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What "One Day At A Time" On Netflix Got Right With Coming Out

Because not everyone has the fairytale "coming out" story to family.

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If you’ve been living under a rock or just “too busy” to watch Netflix, stop what you’re doing and add “One Day At A Time” to your queue now!

“One Day At A Time” on Netflix is a modern version of the classic sitcom about a Cuban-American family. Penelope (Justina Machado), the mother, is recently separated from her husband and trying to figure out her new life raising her kids Alex and Elena, while also living with her mother, Lydia (Rita Moreno).

I love a good family-oriented show so I was immediately intrigued. What really drew me in was when Elena was dealing with her sexuality and coming out to her family.

The reason I loved this storyline is because I feel like I never see shows with girls dealing with coming out.

Elena first tells her brother Alex who is supportive and then tells her mom. Her mother admits she feels weird about it and does not really know why. She even goes to a gay bar with a friend to help get use to LGBTQ environments.

What I loved about Penelope admitting that she did feel a little weird about Elena coming out to her is because that’s something you don’t really get in many LGBTQ shows with youth coming out to their parents. It’s always complete rejection or acting like nothing is wrong. It was more realistic because even when parents are supportive, they still have feelings and emotions to work through about understanding who their child really is.

Elena then tells her grandmother, who she knows will not take her coming out well. Her grandmother tells Elena she’s ok with it, but later tells Penelope that she is a Christian woman and is taught that homosexuality is not ok. This was another discussion that was extremely relatable.

The last time I saw a storyline where a LGBTQ youth comes out to their grandmother was Santana Lopez on “Glee” and if you remember this too, you remember her grandmother wasn’t ok with it either (until her girlfriend talked to her and blah blah blah).

The shows season ends with Elena coming out to her father during her quinceañera. Her father thinks she’s confused and going through a phase. As a gay man, I’ve heard the “phase” claim so much growing up, but that phase has not gone away!

What I liked about how the season ended is it didn’t have the dad magically accept her. He ended up leaving her quinceañera. You’d expect her dad to come out of no where and be loving and accepting, but that is not what happens.

I appreciated the writers ending it where her mom, grandmother and brother end up doing the father-daughter dance with her because it shows a more realistic approach to acceptance. Yes, sometimes your parents will be supportive, but other times you’ll have friends and loved ones who won’t.

What I’ve learned growing up is everyone isn’t going to like you, but cherish the ones who are there for you and allow you to be your true, authentic self.

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