Queer Goggles

Intersecting Identities

April 20, 2019 Brian Poth, Nick Vargas, Jared Rubio Season 1 Episode 3
Queer Goggles
Intersecting Identities
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Queer Goggles
Intersecting Identities
Apr 20, 2019 Season 1 Episode 3
Brian Poth, Nick Vargas, Jared Rubio

Jared Rubio is an out, gay, biracial, young man with a lesbian mom. Hear all about his coming out story, his experience in Leadership Academy, and what inspires him to be a leader in his small community in Central California.

Support the show (http://paypal.me/thesourcelgbt)

Show Notes Transcript

Jared Rubio is an out, gay, biracial, young man with a lesbian mom. Hear all about his coming out story, his experience in Leadership Academy, and what inspires him to be a leader in his small community in Central California.

Support the show (http://paypal.me/thesourcelgbt)

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to queer goggles. This is Nick Vargas with the source LGBT plus center. And today we are talking to Jared Rubio about his experience in the youth leadership academy and also what it was like to grow up gay black and with the lesbian mom here in the central valley.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 1:

hi Jared. Thank you for being here this morning. Of course. Thank you for having me today. I want to talk to you a little bit about your experience in the youth leadership academy. Uh, your experience growing up here in the central valley, which is a very unique, by the way, and you know, so with that, please tell the audience a little bit about yourself, your name, pronouns , uh , whatever you want to share for the moment.

Speaker 3:

My name is Jared Rubio . My pronouns are, he, him has , and I just turned 21 recently. Yeah , last month. Yeah . Yeah. Congratulations. They say pull . Yes.

Speaker 1:

And so tell me, how do you identify?

Speaker 3:

Um, I identify as a gay man. Yeah. Gay System

Speaker 1:

and man and for the audience because we , uh , they can't see you describe your background, your ethnic background.

Speaker 3:

I consider myself biracial. I'm , I'm Afro Latino, so I'm black and Mexican. My mom is Mexican. I grew up in a Mexican household. And, but when people see me, it's like I present as black.

Speaker 1:

So can you tell us a little bit about what it was like to grow up with these different identities? So, and, and, and what ages did you become aware of how you were different than, than other kids? So like for, for me, I, you know, identifying as Mexican was one thing and later experiencing my gay self was a different, but how , what would that experience like for you

Speaker 3:

growing up? Um, I definitely felt the pressure of being a biracial in that I could be too black for Mexicans. I grew up in a Mexican household. Um, I can be too black , uh , for the Mexican community and two Mexican for the black community. So it was very, like I did have to find my place. Um, and then plus on top of that I was sprinkled with gay. So , um, there's definitely like a little bit of a journey that I had to go in to myself and to be secure growing up. I remember , uh, I was always like a smart kid. That guy was always in a extracurricular activities , um, honors programs for school and I re I recognize really fast that I was one of the only black people in these classes. Um, but I didn't let it like , uh, put me or I didn't doubt myself. I felt like this is where I needed to be. I'm on the right path and I was always like taught by my family and that like you should pursue the best for yourself. And so that's definitely what I wanted to do . Great.

Speaker 1:

Oh , that's wonderful. And so speaking of your family, so you, you have an interesting background. So your , your mom's Mexican, yeah. And your father's black and your mom also has something else, right? Entity.

Speaker 3:

Yes, definitely. Yeah. My mom , um, she is a lesbian. She actually came out I think a year or two before I did. So that was an interesting thing to go through.

