Interview with Marina Peralta, author of Barriers to Love: Embracing a Bisexual Identity

Publisher: Barriers Press

Publication Date: September 8, 2013

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: In Barriers to Love, psycho-therapist Marina Peralta uses her own life story to address the question of bisexual identity. Set in Mexico and California, Marina reveals how early sexual abuse led to sexual confusion in her adolescence. Jilted by her first boyfriend, comforted by a lesbian and controlled by her widowed mother, she marries an emotionally detached man, and finds love with a woman. 

With vivid honesty, she portrays her love affairs with both men and   women, and why the person and not the gender guides her choice of partner.

Barriers to Love is a memoir about the author's struggle with family, society, the Latino culture and herself to accept her bisexual identity. Clarifying doubts about sexual orientation and helping readers to accept bisexuality as a unique orientation.

Interview: Q. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.

Not very long ago I thought it had become time to reflect and meditate and understand the complexities in my life and uncover depths in my past.

I contemplated my life as a bisexual woman and how it unfolded: my initial struggle to be myself and be with whomever I wanted, male or female, and the influences and social pressures that prevented me from being myself until middle age.

Unfortunately bisexuality is still misunderstood; people categorize us as straight or gay. Bisexuality is still viewed with skepticism at times by the gay community and mainstream society. Through my book ‘Barriers to Love’ I want to convey to the world that bisexuality is a distinct orientation.

Q. How did writing this book affect you?

Through writing my memoir I began reliving my life again. I went through the gamut of emotions and found psychological explanation in every stage of my life. It was very therapeutic. Writing my life out and analyzing each situation from a writer’s perspective and not my own helped me to better understand all the phases I went through, emotionally and sexually at that time.

Q. Is there anything you haven’t written about that you would like to in the future?

In the future I would like to write about emotional incest, which I see quite often in my practice. As a psychotherapist I see how emotional Incest is very prevalent and hidden in our dysfunctional society. It’s not discussed but a very important topic that needs to be addressed and understood. Parents are unaware of the damage inflict on their children when they make them their surrogate partners.

Q. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I would love to take acting classes and perform in the theatre, either drama or musicals.

Q. What are you currently reading?

I like to read two or three books at a time. It depends on how I feel that day. Currently I am reading:
‘My Beloved World’ by Sonia Sotomayor
‘The joy of Living’ by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
‘Soul Mates’ by Thomas Moore

Q. All of the books you’ve read, which book has impacted you the most?

Through my life, many books have impacted me. However lately when I was writing ‘Barriers to Love’ I came across a book titled, ‘Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire’, by Lisa Diamond.
It had a big impact on me due to her research on women's sexual fluidity. In her ten year longitudinal study of 72 women, ages 18 to 25. She interviewed women that were bisexual, lesbians or unlabeled, but not heterosexual. Through this study she found female’s capacity for sexual fluidity.

Q. What gives you the most joy in life?

My great passion in life has been to dance. I love the exhilaration I get from dancing. I project my emotions through dancing. I compare it to the way a writer has her spirit in her mind, a dancer has her spirit in her body. Dancing is my last connection with the joy of youth.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

In my book "Barriers to Love" my main message is that we need to envision a world that celebrates affection in any form regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. As more bisexuals come forward, more knowledge and information will be provided about this identity. Perhaps then we will see a change in attitude toward others like myself.

About the Author: Marina Peralta was born in Mexico City, Mexico where she studied at Colegio Tepeyac. She attained her BA in Psychology from San Diego State University and her Masters from National University. She has lived in Mexico City, San Diego, Tijuana and Los Angeles. She is a well-regarded psychotherapist practicing for over 20 years, specializing in family counseling and abused children. Marina also owned two successful dance schools for 20 years where she taught her passion for dancing.

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