Roberto and Nelson, Student and Business Manager, New York City

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

Roberto, in his own words: “- Honestly, being gay to me is just a detail in your life and nothing more. That’s what it should be. People give it too much importance and that’s why I can’t comprehend why something so simple and basic like gay marriage is banned in some countries. It’s just so illogical it frustrates me.

(With regards to challenges, I’v faced) Very few. I’ve lived in many countries and I have not had any sort of real intense discrimination for being gay. I think how you are as a person reflects more on how others perceive you than your sexuality alone.

(With regards to the gay community in New York) Where to start. It’s fabulous and I love that, it’s also somewhat elitist and fake. All in all you could say it’s just like any type of community out there. It’s just basic human nature.

(My coming out story) is going to be so simple you might get bored haha! My mom found out I was way when I was 14 on a date with a dude at a restaurant. I had told her earlier that I was going to watch a movie with a friend (that’s a girl) and when she asked me who the guy was I said it was just a friend, but she knew that it wasn’t just a friend. She then pressured me until I finally admitted that that was a guy I was seeing and well, after that it has all been pretty chill. My mother came with my sisters to meet Nelson and all, she had never met any boyfriend.

With my friends it was even simpler. When I was 14 (no kidding like 2 weeks before my mom’s story happened) I told 2 close friends that I thought I was gay and then asked them to not tell anyone. Some days later I was with some classmates in a circle chatting about everything and somehow we touch the gay topic and my friend goes like “Oh yeah Roberto’s gay” and I was like “swallow me earth” but when my friends asked me if it was true and I told them it was, they were all surprisingly cool about it. I think that’s what gave me the courage to not have to hide ever again. In Middle/High school I never had a single incident because I was gay. Keep in mind this ain’t Holland. This is Panama yo.”

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