Identity Perspectives: Laura Valladolid


Identity Formation Interview


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Laura Valladolid

Summary of Interview

In this assignment, I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to Laura Alicia Valladolid. Laura is a 74-year-old cis gendered women who was born and raised here in El Paso. In order to get a better idea of the kind of person I was interviewing, I asked Laura about herself, and I learned that she was a public-school teacher for most of her life, she is an only child, and she has no children. Laura was very sweet and after letting her read the questions in preparation, she was very excited for this interview. I learned that for most of her life she knew she was a straight cisgendered woman and that she never really questioned or had the need to question her identity. I also learned that for most of her life, Gender, Sexuality, and Identity were topics that were never talked about. When I asked about knowing anyone that identified as anything but straight, and her reply was that when she asked her mother about people, she had seen that didn’t act like the typical male/female her mother's reply would be that “they are of the other kind” and she didn’t understand that till she was much older. I was lucky enough that Laura shared a story of when she was younger. Laura had a friend in her adolescence that she said they were the best of friends; they would hang out every chance they got and even went to prom together because they didn’t have anyone to go with. Laura then explained that after a while of not being in contact in her adult life with him, she discovered that he had eventually passed away. It was at his funeral that she discovered that he was a gay manand had been married for a couple of years to his husband. She discussed that it made her feel sad and almost betrayed that although this was her best friend, that he never felt comfortable telling her and that this experience had opened her eyes to how she was treating those around her. For her, it was important that her nieces and nephews felt comfortable around her and wanted to make sure they knew she loved them no matter how they identified. It also helped her when she was teaching and having compassion for those who may not have had a safe space at home. Laura wanted to tell everyone that we just need to be a bit kinder to each other and accept each other no matter what. It was such a pleasure to get to sit and talk with Laura and understand the difference between the world she grew up in versus the world now.

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