• Andrea Mendez

Proud

There’s a heaviness in taking up space when you’ve lived a concave life

In sacrificing your family to live with truth

I avoided it for years and found mental safety in isolation

Now I wear my rainbow proud

I didn’t know I was queer till I was in my twenties

I didn’t even think about it

She was just a girl in my class

A passing thought

Until this one time she was sitting right in front of me

Giving me this look

Looking like she loved me

In a way it was all uphill from there: I was listening to myself, finally

And the message was simple and pure and clear like water

In another way it was like being lost in a big fucking rainstorm: I was just trying to find shelter

To catch my breath, to think

more of love, and less of shame

I told my mother who told me not to tell my father

I told my father who ignored it

He’s always giving me the silent treatment

When I think of family I think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Growing up in my family I was physically disciplined

Space invaded

Emotionally manipulated

Pushed out of the house (Mum)

Kept in the house (Dad)

Either way, my needs were ignored so I never learnt to hold onto the things that were important to me

I’m great at letting go

But now i’ve started collecting things to keep near

I decorate my cave now

it has a little rainbow flag on it, it's a start

So if you’d like to be part of my family

(Shout out to all my fellow beautiful queer latinx anxious traumatized lonely sad happy amigos)

You know where you can find me.


Andrea Mendez is a Latinx actor and award winning writer. She's worked with the Emerging Writers Festival and has been featured in Overland and the Australian Multilingual Writers Project.


You can find her work @anmdez

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