EXCLUSIVE: Somaya Reece Opens Up About the Death of Her Son & Overcoming An Abusive Relationship

Exclusive: Somaya Reece Is Living Proof Latinas Can Overcome Everything
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Speaking of family, how did your mom take it when you came out?

The interesting thing about my mom is that all her six friends are gay boys and one of them is transgender. My mom found out because someone taught her to Google. So she was like what is this? And I was like, “Do you wanna know the truth or you wanna know your truth that you wanna hear?” She’s like, “Ay Dios mio! I don’t wanna hear it.” Five minutes later she walks into my room, “Okay tell me.” It was a novella. She wasn’t excepting of it. I told her my girl had such an amazing personality. She’s so bubbly and fun. She was like let me meet her. It took 48 hours for the two to get along. Luck was like, “I love your daughter. She’s not like anyone I’ve ever met.” Here’s the funny part she’s like, “What are your tias and cousins gonna think?” And I’m like, “Ma, my cousins and I been to the club and they been kissing’ chicks. It’s all right this is 2016 we good.”

You, like a lot of Latinas, have a beautiful curvaceous body but how did it feel when you first started developing? Were you embarrassed?

I developed that at 9. I went from this medium thing then puberty hit and POW it was out there—little waist, big butt, big boobs, so I would dress like a boy. I would wear big sweatshirts, big pants. All my siblings we all lived a garage together. My brother and my dad were always on my ass, “Don’t give up the cookies too young. Make a man work for it.” So when that happened, all the boys started staring at me. I started fighting them! Every boy in my neighborhood was petrified of me. I beat the hell out of one kid because he tried to kiss me. I don’t think I was ashamed of my curves but I didn’t like the attention it was bringing me.

You’ve overcome so much in your early life that’s so inspiring to see where you are now in your life. It was during this time of puberty that you started encountering trouble, correct?

This is something that the show did not highlight and is very personal. My first boyfriend, the one I talked about, I didn’t even know who he was I was 13 and he’d come out to my neighborhood. He basically preyed on me and convinced me to talk to him. His whole agenda was calculated from the beginning. He convinced me that my dad didn’t love me and my parents didn’t love me and that he would be the only man to love me. I came to find out later that he was 13 years older than me; he just looked really young. At 11 years old, prior to this, I was testing as a genius when I was 7/8 years old. It was a big thing on how everything developed I couldn’t be the smartest kid in the hood because now I was being sent to a mental program at a magnet school. I was like no I don’t wanna go I don’t wanna get beat up for being smart. The last time I went to school was at 11. Between 11 to 18 my whole life changed. I joined gangs, I ran away, I was shot, and I was stabbed. So I met that guy in a very broken time in my life. I was doing it to escape my house because my father was an alcoholic and my mother is verbally abusive. He became my boyfriend, I ran away and then I got pregnant. I didn’t know I was pregnant, I thought I was getting fat. So I went back home because he said he had to go to Mexico for something. When I was there my mom was like, “Are you pregnant?” And I was like, “No. What are you talking about?” I just thought I was getting fat. So she kicked me out because she was like, “You’re pregnant get the f out my house.” So I was homeless for a little while. He eventually started coming around the neighborhood when I was 5 months pregnant and he was like, “Who are you pregnant by cause that ain’t mine.” He dumped me. So I didn’t know what to do and I called my father. I kept calling my house but my mom kept picking up so I couldn’t get in touch with my dad and I was like, “Papi it’s me.” And he’s like, “Where are you?” He met me somewhere and helped me stay at one of his friend’s houses, they had an extra room, and he was helping pay the rent. I’m pregnant and my dad’s like I don’t know what we’re going to do but I love you I support you, you’re still my daughter. I got kicked out because the guy’s wife was jealous of me. I’m like 6 months pregnant at the time and again I couldn’t get in touch with my dad so I had to go to my ex’s house.

I woke up from a dream and I felt something was wrong. I didn’t know what was wrong so I went to the doctor. I said I wanted to know what the sex of the baby because I knew an ultrasound would have to tell me what’s wrong. And something was wrong so they immediately hospitalized me and I was forced to give birth by cesarean and I had my baby. So the guy came around and he was saying mean stuff to me and so was his mom. Unfortunately, because I had no place to go I was forced to live with his mother, who verbally abused me everyday. I told them to let me get on my feet and I promise I will never come back here. I had my baby and then that guy started coming around and then shortly after my son was murdered. My motherly instinct still thinks he had a big part of my son’s murder. I think it was him. The autopsy is still like a question mark. He was poisoned and then my son died [crying]. I’ve never been the same since. That’s probably the biggest trauma I’ve ever had and I’m scared to have kids now. I held my baby as he took his last breaths in agonizing pain. It’s been hard and I never talked about it because it was very deep.