In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
From the moment that Fabiola locked eyes with Eve I knew something queer was afoot on Never Have I Ever. The new Netflix coming of age story hooked me long before these two caught each other’s gaze. Never Have I Ever has a stellar cast, amazing writing, and the kind of representation we all need in our lives. But I was locked in, never to leave again, when I realized that Fabiola was queer like me.
That’s not to say that I didn’t value Fabiola before she came out as gay. No, what I mean is that I saw myself in the young woman on my screen. I connected with her because I’ve been on a queer journey myself and representation is everything to me in this day and age. So, I bonded with Fabiola and have been waiting for her to realize who she truly is for episodes.
The moment, where that realization occured, came quite unexpectedly but also quite beautifully.
Alone in a room at school with a robot in front of her that only lives and moves because of the commands that Fabiola gives it. And like any other teen she was messing about with it, testing it and slowly building up on the things she wanted it to say through it. Then the moment came when she commanded the robot to say those magical words.
Simple, to the point, and for some reason those words broke me.
Fabiola doesn’t have the strength to tell anyone, not her friends, not her mom, about who she really is inside. She’s not ready to declare to the world that she is something other than the perfect, boy loving, high schooler her mother and friends think her to be. And it’s not because she lacks strength. She has that. It’s because coming out is scary.
It’s especially anxiety inducing when you have a group of friends obsessed with boys and getting it on with said teen boys. Top that off with a mom that ACTUALLY squealed at the thought of Fabiola having a boyfriend or being girly and you’ve got a recipe for self suppression of who Fabiola truly is. And I don’t blame her one bit.
I would do the same thing. I would be the same way.
But it took ovaries to do what she did in that room with that robot.
For the first time in her life she was honest with herself. She took the words that had been ruminating in her head and made them a reality. Sure, she didn’t speak them, but something that she controlled put the words out there in the world. And the matter of the fact is, she’s not alone in this feeling.
Fabiola might’ve physically been alone in that room, but we were all there with her. Every queer kid who didn’t know how to come out to their parents, is with Fabiola in that room. Every queer teen feeling the first fluttering feelings of something different for that girl or boy in our lives, is with Fabiola in that room. Every queer adult, having flashbacks of their confused years, is with Fabiola in that room.
I was in that room with Fabiola. Holding her hand, cheering her on, and so damn proud of her because of the two words that she made that robot utter because she’s not ready to do it herself. It takes a lot of strength admitting who you are, and Fabiola is on the right track. And little by little, moment by moment, she’ll find the strength within her to speak her truth and not be so afraid of being queer, being associated with anyone queer, or letting her loved ones know who she truly is.
I can’t wait.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)
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