Jose Jimenez didn’t have the best environment growing up. He lived in a crackhouse, his mom left him as a baby with her parents (Jose’s grandparents), and on top of all that…he’s gay.
His grandmother was his hero. She loved Jose unconditionally and raised him – she passed away from a stroke when he was only ten years old. Jose’s grandfather was too elderly to take care of a young child so Jose’s paternal grandparents adopted him. Struggling with the loss of his grandmother, Jose fell into a depression…all the while struggling with his sexuality.
“In the Hispanic culture, you can be gay but we don’t talk about it.” Jose suppressed that side of him because he was afraid of the unknown. Until one day in college – he decided to come out to his family.
“I was so anxious and so scared. I was the one that cried and all of them…just welcoming.”
Today, Jose is a therapist at Legacy Counseling Center – where he helps people living with HIV in the LGBTQ community. Jose credits his grandmother’s unconditional love as the driving force in how he interacts with his patients and the people in his life.