Coming out to your parents as LGBTQ is a deeply personal experience. And when you're the child of an immigrant, there can be layers of cultural complexity that families have to navigate. Some first-generation parents are accepting, while others don't understand and make it difficult for their queer children to just be themselves.
As part of our Born And Raised series, these second-generation Canadians share what it was like for them to come out to their loved ones. Watch the video to learn about their experiences, and how it's changed their relationships with their families.
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Jasmeet Singh might challenge you to a mom-off. You don't want that.
Growing up in a Filipino/Indian household, I was always told there were only two options when it came to moving out - either buy your own place, or get married and buy a house with your partner. Unfortunately, both scenarios meant I'd be staying put for a while.
Over the years, my parents' suitcases have revealed gifts of dried squid and wasabi peas, ginger tea and hot sauce, leftover hotel toiletries and Korean face masks. It's kind of bewildering. Do they not realize we are more than capable of buying our own produce and toiletries? That we are gainfully employed and functioning adults?
To be honest, it's a mix of all kinds of emotions.
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This leads to confusion, exclusion and sometimes, not feeling attractive.
When I was ten years old, my babysitter offered to give my friend Jimmy a ride home. As I sat in the back beside my friend, he turned to me and said, "Michelle, can you close your eyes for a second? They're different! You don't have a crease in your eye. I've never noticed this before. They are so cool!" This was my first introduction to the concept of having double eyelids.
Any child, regardless of their gender can rise to the occasion to fulfill any dream and aspiration their parents may have; they can be your legacy, your shoulder and your support system. That includes daughters. While we can't erase how our parents were brought up, we should not give them a free pass for any bigotry, biases and prejudices they may hold.
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Five simple words some kids — and parents — don't hear often enough.
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This Canada Day we are reminded that our country is a nation of immigrants, many of whom took risks similar to yours to create a better life for themselves and their children. And, like you, they came to the right place. I am proud to be Canadian. I am proud to be Polish. And I am proud to live in a country where those two things are actually one and the same.
The yearning desire I had to visit could not be explained. But stepping foot onto West African soil started to make things clearer for me. Upon arriving, I was instantly overcome with the feeling that I was home. I had last visited Ghana as a child many years ago, but the people, the culture, the way of life, even the very smell, brought up feelings of nostalgia.
Despite all their blessings over the last 30 years in Canada, my parents still live a frugal lifestyle etched in the shadows of the carnage of their war-torn past. I know the value of what I have, because of the price THEY had to pay. What happens to children of successful first and second generation Tamil professionals, who no longer need to say "We just don't have money for that"?
During a brief vacation away with my Greek immigrant parents in sunny Florida, I had the serenity to engage them in several wonderful lengthy chats about their past (always a favourite topic of mine) and to quietly observe them. These are the additional gems that I have gained from my parents' experiences.