Family relationships can be tricky, especially when parents and kids don’t see eye-to-eye. In MTV’s brand-new series “Truce,” we see “Catfish”’s Nev Schulman and singer Angel Haze help Briyonza, a young woman of color who feels rejected by her family for being bisexual.
Briyonza first knew she was bisexual in elementary school and came out to her family in high school. Her mother Chiquina is deeply religious, and thinks Briyonza’s sexuality is just a phase. In the past this has caused major riffs, to the point of near-violence. Now Briyonza has a girlfriend named Advani and she wants to make some headway with her family.
What is bisexuality? Check out the Bisexual Research Center for info.
Nev and Angel are here to be the negotiators, and the situation really hits home for Angel. She identifies as pansexual, meaning she could fall in love with a person regardless of their sex or gender identity. Angel’s mother told her that she was going to get AIDS and go to hell because of her sexuality, and they haven’t spoken in over five years.
When Angel speaks to Briyonza’s mom, she sees some similarities to her own situation.
Chiquina believes some inaccurate things about gay people. She thinks people cannot be born gay, and men who are gay must have been molested as boys. Her daughter’s sexuality confuses and disgusts her, and she keeps saying she didn’t raise her daughter to be like this. But, as scientists and LGBT activists have been saying for years, your sexuality is not a choice or a sign you weren’t raised well.
And while Chiquina uses her personal religious beliefs to back up what she’s saying, the fact is a lot of people who consider themselves religious support and accept LGBT people. According to a study published last fall by the Pew Research Center, “[A]mong Catholics and white mainline Protestants, roughly six-in-ten now express support for same-sex marriage. Support for same-sex marriage also has grown among black Protestants.” Support for same sex marriage additionally has majority support from African-Americans.
Briyonza, Nev and Angel know they have a tough battle ahead of them, but they're ready. "What inspired me to do 'Truce' was my overall obsession with just helping people," Angel explained to MTV. "I wanted to do something that actually mattered, something that I could physically see change things. For me, it's more than music; I feel like some people are born to implement changes rather than just talk about them. 'Truce' is actually going to be wonderful when it comes to doing that, and so naturally I am very excited by it."
Even in 2015 there is still plenty of intolerance and misinformation on bisexuality, and coming out to your family can be a scary experience – even when Nev and Angel are there to help. But Angel's personal story ends up hitting a chord with Chiquina, who realizes she could lose her daughter over this. It goes to show that even in the toughest situations, when people come together they can always find a truce.
Head to Look Different for more on coming out.