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Cleopatra: The only reason Nicole knew I was gay is that I was dating someone, although we were in the process of breaking up.
Nicole: I came home, and the door to her room was open.
Cleopatra: After I failed out, I felt like my parents practically gave up on me.
I heard them whispering, "Oh, she's pretty, she'll find a husband and she'll settle down." I was like, "Hell no." I had to get out of Victoria.
On my mom's side they came from Russia right before the Holocaust, and on my dad's side my grandmother was from Poland, and she came over weeks before Hitler invaded. " Cleopatra: I left Victoria for college — that was your way out.
Nineteen additional states allow same-sex couples to marry, and a majority of Americans now support marriage equality.I think it's because she didn't want that life for me.In her mind, it was like, you're never going to be happy, people hate gay people, so you have to figure out how to be somebody else.My mom is from South Korea, and they met when my father was stationed there. My dad was a doctor, and after my sister was born, he saw there were more opportunities for physicians in the States, so my family moved to San Antonio and I was born there. Nicole: I remember having to write reports for school about someone in my family.When they came back to small-town Texas in the early '70s, there were two reactions: Either my mom was this beautiful exotic creature, or she was related to someone who killed someone in Vietnam. Cleopatra: We are really different in the way we grew up. Cleopatra: My mom valued education so much that she cleaned houses and worked at Denny's to make sure we could go to Catholic school. I studied hard though — I was the kid who chose to come home and read the World Book encyclopedia. I would ask my parents, "Tell me about someone in our family who did something cool," and my parents would be like, "We don't know anything because everyone died in the Holocaust." But Cleo's family descended from Martín de León, the only Hispanic empresario, and one of the founding fathers of Texas.
Then right before I entered the military, I realized had a crush on a woman.