Patricia Valasquez Comes Out as Lesbian in Memoir
Venezuelan supermodel Patricia Velasquez has revealed she is gay in her new memoir.
Velasquez, often referred to as the "first Latina supermodel," opened up about her sexuality in her new book, "Straight Walk: A Supermodel's Journey to Finding Her Truth."
The 44-year-old says she felt inspired to come out publicly from her 8-year-old daughter, Maya. The model shares her daughter with her ex-girlfriend Lauren.
The star of "The Mummy" and its sequel writes about how she hid her sexuality from her family and friends for years, while maintaining relationships with both men and women. The model says she came out to her family in 1999.
The supermodel walked runways for Chanel, Gucci and Carolina Herrera and posed for Victoria's Secret and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Velasquez also appeared in "The L Word" and "Arrested Development."
"It's very difficult to face your past, so I put off doing anything like this for a long time," she told Yahoo! Parenting. "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."
Velasquez still maintains a good relationship with Lauren while currently in a relationship with a woman named Ileanna. She tells the outlet they've been together for a year.
In her memoir, Velasquez mentions other past lovers, including Roseanne star and comedian Sandra Bernhard. The two met backstage at a fashion show, according to excerpts from the book. They had been linked together a few times in the press previously but never confirmed a relationship. Bernhard came out as a bisexual a few years ago.
Velasquez said, "I was deeply in love with Sandra in a way I'd never experienced before."
Velasquez made inroads as the first Latina walking in runways, a world often dominated by white models. Despite being a Latina in a white-dominated industry, Velasquez said the fashion world was one of acceptance.
"Fortunately, the fashion world was and still is a very open environment, so I never really felt like a weirdo in the fashion world," she said. "It was the opposite, actually -- the only world where I was accepted because everyone was accepted."