"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 Estefan explained

By Gabrielle Chung
October 15, 2020 08:40 PM
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Gloria (L) and Emily Estefan
| Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Gloria Estefan's daughter Emily is recalling a painful moment in her coming out story.

On Wednesday's episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans, the 25-year-old opened up about a time she was told to keep her sexuality a secret from her grandmother. Addressing her famous mother, Emily said that she was "hurt" when the Latin music legend said that she shouldn't come out to the elderly matriarch.

"I was like, 'Hey, I’m in love with this girl,' " Emily recalled to her mom, 63. "The first thing you said was, 'If you tell your grandma and she dies, her blood is on your hands.' "

"I just wasn’t ready for that," Emily continued, adding that she was already struggling to "hide" her sexuality at the time. "So that’s where my hurt started. I’m never going to forget that."

However, Emily noted that she eventually understood that her mother was "coming from a place of love and protection."

Emily Estefan (R) with her grandmother Gloria Fajardo
| Credit: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

"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 explained.

The singer later shared that she felt "regret" in telling her daughter not to come out to her mother, who died in 2017 at the age of 88.

During the candid conversation, Gloria also spoke about her own experience in coming to terms with her daughter's sexuality.

"We had no clue," she said to Emily. "You say, 'How could we not have known?' It's not like we didn't suspect at some moments."

"I remember being in my bedroom and telling you, 'Mama, are you gay?'" she added. "'Do you want to carry the gay flag, because if you want I will get on that parade float and I will carry that flag?'"

Emily, Gloria and Lili Estefan
| Credit: Sami Drasin

Emily is the daughter of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. She came out publicly in 2017 when she shared a photo with her partner Gemeny Hernandez.

"I don't know where you came from, but I am sure glad you are here," Hernandez wrote in a long, sweet message for their first anniversary in 2017. "To 1, to 2, to 20 lifetimes more. I love you."

"What does it feel like to have words like THIS written about you? I'll let you know when I have an answer.. for now.. I'm just a glowing puddle," Emily wrote on her Regram.

On Sunday, Emily shared a tribute to their relationship and a sweet message about sexuality in honor of National Coming Out Day.

"Be you. Be kind. Be better," she wrote alongside a photo of the couple embracing. "Be open, be careful if you feel unsafe, be LOVE. Anything else is icing ... Happy love day... because that should be every. Single . Day."

Emily told EW she never did have a chance to tell her grandmother and often thinks about that decision.

"That is one of my biggest unanswered questions that I will live the rest of my life with," Emily told EW. "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."