I'm From Driftwood is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit archive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer stories. New stories are posted every week.
Imagine you have a husband, two infant girls, a house, and a marriage. Then your husband abandons you because he's gay. That's what happened to Rosa Manriquez:
One morning he came home, and he told me, "I can't do this anymore," and he abandoned the family. And I found things like pictures and love letters and the like. And at that point, for me, the face of "gay" was Enrique. And I really hated him. And it followed that I hated anyone who was gay. ... And I honestly agreed that anyone who was gay should go to hell. I was upset because my heart had been broken, I was abandoned with two little daughters, two infants. I had debt just all the way through the roof.
Rosa's hatred of the gay community would not last. She took it upon herself to pray, seek advice, and educate herself about the LGBTQ community and came to an understanding:
What I understood after a while was that Enrique was not a demon or an angel. He wasn't a saint. He was not a sinner. He was just a plain old human being. And that was really important, because I knew that for the rest of my life, I was going to be looking at the faces of those two little girls, and I was going to see Enrique.
Rosa's love for her children didn't just improve her own life; it helped her entire family. Both of Rosa's daughters are lesbians, and she describes one of their coming-out experiences, and her reaction, in the video.
For more stories, visit I'm From Driftwood, the LGBTQ Story Archive.