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An Honest Conversation with a Queer, Undocumented Youth

An Honest Conversation with a Queer, Undocumented Youth


Jorge Gutierrez is a young man who wants to have an honest conversation with you.

Jorge, rejected by his father, faced the awful prospect that in coming out as gay he might also be rejected by his mother. Those fears were compounded, in part, because of a second “closet” Jorge also had to deal with.

The closet of being an undocumented youth in the US.

Being undocumented, Jorge says, impacted everything and made applying to college, despite solid grades and a strong resume, extremely difficult. During college Jorge was forced to work two jobs to pay for his tuition, and the stress of this and worrying about his future prospects mounted until he almost gave up.

Fortunately, Jorge’s mother is accepting of her son being gay, and Jorge was able to find support among other undocumented youth where he could discuss those particular issues that he had been struggling with.

It was then that Jorge realized that identifying as queer and being undocumented, the two facets of himself that he had dealt with by compartmentalizing, didn’t need to be kept separate.

Below is a video courtesy of the Honest Conversation project. In it Jorge tells his story, what it’s like to be queer and to be undocumented in the US, and how he and young people like him are working to create change and make life better for youth in similar situations:

You can find out more about Jorge’s story over at the Cuentame blog.

Alternatively, find out more about the Honest Conversation project and watch other videos in this series here.


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Image taken from video under fair use, no infringement intended.

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7:11PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

when he described dancing with the groom - i thought that really was a demonstration of how love has no boundaries and a reminder not to be afraid to show someone you care about them with honest intentions, without judgement on the part of onlookers of what such an act might mean. It is indeed brave but also a very true act - I think at least.

10:53AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

QUEER??? Who uses that word anymore? It is very outdated and over the years (I am older) it gained a very negative connotation. I feel it a very poor choice of adjectives (often used as noun as well) when there are so many more acceptable words now.

10:06AM PST on Mar 2, 2012

Mary L I have heard other young minority groups saying the same thing and I think it is insane. The younger generation did not have to go through being taunted and called these names everyday and they didn't because the older geneation did. We made it better and it's getting better everyday. The young can at least have respect for the older generation, which most of us find the word offensive. People tried to degrade me in my younger life by calling me queer; I will not give them the satisfaction nor degrade myself by using this word now as an older lesbian.

6:48AM PST on Mar 2, 2012

Nice story. I hope he keeps staying strong and courageous. I'm very glad his mother accepted him :)

4:32AM PST on Mar 2, 2012

at least he spoke up

3:59AM PST on Mar 2, 2012

Courageous soul...

12:43AM PST on Mar 2, 2012

Marilyn, I think for the younger LGBTI it may be like slut walking. Taking the word of pain back from those who use it to shame.

10:04PM PST on Mar 1, 2012

a very brave young man.

6:15PM PST on Mar 1, 2012

I agree with Charli S. in that I cannot condone being in this country illegally. Undocumented workers hurt us all. Many people say this is not true. But it is. Illegal Hispanics are hired all the time because they not only work cheap, but have no legal recourse when ripped- off by their employers. I worked with so many. One woman worked through a staffing agency for a 12 hour shift at $7.25 per hour. She paid $7.00 car-pool fare to get to work. The staffing agency paid her $5.00 for that workday, knowing that she could legally do nothing. I am white and the only non-Hispanic hired by this agency. They turned away countless Blacks, stating that they were not taking applications, yet when undocumented workers came in they handed out applications freely. I realize that I have strayed off-course in my comment, but truly I do not even consider being Gay to be an issue. I fully support LGBT Rights.

4:07PM PST on Mar 1, 2012

Wishing you all the best Jorge!

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