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“My parents were deported.” An Op-Ed by Orange is the New Black Actress Diane Guerrero

In “Orange Is the New Black,” I play Maritza Ramos, a tough Latina from the ‘hood. In “Jane the Virgin,” I play Lina, Jane’s best friend and a funny know-it-all who is quick to offer advice.

I love both parts, but they’re fiction. My real story is this: I am the citizen daughter of immigrant parents who were deported when I was 14. My older brother was also deported.

My parents came here from Colombia during a time of great instability there. Escaping a dire economic situation at home, they moved to New Jersey, where they had friends and family, seeking a better life, and then moved to Boston after I was born.

Throughout my childhood I watched my parents try to become legal but to no avail. They lost their money to people they believed to be attorneys, but who ultimately never helped. That meant my childhood was haunted by the fear that they would be deported. If I didn’t see anyone when I walked in the door after school, I panicked.

And then one day, my fears were realized. I came home from school to an empty house. Lights were on and dinner had been started, but my family wasn’t there. Neighbors broke the news that my parents had been taken away by immigration officers, and just like that, my stable family life was over.

Not a single person at any level of government took any note of me. No one checked to see if I had a place to live or food to eat, and at 14, I found myself basically on my own.

While awaiting deportation proceedings, my parents remained in detention near Boston, so I could visit them. They would have liked to fight deportation, but without a lawyer and an immigration system that rarely gives judges the discretion to allow families to stay together, they never had a chance. Finally, they agreed for me to continue my education at Boston Arts Academy, a performing arts high school, and the parents of friends graciously took me in.

I was lucky to have good friends, but I had a rocky existence. I was always insecure about being a nuisance and losing my invitation to stay. I worked a variety of jobs in retail and at coffee shops all through high school. And, though I was surrounded by people who cared about me, part of me ached with every accomplishment, because my parents weren’t there to share my joy.

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So a friend talked with me about a Music Camp he was in, and I immediately thought of Camp Camp.

I don`t know why, but I`d like to think that Max is a child that would like playing the violin? But his parents had to high standards for him to reach, so his self-estem kinda went down the drain, even though he`s actually really good and enjoys playing!

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Jackson fixing a haphazardly thrown piece of clothing in Thai marketplace

There are films that nail you to your seat and overwhelm you, to the point that you forget everything, but you feel cheated later. These are the films that take you hostage. I prefer films that put their audience to sleep. Some films have made me doze off, but the same films have made me stay up at night. I wake up thinking about them and keep on thinking about them for weeks. Those are the kinds of films I like.
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Today has been incredibly shocking and heartbreaking. A lot of people who aren’t part of the LGBTQ+ community may not fully grasp the gravity of what happened. Personally having this happen so close to home, at a club where friends of mine have frequented, has completely shaken me. I now struggle with the idea of feeling safe in my own community. When society ostracizes us we are forced to create our own community, but now that community has been compromised and its an incredibly unnerving feeling. I know that eventually I’ll move on from this and find peace with the situation, but for 50+ of my brothers and sisters that is not an option. I’ve attached some of the tweets that have really stuck with me throughout the day and while I’ve been reflecting on what happened and what it truly means for me. I hope that some of you will be able to read this and possibly gain a new perspective and understanding when trying to understand and empathize with your LGBTQ+ friends, family, and coworkers.

1780. A muggleborn bringing their pure-blood friend home for the holidays, where they use the internet constantly. The pure-blood gets interested and asks what it is, and soon becomes absorbed. Once they find out that they can’t use it at Hogwarts because it’s muggle tech, they start a movement towards creating a magic-friendly internet.

You want the truth? Well, here it is. Eventually, you forget it all. First you forget everything you learned – the dates of wars and the Pythagorean Theorem. You especially forget everything you didn’t really learn, but just memorized the night before. You forget the names of all but one or two of your favorite teachers, and eventually you forget those, too. You forget your junior year class schedule and where you used to sit and your best friend’s home phone number and the lyrics to that song you must have played a million times. And eventually, but slowly, you forget your humiliations. Even the ones that seemed indelible just fade away. You forget who was cool and who was not, who was pretty, smart, athletic, and not. Who went to a good college. Who threw the best parties. Who had the most friends. You forget all of them. Even the ones you said you loved. And the ones you actually did. They’re the last to go. And then once you’ve forgotten enough, you love someone else.