Speaker 1:

Tell , tell us about that. How did that conversation go or with that day like ,

Speaker 3:

um, so my mom was with my stepdad and they had, they had separated and , uh, I very much, I, I believe like in the early parts of my freshman to sophomore year of high school , um, I saw her going out more. I saw her , um, um, she was just like living her life, being a single woman. Um, and it wasn't until like if she would bring a woman home like here and there that , um, we noticed that that's, we notice that something's different, you know, and later on she did come out to my family and it was something that was a relief for me being in the closet at the time because I was like, this is going to be so much easier for me now. Like, okay. Um, but also like, it was good to have that because , um, to have like someone who understands like what I was going through, what I was feeling. So I thought that was very comforting. Um, my uncle, her older, her younger brother, my mom's the oldest , um , in her family , uh, he's gay. So he's actually the one who led the path first. He took everything. He was definitely , um, yeah, he was definitely set the pace for everyone. Um, so I think I like commend him a lot for taking all of that, what it is to come out, especially when he did at a young age. Um, so I think it was easier for my mom and then easiest for me. Huh .

Speaker 1:

That's great. And that's how it usually works. And families in my family, my younger cousin came out and then I came out and then now half my family's gay. Yeah , no, not really, but that's great for those trailblazers in the families. So now how old are you? I'm 21. Okay. And Yeah . Your education wise, what are you doing? What are your plans?

Speaker 3:

Okay, so , uh, I go to cos right now , um, I'm, yeah, like I said, I'm 21. Um, I'm about to graduate in next month. Uh, I got into Long Beach, that's where I want to go to school. Congratulations. Thank you much. I'm a communications major and I want to um, uh , go into entertainment. So I want to do something like around with music. So

Speaker 1:

earlier you mentioned that you've noticed that in your honors classes and other classes, you were the only black kid, biracial kid. Has that been the same at higher education at Cos? I would say

Speaker 3:

yes and no. Like I definitely did see a lot more diversity at cos I was on the cos track team. So that's where I was definitely exposed to more , um, uh, to more mixed or black people like myself. Um, which I did kind of not go through like an identity crisis of not knowing who I was, but not knowing it's different side of me. It's like I definitely knew the Latino part of me really well cause I grew up in the culture. Um, but it wasn't until like I was surrounded by a lot more , um, black people, a lot of my teammates , um , coming from actually like places like Nigeria and stuff that really opened my eyes to like, I needed to educate myself more on this type of culture. So , um, it was definitely eyeopening bet. I did my homework and I gained friends, which I thought was really good. It did teach a lot. It did teach me a lot of a part of myself that I wanted to go further into.

Speaker 1:

Now how does your gay I

Speaker 3:

