Javier, Artist, New York City

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

Javier, in his own words: “Being a gay man to me means absolute freedom. I always take myself back in time to when I was in high school, and I tried to act “straight” or wore baggy clothes so I would look the part haha. Coming out was the best thing I did to be honest. It liberated me in a way I never imagined. It gave me the freedom and confidence I need to be my true self. I can literally wear anything or act anyway I want and not really give a shit what they guy next to me is thinking. It changed me to the person I always wanted to be. My past was very dark, and at certain points I thought it was never going to get better. Being from such a macho Hispanic background being gay was simply not ok in our family. But with a bit of courage and a little help I was able to take a stand and start as my true self.

I think the most challenging thing out of my story was to just accept myself really. Yeah coming out was a very big deal and hard, but not as hard as coming to terms and realizing who I really was for years. I’m 100% honest when I say that I knew I had feelings for boys since I was little, but knowing how my family was, being gay wasn’t ok. I put that part of myself aside for the longest time and tried my hardest to go out with girls, get a kiss, but it just wasn’t me. I remember telling myself maybe it was ok to like guys and do stuff with them but never end up with one. My plan was to always end up marrying a woman and having a family, I would just live the secret life of being attracted to men. That only lasted so long. Come my senor year of High School I knew who I really was, and thx to my first guy crush I accepted it and accepted my self for what I was…Gay. And with coming out the success of it was being free. When I tell you my personality made a complete 180 I’m not lying. I went from this very quite, timid, insecure boy that would let people judge him and step all over him to the man I am today, that stands up to his beliefs, doesn’t take shit from anyone and expresses himself in whatever way he wants.

Going back and reliving my coming out story is both hard and amazing. Hard because of all the shit I had to go through and amazing cause to this day I can’t believe that I did it. The year after I came outta high school was when I decided that I wanted to tell people and let them into my real life. I took the easy way you can say and told my best friend at the time. But still scared I told her I was bi and not full blown gay. Lol, I laugh because I feel almost every gay person comes out gay just to make it easier on people. She didn’t care she loved me for me and told me that she already knew. So it was just a nice feeling to have someone by my side to talk to. My family was next. To be honest with you guys I was never really close to my family, just my Mom, Sister, and Nephew really. Those were the first people I really wanted to tell. My nephew was first, I told him and his responses was the most amazing thing ever…he looked up at me and said “I don’t care, your still my uncle and I will always love you no matter what” The pure joy that filled me that moment was indescribable. Next was my sister who is my everything. She’s literally my best friend, we talk about anything and everything. But unlike my nephew, I kind of hit a road block cause pure fear came into me. My mind would get lost and I feared that I would lose everything we had. I remember taking about 6 months to build enough courage to tell her. So during the month of December, while her and I were building the Christmas tree, I told her about my deepest secret. And like before I decided to tell her I was bi to make it some what easier. Her reaction did surprise me, instead of crying out of disappointment or whatever, she was crying outta joy. I just hugged her and thanked her, even to this day I thank her for being my everything. I think coming out made us closer. I call her my “Moon” cause she guides me every night and I’m her “Sun” because I brighten up her days.

After telling her came my mom, which was also a huge deal for me because im hands down a Momma’s Boy lol. I wanted to tell her so badly, I felt like if I told her and she would accept me for who I am, it wouldn’t really matter what anyone else thought about me because I had the support from the people that meant the most to me. I remember back to the summer of that year, I was outside with my sister talking my mom came down and I wanted to do it that moment, while the three of us were together, but I couldn’t. She left and I just started to cry into my sisters arms. Mentally I prepared myself for the absolute worst scenarios, even with my sister, that way the reaction wouldn’t hurt as bad. The day came I decided to tell my mom, we were alone, just me and her. She came into the living room and I was sitting on the couch and I told her I had something serious to tell her. Of course like any mother she asked me if I had gotten someone pregnant, I laughed a little but then I started to cry, I looked at her and I just told her. She looked at me tears in her eyes and told me I didn’t know what I was talking about, that maybe I was confused cause I never actually had been with a woman. I let her vent and tell me anything she wanted, but at the end of the conversation I just told her that I knew who I was, and that I was ok with her not accepting it right away. I was fine with it, hurt, but ok I had survived and she still managed to just hug me. She called my sister right after crying to her and telling her what just had happened. It took her a week to accept it, she even made a joke and told me I could be the biggest whore out there, that she didn’t care cause she loved me no matter what. The moment was everything for me. To be able to hear something like that come out of your mothers mouth, is a crazy feeling. I felt loved. Truly loved for who I really was.

