At the turn of the century the world broke out into a frenzy over the inevitable Y2K doom that would surely ensue after the clock struck midnight on December 31, 1999. Patricia Velásquez, widely known for being the world’s first Latina supermodel, had an entirely different weight bearing down on her that she wouldn’t publicly share with us until fifteen years later…
As we all awoke in the new year completely unaffected by the global apocalypse that was meant to take effect over the night, Velásquez, who had survived the ‘Millennium Bug’, knew at that moment she needed to liberate her true identity – and she knew that there was no better way to start than by having a talk with her family.
In an interview earlier this month with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, she playfully joked about having an ambulance waiting downstairs as she mustered up the courage to come out to her mother as a lesbian. Although this came across as a light-hearted banter through the interview, it really set the tone of the severity of the words she was hiding behind.
Much to Velásquez’s surprise, a true depiction of unconditional love was what unfolded (…thankfully instead of the heart attack) as she articulated her mother’s response:
“My poor daughter, I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you all these years — all these years trying to tell me something and not being able to do it.”
What a day and age to live in: as of late, the public is becoming so much more accepting and understanding about how complex the human species is. In the past, sexuality was much more confined to very black and white categories. With an influx in celebrities coming out as gay or transgendered, acceptance and diversity are trickling down and becoming much more mainstream.
Velásquez advised us that she wanted to “lead by example”, and this is why celebrities are making such a big impact in the LGBT rights scene these days, because they have a voice that can be heard. Becoming a mother to her daughter Maya encouraged Velásquez even more.
In the interview with Ramos, she also discussed why it took her so long to liberate her true self. Of the process, she says, “it’s difficult because I was, they say, a supermodel who became a symbol of femininity [by] doing all [of] the magazines… so I was that symbol. And telling the truth meant [asking myself] ‘well, what’s going to happen?’ But it’s funny, the moment I told the truth, it’s almost like I became comfortable with my femininity.”
Such a hauntingly powerful statement. Because femininity and beauty have typically coincided with each other in the past, it’s refreshing to say that finally these two ideals no longer have to come in an exclusive pair.
Earlier this year the supermodel released her book, Straight Walk: A Supermodel’s Journey to Finding Her Truth. The beautiful memoir is described by Velásquez as an inspirational story to live your truth.
As the world’s first openly lesbian Latina supermodel, a mum, an activist, an actress, and now an author, we wonder if there’s anything she can’t do. Big Fashion Industry Broadcast love!