intersect with those. Yes. Um, and that's very interesting, especially growing up in the valley because there is , uh , is there is a , an okay gay population here. Um, but being gay here in the valley, it's been good to me actually. Um, which I'm very blessed to say. When I came out , um, I actually came out , uh, the day after the a burger fell versus Hodges, a supreme court ruling of same sex marriage to be legalized. And , um, I came out the next day on Twitter. We happened to get married with that . No, I just, I actually, Eh , uh, it gave me the extra like courage that I needed. Um, I think to give me that push that I needed to finally come out. I felt very like patriotic and happy to be a gay man at that time. So, yeah, I , I wrote a little paragraph. Um, I came out on Twitter. Um, I got so much love from friends, from family, from people, from different schools, from my teammates, from football players, from water polo players. Um, it was just a very loving time and not that it's a time that I was very grateful for. Um, and my mom the next day actually, she told me if I wanted to go to San Francisco pride too to go with her and her friends. And I was like, yes, like of like I would love to go and this is before I had to come out to her so much . I was just like, obviously like she knows that I was going to tell her on the way up there. We're driving up to Fresno to meet her friends. Uh, and it was pretty funny. I was like deejaying my coming out, like setting the mood , um, picking the right song. I'm very theatrical that way. Uh , I was, I , when it came to that moment though, I was like looking out the windows stalling. Um, and I would look to her and she'd be like, what? Like, what are you wet? And I'd just be like, nothing, nothing, nothing like, and finally I gained the courage and I was like, I came out to my friends, I came out on Twitter yesterday and she was like, no, you didn't. And then , uh, me having to like , uh, justify myself, it took all my inhibitions away and I was like, yes, I did look. And like she read it like while she was driving, don't do that. Um, but she read it while she was driving and , uh, she was like, aw . And she was like, and she turned to me and she's like, you know, I always known, right? Like, and I was just like, of course like a mother knows. But , um, yeah. And we went to pride together, which was really special, was my first pride. So , um, yeah, I really loved that experience. So you came out there is the marriage decision and you go to gay pride with your lesbian mom, all that sort of stuff. It was very eventful. That's a once in a lifetime experience. That's great. What does it like to be a gay guy here? A young gay guy, biracial, living in the central valley. How do you meet others? Um, I would say if apart from school, like I know two of my best gay friends , um, I've met them. I think I met them through like the social, like party scene, like going through high school, like going to high school parties. Um, both of them were from different schools actually too . Both of them were from two different schools. One Redwood , one LD. Um, and I don't know actually how we interconnected, it's just like all gays , young gays know each other , um , in the valley. Um, and then we just linked up and I went to Pry , I went to a different pride with them, La Pride. Um, and now they've turned into like my tribe here. So , um, I think that was really, I loved that. Um, but to me, other gay guys, apart from , uh, like using social apps, I felt like Grindr , um, and like Tinder and stuff like that. Um , I've met, I feel like some of them I've met really close , um, friends who I still talk to every day. Um, but it is definitely a lot harder. I , um, especially if we're talking like Romantically , um, I've never been in a relationship and I'm 21 , uh, I've definitely tried here and there, but I feel like , um , here in the valley, like the, the mindset or the pickings are a little rough around the edges sometimes. Um, so , uh, I definitely try not to settle. Um, so yeah, that's been an interesting thing. That's what , uh, I'm looking forward to. I know you and Brian have talked about um , living your big gay life in a big city. Yeah . So that's something that I'm looking forward to in at when I leave off to long beach. Yeah. You are going to be in for quite an experience and I resonate with your comments about the pickings are slim here in the central valley. Even all the old gays know each other. Yes. You know, when everybody is either, you know , taken unavailable , I feel really lucky to have a dean. Yes, it's , but it's a process going through them and it's been a progression. So when I was growing up, it was before the Internet, before, so , uh, the Internet came out, you know, in a big way with think AOL chat rooms when I was in college and I started to meet people that way. And now people , uh, in college, you know, they have apps, they have other ways of meeting people and yeah , the, the apps can be a great way to meet local gay guys, but it can also come with, you know, some drawbacks. W what's your experience been like on that? What have been some stories that stand out good or, or bad? Like I've tried different routes. I've tried. Um, I've tried GSS , uh , at Cos, at my college. Um, and it's just , uh, a different, I would say type of people that I'm looking for. Um, and I would say like using apps like grinder or Tinder , um, that they help you really kind of scope who you want, who like who you, who is similar to you and who has similar tastes and to be friend or something more. Um, so we have a broad audience here at queer goggles. So tell us, tell our audience, who are you looking for? What's your ideal guy? Like my ideal guy, I would say smart. Um, he has to have a good sense of humor. I don't really go by race. I, I w I'm interested in learning everything I do. Like I guess I do tend to like older , um, because I feel as if I'm mature for my pretty mature, for my age. Guys around my age don't seem to have it together as much as , um , I'd like them to. But yeah, so I'd say like about those things. That's great. So speaking maturity

Speaker 1:

for your age, that's one of the things that we noticed when we interviewed you for the Source Youth Leadership Academy is that you had your stuff together. You, you still talk to us. Well, you did well on the interview . I got this far right and you've been , you've been great. We've, we've loved having you , uh , in the program. So how did you find out about the Youth Leadership Academy?

