Jai is one of the sweetest and easiest people to talk to I’ve ever met. Originally from Puerto Rico, she was born in Connecticut but was raised in her hometown for most of her life. At the age of 19, she wanted to be independent, so she decided to move back to the U.S. At first, she lived with some family, but after a year found her own space and started to experience life on her own.
Jai began to figure out her sexuality back in Puerto Rico, around 16 or 17 years old, when she met an old friend who had moved to Ohio and went back to visit. They realized they were actually attracted to each other and ended up dating long distance for a few months. After moving to Boston, Jai became a different person. She could now be whoever she wanted, didn’t have her parents around, so she started to venture out and open up to herself.
Some time later, when she was dating another girl, she came out to her mom over the phone in a very natural, spontaneous conversation, and after a few minutes of silence her mom showed her support. With her father it was a completely different story. He didn’t accept her or validate her relationships. He passed away four years ago, which makes Jai feel sorry for the fact that they didn’t get a chance to get over it.
After being able to break out of the oppression regarding religion, family and a conservative culture that forces a compulsory heterosexuality over everyone, Jai has been able to get closer to her true self. Last year, she decided to make a radical change in the way she presented herself socially, which had been pretty stuck to what people expected to see but didn’t really speak to how she wanted to be. The exterior transformation affected directly how she felt inside and brought her to the most authentic and loyal version of herself.
During this journey, Jai has dated people of different genders and realized she connects with people’s hearts and energy more than anything else. Although she considers herself more of an introverted being, Jai loves people, loves community, loves sharing stories. And she believes it’s important for us, LGBTQIA+ people, to put in perspective that at the end of the day we’re all up for the same purpose, so we should be more inclusive and less judgmental of others.