Cesar, in his own words: “For me, being gay is a gift and an honor. And although it means that I may have to work a little harder in different areas of my life, the rewards have been abundant. Being gay is who I have been most of my life, so I can’t really remember what not being gay was like. I’m ok with that.
I haven’t had too many challenges because I am a gay man, so I feel fortunate. I wasn’t disowned by my family nor have I ever been involved in a serious altercation. The challenge has been realizing that others in the community can like me for being unique and for not being “perfect.”
I never thought I’d come out to my mom first. I was terrified of what she would say and what she would think about her only child liking boys. My mom was a single parent and knowing she had been through a lot, I didn’t want to disappoint her. I was certain I’d come out to my cousin Annette first and use that conversation to learn from and tell others. One day in college while on the phone with my mom homosexuality came up. Before I knew it, we were in an argument and just like that, the words “mom, I’m gay” were flying out of my mouth. It was too late, I had said it and couldn’t take it back. I called my cousin, wished her a happy birthday, and then asked if she could talk to my mother about me being gay. She said “Aww thanks… Wait, WHAT?!” Since that day almost 8 years ago, my mom and I can openly talk about boys. My coming out story was tame, and for that I am grateful.
I live in Hell’s Kitchen, recently one of the go-to “gay-borhoods” here. The city’s gay areas are diverse from one another, so explaining what the “scene” is in New York is fairly difficult. I can say though, there’s a place for everyone and it seems the city embraces that. In order to bring together the gays of the different communities, a friend and I have started co-hosting a monthly wine club and it has become quite successful. In the mix of millions, it’s nice to have a smaller group of friends.”