Parents of Latina Former San Antonio City Councilwoman Respond to Intolerance

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

A storm of controversy has settled over San Antonio, Texas, concerning the expansion of the City’s anti-discrimination ordinance. The expansion proposes the inclusion of LGBT persons under the ordinance’s protective umbrella.

In the midst of a loud and contentious debate one City Councilwoman, Elisa Chan, was surreptitiously recorded by a staff member during a City Hall meeting. In the recording Chan is heard to make disparaging remarks against homosexuals, at one point calling homosexuality “disgusting” and saying that homosexuals should not be permitted to adopt children.

In the wake of the recording’s revelation a former City Councilwoman, Leticia Ozuna, has called for Chans resignation.

Ozuna’s spouse of 25 years is transgender. You can imagine how the story has expanded to call the attention of national advocacy organizations. But there’s one small group that voiced it’s backing in an impassioned letter – Ozuna’s parents. I read the letter and felt it needed wide distribution; it may or may not be published in the local newspaper. The letter talks of discrimination in the context of Ozuna’s life, and brings a level of spirituality that is seldom heard in these matters.

It’s a worthy read:

August 25, 2013

The childhood experiences and the lessons my daughter Leticia Ozuna, former District 3 Councilwoman, learned from us has helped her cope with life.  Several months before she was born my husband and I bought and moved into what was then a predominately Anglo neighborhood in the Jefferson area. As the years went by she became friends with a little Anglo girl who lived across the street. One day at about the age of 5, Lettie came running into the kitchen.  Crying and so broken hearted, she demanded an affirmation and yelled at me.  “Right mom, right, my daddy is not Mexican?”  I asked her why she was asking that.  She told me that Andrea had told her she could not play with her anymore because her daddy said that “My daddy is Mexican.”  My husband and I explained to her that racist, uninformed people say that because of their insecurity. We told her that that was Andrea’s loss not hers.  Lettie never forgot that lesson.

 Another opportunity to learn how to respond to anger and hurt came when she was 12 years old.  One day when she was riding her bike crossing the intersection of Sunshine and St. Cloud, she was struck by an old man who left her there in the middle of the street, not caring whether she was dead or alive.  It was a hit and run. She wasn’t seriously hurt but she was hospitalized and her bike was totaled.   Can you imagine the anger that I felt?  Several days later the police came to our home to report that the man had been found and he gave us our options on how to deal with the situation.  I did not want to sue him or have him incarcerated.  I just wanted the hospital bills paid, the bike replaced and an apology.  We never got an apology.   Lettie however, wanted his driver license taken away so that he would not hurt anyone else.

 Now fast forward to 2013 and look around.  We still have those “Andreas” who were raised by racist, bigoted parents with superiority and elitist attitudes.  We still have people who put money first instead of the welfare of the people. Lettie’s request that the license of the man who struck her be taken away equates to her request that those people placed in decision making positions not make policies that are hurtful to persons like her.

 There are some people who believe that God does not bless LGBT people.  We have taught our children that God is love and God has no gender.  We taught them to respect  the worth and dignity of  every human being and that God’s love is infinite.  Councilwoman Chan said she was disgusted by LGBT people.  She should be more disgusted by the hate and devastation that prejudice causes.  Statements such as those she has made continue to foster the believe that to be different is not O.K.  My granddaughter Nina, Lettie’s daughter, quoted Pope Francis reference to Gays, “ Who am I to judge?”  She asked, “Why are all those people judging my family”.

 Lettie and her spouse entered into a covenant with God 25 years ago.   They promised to love, honor and respect each other in sickness and in health.  Her spouse’s gender changed, but their love for each other only grew stronger.  They are both very loving, good, responsible parents.

 We raised and taught our four children to love unconditionally.  We taught them by example.  We love our daughter unconditionally and are very proud of her.

                                                                Respectfully Yours,

                                                               Theodore and Sylvia Ozuna


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