Pride Month: We are still here
Even if they turn a blind eye; even if they forbid our flag in the embassy; even if they still want to "convert" us, we're still here.
I often say that I'm all the minorities in a single passport: Latina, Arab, woman, and gay.
People usually laugh at first, but then they realize the weight of that assertion.
Many years ago, I had to assume - like I did with my patchy eyes or my stammering - that I was attracted to women.
The issue has never been simple, neither for the millions of people who identify with the acronym LGBTQ+ nor for me.
We have to frequently rethink life twice, once for ourselves and once for others. We have to watch our backs twice, once for being a woman, another for being a lesbian, and we have the automatic impulse to apologize every time.
And yet, we're still here.
We are much more than our choice of sexual object; we are professionals, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters; we have the same faults - few can even imagine the level of homophobia, misogyny or body-shaming that exists within the LGBTQ+ community - and at the end of the day we want the same thing: to be free to choose our way of being happy.
So this June, if you run into a multicolored IKEA bag or if you see your city's balconies full of color, remember that there are still people who feel panic when kissing their partner in their own garden.
People who have to do a profound research before deciding where to go on vacation, people who have no right to serve their country in the army, people who escape death sentences, people who, despite all this, are still here, standing, and irrevocably proud.