Shortly after coming out to my mother I came out to my father, who I never really had a relationship with…ever. It was a Saturday morning, I had just gotten back from sleeping over my best friends brothers house due to a party he had that Friday. He was in my room playing cards on my computer. I went to him said hi and told him that I need to speak to him and my mom. I sat them in the living room and told him that I was gay. Straight out, like pulling a band aid. He asked me why I would say something like that. As I began to explain he just got up and left outside, my mother went after him to talk. When she came back up stairs she was in tears, and the way she was crying hurt the most, she was crying like someone had just died. She was crying like that because my father told her that he wanted me out of the house, and that he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. As I held her I told her it was ok, I expected a reaction like this to come from him. I wasn’t hurt to be honest just sad at the fact my mom was so devastated. I knew it hurt her but I was so angry I told her that it was ok, I would move in with my sister and that I wouldn’t speak to him or even look at him. I just told her I didn’t have a father anymore and I was ok with it. After telling him he went to my brothers house and told him and my sister in law. My brother came to the house screaming at me, and for the first time ever in my life I stood up for myself. I screamed just as loud as he was and basically told him I didn’t give a fuck what he had to say, this is who I am and that was it. The thing with my brother was that he always knew, and always came up to me and asked me on occasion but I wasn’t ready to come out to anyone so I denied it to his face. Which I guess hurt him in a way but he didn’t understand the fact that it was my choice to come out when I was ready not when he wanted to.

After the whole mess my family was broken for a few months. Come New Years Eve my dad took a big step. I remember this moment so vivid because its like a scene from a movie: there was a huge gap between us and with tears in his eyes he crossed the room to where I was and he just hugged me. After that things slowly started to get better. My dad and mom moved back to our home country, Chile, to retire and as hard as it was to let them go the distance has brought us so much closer. For the first time in a very long time I can actually say I love my dad. He tells my how proud he is of me and all my achievements. My mom tells me that he also tells other people about me and my life, and its just crazy to hear that cause years ago he wanted nothing to do with my life now he’s all for it. After my family knew who I really was, all I wanted to do was share and tell the world I’m gay and proud!

The advice I would give to my younger self would be not to be afraid. Life is about taking risks. Some help and other hurt but that’s what life’s about. Without we can’t grow as a person. Coming out was one of the most scariest, craziest things I ever did. But it helped me grow and opened my eyes. Now any challenge or obstacle I face in life I got at it full force, cause I just look back at all I went through and now I can do anything!

Art has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I always had this tendency of just getting lost in it and relaxing. I don’t think my coming out process would have been as easy as it was for me if it wasn’t for my art. I would sit at my desk and just get lost and get consumed by my art. I never had the chance to go to an actual art school due to personal and financial problems so I self taught my self everything. I experimented with new mediums and I just never gave it up. When I say my art is my everything I literally mean my everything. I just sit at my desk, play my music, and im off. Nothing is around me, I don’t hear anything, and all my problems just seem to vanish for those few hours. My goal as an artist is to become a tattoo artist, which has always captivated my eyes for the art form, and the dedication behind it. The stories and all the different styles from around the world. Its something I hold very closed to my heart and what I see my self doing forever. I have a total of 10 tattoos spread out around my body. Each one has a specific meaning, from family to a specific event that I have come across. I feel every gay person has gotten there “Coming out tattoo” and when I was thinking about mine I knew I had to do something deep and meaningful and true to my colors. On my right upper arm I have a half sleeve of various flowers. Which in time will be colored in with bright colors to resemble the pride flag. Each flower on it stands for a specific woman that accepted me and helped me through my tough times. I’ll always be grateful for them and love them for what they did for me, even though some of them I’ve lost complete communication with, they hold a special place in my heart.”

One comment

  1. Alexandra

    Love the story and I love everything you are today… You truly are an amazing talented loving person and deserve the best in your future endeavors XoXo

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