Public Recognition Of Private Courage
by Belinda Dronkers-Laureta on May 11th, 2016

Keeping Families Together

The Asian And Pacific Islander Family Pride Blog

June 14, 2013

Public Recognition Of Private Courage


Tomorrow is our annual Presentation Banquet. Except for those last minute issues that always crop up, all the planning is done, booklets printed, and venue and food arranged. We thought we’d share with you testimonies from the four LGBT persons who are honoring their families.

Aditya Adiredja honors his mother and step-father, Hany and Tim Shindelus.

My mother challenged my step-father Tim’s initial discomfort with LGBT persons by focusing him on the love, instead of the genders of those who love. She succeeded, now they both are very interested in hearing about my dating life. They also support my volunteer work. Tim even allowed me to record our conversation about gay marriage for Breakthrough Conversations, a grassroots movement for equality. My mom came to API Family Pride Presentation Banquet last year and was so intrigued by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence!

My parents’ unconditional love and support are instrumental in my continued development as a gay man.

Jethro Patalinghug honors his parents Virginia and Nestor.

My parents, Nestor and Virginia Patalinghug, taught me that it isn’t difficult to accept people and think of them as equal human beings. My sexuality was not an issue for them but something they automatically knew how to handle. I never had to come out of the closet; it was a conversation they themselves initiated.

Most importantly, I honor my parents for teaching me how to become a better human being and how to navigate with pride and honor in this sometimes harsh and difficult world. My mother ensured my deep feeling for valuing equal rights. She is the greatest influence and inspiration for my activism and advocacy for LGBT Rights.

Nicole Salde honors her mother Eva.

She has always been a loving mother, supporter, companion, and number-one fan. When I came out to her 7 years ago, she was initially in shock. She didn’t know how to accept or support me. She sought advice from friends, co-workers, and family. Even though she had never talked about homosexuality, she initiated conversation when I was afraid. She helped me come out to my father and brothers. She even opened her home to me and my partner, Kira. She supports my individuality, instead of judging me for being different. My mom has taught me the meaning of unconditional love. I am truly blessed.

Lily Wong honors her whole family for their support.

To love is to release attachments and to give each other freedom to be. Coming out to my family took getting over my fears of rejection and alienation. I honor my immediate family and aunt because, in their own unique ways they have shown me that knowing I am queer doesn’t change the fact that they care for my well-being and desire for me to have the best quality of life.

Most importantly, they are learning to be at peace with my whole being and understand, support, and respect my relationship with my partner.

We are so proud of these API LGBTs and their families and the fifty that were honored in past banquets. They make API Family Pride’s work easier by example and by showing that when your child comes out, it is not the end of the world.

Belinda and John Dronkers-Laureta are board members of Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride


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