We are highlighting a previous episode of the ¿Quién Tú Eres? podcast, where we explore the conflict we often face between "professionalism" & being our authentic selves.
Jesse Marmolejo is a proud Queer Mexican-American, who's passionate about social change and a strong advocate for mental health. And in this conversation, Jesse shares about his mental health journey and what has helped him along the way. And he also shares how he went from suppressing himself to living his truth on a personal and professional level.
These are some of the episode highlights:
“Opening up about my sexuality and world views was a long road.” -Jesse Marmolejo
Jesse grew up in a Christian household with parents who were over-protecting of him. And growing up like this, he did not feel he could be open about his thoughts and feelings on certain things, which made him begin to suppress himself. But eventually, he would come into spaces where he would be encouraged to speak up.
One of the spaces was his workplace, where he was fortunate enough to have two managers who empowered him to be open and speak his mind.
Another space was therapy. Through therapy, Jesse voiced many things he had suppressed and began to know himself more. And he learned the tools and coping mechanisms to give himself what he needed to deal with anxiety and depression healthily.
“Some of my friends work in spaces where no one knows that they identify as Queer.” -Jesse Marmolejo
Jesse did not always work in spaces where he was safe and felt comfortable being his authentic self. When he was younger, he worked at an oil and gas station. And in this workspace, he saw that no one was open about who they were and that it was the kind of space where someone like him could get harassed. And this happened at a time in which the fear of being discriminated against was stronger because, not long ago, it was still legal to fire somebody based on sexual orientation.
Nowadays, Jesse is in a workspace where he does not have to worry about harassment or discrimination because he identifies as a Queer. But he understands what a struggle it can be for those who still work in spaces that are not open and welcoming to all people yet.
“If I need to create boundaries with the people I love, then that's what needs to happen.” -Jesse Marmolejo
As Jesse grows older, he finds himself wanting to have a closer relationship with his parents, even though he knows that deep down, they don’t fully accept him. But he has learned that the healthiest way to keep a good relationship with his loved ones is by creating boundaries.
One of the boundaries he has set is that he does need to suppress himself to make others comfortable. He values himself and his own life strongly enough to want to live it in truth. And he knows that if others do not want to come along in his journey to authenticity, he will still respect and love himself to do what is best for him.
Jesse believes that sharing our experiences is how we learn and grow.
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