dad I was worried about. I knew he always wanted a son who was into sports and to help him hot-tar the roof, but that wasn’t me, instead I’d bake him brownies and gave him wardrobe suggestions. Now, everyone in my family knows my business and to them…I’m “just me,”  in fact when I go home to visit they call me by my nickname, which I will NEVER EVER REVEAL–and it’s comforting.

So as I go on my life’s journey–I know I’ll meet people who will continue to be fascinated with my life and ask how it’s possible that I can write about it in such a manner that ropes in humor, drama and what at times seems like fiction, but my answer remains the same, it’s because I’m gay, Mexican, and adopted.

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20 Comments

  • I love your personal blogs Nando and really such a sweet story! you know whatever happens in life, good or bad, complicated or simple makes us who we are!

    and one day they will have to do a Hollywood film of your live with some sexy Mexican guy playing you! it will be fabulous

    now going to read your story of coming out *mwahs mi amigo* xx
    .-= Daniel´s last blog ..DanielJUK: @nandoism making every tweet your product / company / brand and weblink is so boring, they could use it so much cleverer you’re right! Xx =-.

    • @Daniel–Thanks for the comment buddy! When it’s personal like this–it’s like opening a can of worms sometimes,
      but I like worms. ;0)

  • what an interesting life story. so glad you shared it. i disagree with your last sentence. you are able to write about it because you were loved unconditionally. that’s something that people who seemingly grew up in the best of family situations (trust me) can’t find sometimes. at every major juncture in your life (as far as i know) you got the love and response you needed. feel blessed to tell this story without pain in your heart. you give many others hope.
    .-= ifelicious´s last blog ..Throwback Friday- “Fake Friends” by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts =-.

    • @ifelicous–Thanks for the new perspective, and I might have to agree with you.
      I love smart readers who voice their opinions! Thanks for the new lenses on things!

  • Beautiful: Truly shows that nurture outweighs nature! :) xo
    .-= LostPlum´s last blog ..THE SUNDAY PULL: part the sea =-.

  • Nando, I really loved reading this! It was my first “Sunday morning” read (ahem – at 1:30 p.m. – it’s been a *busy* weekend) and it gave me a good smile to start the day off with. :) I wish I was a New Yorker – I’d totally love to meet up with you and swap brownie recipes! ;)
    .-= Zoe´s last blog ..An ode: Men of color =-.

    • @Zoe-we can so totally trade brownie recipes. And when I finally get over to your side
      of the Mason Dixon line–we are gonna paint the town red!

  • I really LOVE this blog post, Nando. I’ve been quietly lurking through your blog for a few weeks now (Plum directed me to it on a twitter) and you’re just awesome! I really wish I would’ve known you and Plum when I lived in NY. You two crack me up with your blogs!

    This blog post sorta hits close to home. A family member of mine went through something similar to your experience. He’s gay, Honduran and adopted. The only difference is my family has decided to keep his adoption a secret from him. I have my own feelings about the situation, but you know, it’s not my place and I respect his mother’s wishes.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that this was a great post! Thanks. :)
    .-= Lola Nicole´s last blog .._Lola_Nicole_: @jackedupmedic it’s evil that you made your lips your default pic, Ospina! =-.

    • Ah, thanks for the comment. I love new folks feeling comfortable on here
      and just letting it all out. yeah, I had to meet one of my brothers under the pretense that
      I was just a “friend of the family” –he was also given up for adoption in my same town,
      remember I said how my parents had fired my biological mother? Well, she stayed in town
      and had another child. His parents vowed to never tell him about being adopted and I was very
      upset that my parents knew this–but they explained to me that they had to respect his parents wishes.

      Their reasoning was that he would feel less loved if he found out he was adopted and it would cause all sorts of trouble.
      The thing is–after meeting me–because we resembled one another–he kept questioning who I was and
      finally came to my house and asked me. I lied to him and he knew I was lying. Finally he found out and he was crushed.
      And it was because he had been lied to for so long. He came to me afterwards and just wanted me to hug him. My little brother.

  • NANDO! Your candid honesty is just one of so many reasons to love you! This is a great post, and a little window into your soul! Besitos!

    • @JulieBee – you are such a wonderful person and I’m glad to have you in my life.
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a beautiful comment. Besitos right back at’cha!

  • Nando – wonderful post and thank you for being so open with your life and your story. It’s an amazing story, and you know I have three adopted siblings so I know of what I speak. As much as the story is amazing, I have to agree with ifelicious 100% on why you are so awesome and able to be so open. Thank you for being you and being out here.

  • Hey, Nando (I won’t give up your nickname), I really enjoyed this last story….Gay, Mexican and Adopted? As you know I was there during some of this time and I can attest that you tell it like it is. No made up stuff. You keep me entertained and I look forward to reading your stories.

    • @Deyda–folks are gonna get a kick out of your comment. For those of you reading,
      Deyday was my sister’s BFF and she was at our house almost as much as we were.
      She saw our interactions and was a part of them–I think she’s in more family photos than me!

      You know Deday, I spoke to Gogi (that’s my sister, guy) yesterday and she told me how
      rumors were floating around Odessa on how I dislike my dad. And I was like, what? Where did this
      come from? And she said it was a few cousins and aunts–and she said how she knew it wasn’t true
      so she was just handling it they was she always handles thing–you know, the Gogi way.

      And that’s why it was so great to get your comment, because you were there. You saw my
      parents and how they treated us–like their kids…we were never given special treatment,
      we were just Mexican kids growing up on the side south of Odessa!

      I miss those days and I miss you! Thanks for stopping by and you make me so happy
      when you read the blog–and girl, yes, thanks for keeping the NICK NAME secret! hehehe!

  • Well I’m grateful for your wonderful parents adopting you or I would’ve never met you. :) xoxo
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..VS Beauty Soft Focus Liquid Foundation SPF 20 =-.

  • Such a fascinating life story. Your parents sound like pretty amazing people, and that couldn’t help but rub off on you. :) Thanks for sharing this side of you.
    .-= SoloAt30´s last blog ..When It’s Over- Is It Really Over =-.

    • I was talking to a friend about my parents yesterday and realized that my parents are probably the only
      paired up Mexican’s that couldn’t breed, so they adopted! Imagine, Mexican’s who couldn’t reproduce!
      That deserves a movie and an award.

  • It IS a fascinating story, Nando. To you, who lived it, it is your life. It is what you have always known and doesn’t seem strange to you. To others who lived their lives in different circumstances, this is an amazing story.

    I choked up at the part where she hoped you wouldn’t cry at the border post!

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