Just 9 weeks to go until ClexaCon! For the new 2018 lineup they announced that there would be a panel devoted to One Day At A Time including Isabella Gomez, the actress who plays Elena, and executive producers/co-showrunners Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce. I was delighted to hear that this show would be represented at the convention because of how this show impacted my own life.
In October of last year I shared that I had come out to and had discussed how One Day At A Time was one of the shows that helped me to get up the courage to talk with my family. When Elena begins her coming out journey she first tells her mom and then has to work up to telling her very religious grandmother, Lydia. While we don’t see the discussion between the two of them, we see the end result of Lydia telling Elena that she loves and accepts her. Elena is elated that her grandmother is cool with her coming out, but the next scene is actually one that I greatly appreciated being included. Penelope, Elena’s mom, sits down with Lydia who begins to say she is not okay with Elena being a lesbian, when suddenly she works through her feelings in a matter of minutes and announces that she’s okay with it now. I cannot do justice to this scene just by writing it as it is so perfectly written and performed, but it involves saying God does not make mistakes and the Pope saying to be accepting, which means that it is completely okay that Elena is gay.
The day after my coming out I actually learned my parents had a slightly similar conversation. I was raised Catholic and my parents attend church regularly. After processing my coming out, my mother began to wonder what that would mean for me within the Catholic Church. My mother shared the condensed version of this discussion with me that evening and said that she would understand if I no longer attended our church because of my sexuality as our church is not as accepting as others. We discussed our thoughts on the church and how my father had helped her to work through some of her own worries. I actually mentioned to her how this discussion of sexuality and religion reminded me a great deal of the show One Day At A Time and that I had actually wondered if we would wind up having an additional talk because of our Catholic roots. I do want to say that my family has been very accepting and I was able to have a very positive coming out story.
First season Elena coming to terms with who she is reminded me of my own journey and while I identify as bisexual I saw my younger self in her attempts to determine whether she was attracted to women or not. Once she did realize she was a lesbian and began coming out I saw my own slow journey. Before telling my parents I had previously come out to close friends and to my siblings in a gradual way. Like Elena had to build up to coming out to Lydia, I had to build up to coming out to my parents. As I watched season two I was so happy to see her crushing on a girl and the family rallying around her to try and help her learn how to flirt. The adorably awkward flirting scene between Elena and Syd made me so happy and in their connection I saw my own relationship reflected back. A couple months after coming out my now girlfriend asked me out and we totally had our own awkward cookie moment. Even though I’m 27 and much older than Elena, watching her journey from coming out to being in a relationship has given me a character that I feel a deep connection to. I am so thankful to One Day At A Time for the creation of this character and for the journey they have given her over the course of the two current seasons.
For more information about ClexaCon you can check out their official website.
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