Yela grew up in Los Angeles, California. She attended Harvard University and got her Ph. D. in Biomedical Sciences. After she completed her major at Harvard University of Massachusetts, she joined The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals of Los Angeles. She became the head researcher of Breakthrough and her responsibility is to for research information about the diversity of lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender people; and also, to try to develop new ways of changing society's perspective and understanding that is relevant to sexual orientation and gender roles in this world.