Being Vulnerable, Being Open: Lola Jessika’s Family Story

Lola Jessika shares how her identities as a bisexual, Haitian-American mom shaped her family formation journey.

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Lola: I knew from a very young age that I was attracted to girls as well as guys, but when it came to being open with my identity and my sexuality, that was something that was a lot more difficult for me even though I knew deep inside who I was. Growing up in a Haitian family and having the influences that I did, it was very difficult for me to openly be myself. Then I met somebody. Once I felt that I knew that I could never really go back to saying that I was anything less than bisexual. It was just admitting to myself that this is something that is within you. I ended up meeting what ended up being my husband, Eric. We got married and I just loved the role of motherhood. It was confusing because I knew that even though I was interested in women, I had this very comfortable role. You feel like you have to play the part, and the part in our society is a man, a woman, and their children.

Lola: I think we were just better off as friends and when we realized that, things fell into place. I felt so good knowing that I can raise my children in a household where they can be as free and open as they want, and they know that mommy likes boys and girls, and that’s okay and it’s whatever your heart tells you. When you’re a parent, it’s the moment you decide to have your heart just walk outside of your body and just be anywhere. That vulnerability, that’s what I live for. When I came into America, I thought I was coming to a country that was open to anybody. That’s the country I want for them. That’s the future I want for them.

Lola: I don’t want them to feel like their mother comes from a shit hole country or some place that people don’t respect. I don’t want to have to drive miles to go to a show or go to a restaurant where I feel comfortable with my whole family. They know what no matter what they hear or see in the media, they’re loved by their mom, their family, and society doesn’t matter. I was doing a lot research when I first moved to LA because I was like, “There has to be something. Somebody out there that wants to help support an existing family.” That’s when I found the Family Equality Council and I saw everything they were doing and just the fact that they exist, I think is great, because it’s like saying, you have a voice. You have a family, a community that can help you but that can also represent you and speak for you.

Lola: There was an opportunity on Uber. They just really liked my story and how I explained my stuff and wanted to include me in their Uber gay pride commercial they were having. I just knew that it was almost the universe’s way of saying, “All right no more keeping quiet. Just be out there.” It pushed me. Just that last final way to just really shed it all and be as vulnerable and open as possible. When I was able to pay it forward with the funds, the first company I thought of was the Family Equality Council because I knew that they would take those resources. They would take those funds and you guys would put it exactly where it needs to go, and it would be shared and it would be valued. Family is that feeling when you close your eyes at night and you exhale. It’s that feeling of comfort and knowing, “No matter what, somebody has my back and I’m supported and loved.”

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