Jorge: Gay, Undocumented & Unapologetic

Being queer makes you feel really lonely some times. I knew I was gay since I was a young kid growing up in Mexico, to Texas, to Chicago.

I came out New Year’s Eve 2004. It was my New Year’s resolution to tell my mom, so as soon as the clock hit mid night I asked her to come outside with me and I told her: Mom, I’m gay.

She was shocked. She cried, she yelled. She said she wanted grandkids. I think she was looking for someone to blame.

That same year, my sophomore year in high school, I was in drivers Ed, coming up with excuses as to why I could take the class, but not the driving component. Coming up with excuses why I wasn’t able to attend prestigious summer college programs like the rest of my friends.

Being undocumented makes you feel really lonely some times.

Coming out as gay has helped me fight the ignorance that comes with telling people you’re undocumented. But while I celebrate being queer my undocumented status holds me back.

With college degree in hand, but nothing to show for it, except daily reminders of otherness. Like showing my matricula as an ID every time that I go to Boystown, and sometimes being questioned about it. Or not being able to drive my mother to the grocery story.

I’m here because I’m at a point where unapologetic about who I am. I accept my identity, empowered by every component.

My name is Jorge, and I’m gay, I’m undocumented, but I’m out. And that makes all the difference.


This is the 4th in a series of posts about coming out as queer and undocumented. Jorge is an IYJL organizer, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and a 2010 winner of the Windy City Time’s LGBT leadership award “30 Under 30”. Jorge’s speech was recorded on June 07th, 2011 as part of United Latino Pride Week, in an event co-organized by IYJL, and the Association of Latino Men for Action. Check out the previous posts: “I want my Queer and Undocumented to be Friends,” “I’m Queer, I’m undocumented, and I’m out”, Today Means Complete Liberation”


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