Like a lot of coming out stories, Emily Estefan’s is emotional. And during the latest episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans, Emily and her mother Gloria Estefan rehash what happened including inner turmoil, hurtful comments and more.
Emily first attempted to tell her parents by posing her sexuality as a question. “We were in the car and you like leaned over very excitedly and asked your dad and I, ‘Guys, do you think that I might be gay?’” Gloria remembered.
“You said, ‘Only you can know that,’” Emily responded. “But when I asked you that question, it was like testing the waters because I was afraid. I was having conversations in my head trying to figure out … who am I? What is this? Where do I fit? I was learning that I preferred women.”
Emily went on to reveal the struggles she had with her sexuality and admitted that she dated both men and women to figure things out after feeling like “something was wrong with me.” But after meeting her partner, Gemeny Hernandez, she felt like it was time for her to come out publicly, even though it made her “really nervous” to do so.
She was especially trepidatious because of a comment Gloria made. “I was like, ‘Hey, I’m in love with this girl.’ The first thing you said was, ‘If you tell your grandma and she dies, the blood is on your hands.’ I just wasn’t ready for that because I understand that grandma was old, but I already made it feel like, whatever it is, hide it, it’s not OK. So that’s where my hurt started. I’m never going to forget that,” Emily emotionally recalled.
Gloria tried to clarify her remark saying Emily did not remember it correctly because it had been such an emotional time. “I was trying to protect both my ailing mother from any shock that would affect her health and Emily from anything that could harm their relationship,” Gloria said, also confessing that she didn’t fully know how much the comment had impacted Emily emotionally. “I know it was coming from love, from protection and she was elderly,” Emily said. “But again, what about me?”
Emily also said that even when her music career had taken off, she had suicidal thoughts because of her strained relationship with Gloria. “The things I was facing in the moment were so crippling that I couldn’t see anything but the hurt,” she admitted.
“For any parent, we love unconditionally and what we were trying to do was to protect you and ended up hurting you, which kills me. And I hate that that happened,” Gloria said.
Both women noted that they have since forgiven each other following the incident and have continued to go to therapy.
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