Speaker 3:

Um , I actually , um , my other, my gay friend Josh, he's actually been through the program. I think you guys know him well. Um, he actually put me on to your guys's , um, flyer that , um, to apply and he was , um , I actually even, I actually think maybe I might have reached out to him too, cause I , I saw that he was in a group of this, this leadership academy. I saw his Instagram pictures and that he was going to different places with different types of people , um, in our community. And I was just like, wow, that's really cool. Like how do I do that? You know, cause I'm all about meeting new people and learning about the different identities and I really want to want and to um, seasoned myself and learn more , um , about other , other people under the umbrella. Um, and have you, yes, I definitely have. And that's really one of my motives for applying, I'm actually on my own was I wanted to learn from different people. I wanted to meet and learn how, just walk in other people's shoes and especially because of a lot of the things that are going on with trans, with Trans Rights, with um, lesbian, gay issues. And I definitely wanted to, to , to just be more worldly. And what are some of your favorite memories from the academy? Learning about , uh, the AIDS epidemic. That one was really, even though it was a little somber to watch it , it, it really ignited something I think in all of us watching that night , um, because a lot of us didn't know what these gay men, women had to go through , um, in order to survive. And it was really inspiring to watch them march to watch them educate themselves on legislation because no one else was going to do it. Um, and so me being in the leadership academy, I feel like it really just made me feel like I'm doing the right thing. Being here, I'm, I'm , um , taking the steps to become a leader like them. Um, and so yeah, that's one that was one of my favorite things

Speaker 1:

for me. It's really inspiring to see how a, like the needs crisis can galvanize our community to take action and to use that action to make real benefits for our community. Like that's unfortunate. It's a horrible tragedy that we lost so many men during that time. That experience also made the gay community strong today and taught us how to fight for our rights, how to march in the streets, how to talk to legislatures, how to take care of ourselves and each other. So, speaking of the future and going to Long Beach State, what do you, do you want to major in communications? What an entertainment, what would your ideal job be? What do you want to do five, 10 years out?

Speaker 3:

Uh, I definitely, I see a couple of things. Um, one of my, I guess aspirations is , um, I see myself being, because I love music. I love going to different festivals and see , I love seeing different artists live. It just is very riveting to me. Um, so I see myself going into entertainment, focusing on music, being something of like a venue manager to where I bring in these artists , um, to play. Uh , certain locations or that I'm just like the man behind the scenes, you know, and I actually choreograph these amazing experiences that the ones that I walked into and I looked around and I've immediately like fell in love and it's just a different experience. Like it's literally making an experience, making an a vibe that I've been addicted to. So , um, I've definitely would want to put my hand in that and try, try that out. Um, I've also thought about , um, working for like an app working for like a music app, working for a different type of app , um, social app , um, things like that. But yeah, definitely my first choice would be , um, in music.

Speaker 1:

It's wonderful. You are a bright young guy. We've really enjoyed having you and the youth leadership academy. You are going to be successful. We , we know this and we wish you well, you know, in , in your future and what you're gonna do. You're gonna make us proud and hopefully you'll come and see us here in Visalia, sunlight , of course. And I would just like to think

Speaker 3:

you and Brian , um, for being just staples in our community of , uh, starting everything. Um , honestly I wouldn't be here. We wouldn't be here without youtube .

Speaker 1:

Thank you. I appreciate that. So, Jared, if you had advice for young LGBT kids out there listening right now, what would that be?

Speaker 3:

Um , I would definitely say , uh, do what I did , um, later. I did what I did at 18 when I did. Uh , I think I applied for this , uh , 20 , um, is educate yourself and get involved really in your community. Um, bind LGBT , uh, whether it be in your high school GSA , um, or your college GSA. Just get involved , um, with things and learn about other people. Um, learn about other people in the community. Um, find ways to help because , uh, like I said, I came out when I was 18, so it could have , I could only imagine knowing what I know now at a younger age , um, could have like saved me just a lot more, saved me a lot of confusion, a lot of , um, insecurities, you know. Um, but I feel like learning that now I feel , uh, I feel like I'm grounded. I feel really good about who I am as a person. Um, and I feel very secure in that. And that's a beautiful thing to have and , uh, I'm really happy. So that's great. Those are great words of wisdom from a talented young man, folks. That's all the time we have for today. If you've liked what you've heard on queer goggles, please help us continue to do what we do and have great guests like Jared, by donating@thesourcelgbt.org slash donate.