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In a new book, Velasquez writes that her daughter, 8, spurred her to be honest about her life

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February 06, 2015 12:45 PM

Patricia Velasquez, widely considered the first Latina supermodel for her having appeared in several high-profile fashion campaigns in the 1990s, has come out as gay, the Huffington Post reports.

Writing in her new book, Straight Walk, which goes on sale Feb. 10, Velasquez, 43, says she was moved to be honest about her sexuality in discussions with her daughter Maya, 8.

“It’s very difficult to face your past, so I put off doing anything like this for a long time,” Velasquez, whose large and small screen credits include The Mummy and 2012’s Celebrity Apprentice, told Yahoo! Parenting about her “torturous” secret that she kept hidden while she was doing ads for Victoria’s Secret, Ralph Lauren and Chanel.

“But as my daughter started growing up and I was teaching her to be honest and proud, I knew it was time for me to set an example – and that meant facing my truth. For me, living life with truth and honesty is the one thing I want to make sure she understands,” she says.

In her book, as excerpted in theNew York Post, Velasquez talks candidly about her affair with comedian Sandra Bernhard, whom she went on to date exclusively after much soul-searching about her sexual identity.

“I was deeply in love with Sandra in a way I’d never experienced before,” Velasquez wrote, noting Bernhard was the first woman she’d ever kissed after previous relationships with men.

In deciding to come out, Velasquez, who says her family has been supportive, noted prejudice in the Latin community over homosexuality and her hope to spur more honest discussions, according to the Post.

“I want to at least start a dialogue,” Velasquez writes in her book. “The tide is changing.”

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