A tough memory. When Gloria Estefan’s daughter, Emily Estefan, came out as gay, she did not get the reaction she expected from the “Conga” singer.
“I was like, ‘Hey, I’m in love with this girl.’ The first thing you said was, ‘If you tell your grandma and she dies, her blood is on your hands,’” Emily, 25, tearfully recalled to Gloria, 63, on the Wednesday, October 14, episode of their family’s Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk: The Estefans. “I just wasn’t ready for that, because I understand my grandma was old, but it made me feel like whatever it is, OK, hide it. So that’s where my hurt started. I’m never going to forget that.”
Emily, who is also a music artist, explained to viewers that while she was taken aback by her mom’s response, she ultimately realized that Gloria was “coming from [a place of] love, from protection.” At the time, the Grammy winner’s mother, Gloria Fajardo, was sick. Fajardo died at age 88 in June 2017.
“You’re remembering things, as we all tend to do, in a different way,” the “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” songstress told Emily in Wednesday’s episode. “I was trying to protect both my ailing mother from any shock that would affect her health and Emily from anything that could harm their relationship.”
Gloria admitted she later felt “regret” that Emily never had a chance to share her story with Fajardo, whom she called “controlling and set in her ways.” (Gloria and Fajardo were once estranged.)
While sharing her side of the story, the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient said she and her husband, Emilio Estefan, “had no clue” that their daughter was a lesbian, but they did “suspect [it] at some moments” when Emily was growing up.
“I remember being in my bedroom and I remember [asking] you, ‘Mama, are you gay? Do you want to carry the gay flag? Because if you want, I will get on that parade float with you, and I will carry that flag,’” Gloria recalled of an early conversation she had with her daughter.
Emily, who has been dating Gemeny Hernandez since 2017, told Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday, October 13, that her late grandma’s reaction to her sexuality remains one of her “biggest unanswered questions” in life.
“My grandmother and I were so close, but I’m really not sure,” she told the magazine. “But that’s part of life too — you don’t get every answer that you want. I’m also learning that regrets are a waste of time.”
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