Gloria Estefan and her daughter Emily are publicly discussing the 25-year-old's sexual orientation for the first time.
In a new episode of "Red Table Talk: The Estefans," the legendary singer, her daughter and her niece, Lili, had a candid conversation about how they first approached the subject.
Gloria Estefan said that although she suspected her daughter might be gay, she wasn't sure.
Emily Estefan first went public with her same-sex relationship in 2017, People reported.
"I remember being in my bedroom and I remember telling 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 Estefan said. "And at that moment you said to me, 'Mom, I'm not gay,' because that wasn't the word in your mind for who you were."
"I'm still figuring out who I am!" Emily Estefan responded.
Emily Estefan told Entertainment Weekly that she first came out to her parents in 2017, and despite her mother being a "fierce supporter of the LGBTQ community," there were "complex emotions involved." In the episode "Emily's Coming Out Story," she tearfully recalled her mother discouraging her from coming out to her ailing, conservative maternal grandmother, Gloria Fajardo, telling her, "If you tell your grandma and she dies, her blood is on your hands."
Gloria Estefan explained that she was trying to protect both her mother and her daughter, adding that she suggested Emily Estefan first introduce her girlfriend, Gemeny Hernandez, to Fajardo. She also said she didn't realize how much her words hurt her daughter. Fajardo died in 2017 before Emily Estefan could discuss her sexual orientation with her.
"[Whether she knew] is one of my biggest unanswered questions that I will live the rest of my life with," Emily Estefan told Entertainment Weekly. "Many of the people around me that love me have told me they knew. But in my heart, my grandmother and I were so close but I'm really not sure. 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. But I'm still on that journey. A few years ago, I would've never imagined that we'd be talking about this as I'm about to release an episode where I say things I've not even told family members of mine. I'm still growing and learning."
Now, she's hoping other families will be inspired by how she and her family have navigated these conversations.
"People don't realize that me and my mom are two generations apart. Generationally, we're split more than some parents and their kids are. I know there will be people who will resonate with her side of it, and for that I am thankful. The same way that there are little gay kids that need to hear my side, there are parents who love their kids to death and they just don't understand what they need at that moment," she said. "I hope this episode helps them just as much. And if we lose anybody along the way, that's also part of the process. But I think mom is going to be a beacon for people in this situation. Parents sometimes think they're protecting their kids, and they're hurting them."
Gloria Estefan's daughter Emily opens up about coming out originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com