New York Times includes supportive mom of a queer son in animated video series

A Mother’s Promise: You Can Be Yourself, was one of six selected story submissions for New York Time’s Conception series. A digital short, the animation brought to life Laurin Mayeno’s narration of her own journey towards accepting her queer son and raising him alone after his Salvadoran father dies during that country’s Civil War.

An LGBTQ ally, Mayeno is the founder of both Somos Familia and Out Proud Families; two organizations she created to increase acceptance for all queer youth and especially Latinxs. Both aim to nurture safe spaces and resource centers for families of LGBTQ youth as well as the youth themselves. Mayeno has shared part of her story for in her bilingual book, One of a Kind, Like Me/Único, como yo, but this inclusion allows the story to be shared in a new platform, potentially reaching new readers. The message about acceptance is important because according to the Cesar E. Chavez institute, LGBTQ adolescents that either receive rejection or negative reactions when coming out are 8.4 times more likely to commit suicide (when compared to their well-received queer peers). The study also found that queer Latinx males had higher rates of negative reactions when they came out to their families.

By including Mayeno’s story alongside hetero-narrative stories families who often feel isolated or alone had an opportunity to feel that they were part of a general narrative.