It was not Paola Paredes intention to come out to her parents, but then she saw a book of lesbian photography and it planted a seed in her head.
Talking to Advocate, she says the book motivated her to capture her own coming-out story because “the idea of capturing it in photographs made it all of a sudden appealing.”
Coming out in any family is not easy, especially for Paredes, because her parents come from a conservative Catholic background.
I am not Catholic despite my upbringing. But I do understand that for other Latinas who are, it is hard because of what religion makes people believe. There is a lot of work to do be done. It is slowly becoming better, but the change starts in each person to build tolerance and to educate people. I think Latin women can get a lot achieved. We are empowering, intelligent, passionate, and charismatic.”
… I looked at them once more and shared my love for them once again. I said the words. ‘There is something I haven’t been able to share with you.’ And after that I just took a deep breath and let out the words. ‘I’m gay.’ After I told them, it was like popping a massive balloon. I had let out such a heavy thing that I had been carrying for so many years, so I couldn’t help but cry and put my head on the table.”
Their instant reaction was to reach out. They put their hands on my head and said ‘we don’t care, we accept you.’ They started crying as well. We all did. It was super overwhelming. After that, we carried on a three-hour conversation. I had a chance to share with them things they hadn’t heard before. We talked about their fears. But overall they were nothing but accepting.”
This is a video she shot during the “making of” her orchestrated dinner-table scene, to prepare for her parents and her sisters to join her during her coming out.