João Victor, Engineer, Rio De Janeiro

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

João, in his own words: “I had my sexuality stamped on me by other people when I didn’t even had traces of some kind of sexual drive. When I first noticed that I was different from the other boys, when I finally understood the looks, the giggles, the bullying I had nothing to do but to deny to myself who I was and do my best to fit in that world that I had been told that I didn’t belong to. I had to be straight. That goal made me put so much effort and energy trying to be something different that I ended up stuck in an unhappy middle.

My coming out was a long and calculated process. It started with me proving to myself that I was no worse than anyone else based solely on being gay and ended after some tequila shots in the arms of a polish guy in a club in Barcelona. That moment, when I finally allowed myself to touch a man in a sexual way, that was my coming out. I was 22 and I finally felt free.

Telling my friends and family that I was gay wasn’t hard. Again, it took me a little while and some planning to absorb everything that was I going through before spreading the word. I was happy and I wanted to share that. I have the most amazing supporting family and, as I predicted, they could not have had a better reaction.

During my so called coming out process, I surrounded myself with friends that I knew that wouldn’t make a big deal out of my sexuality. Most of them weren’t surprised and some couldn’t wait any longer for that moment.

For people to deal with my sexual orientation naturally I also try to deal with it as naturally as possible. In Rio, especially in Ipanema where I live, I feel safe and always walk hand in hand with my boyfriend. I never hesitate to hug or kiss him in public places. In these moments, the “I don’t belong here” feeling that I mentioned vanishes completely.

When you asked me if I could give any advice to myself before coming out, I’d say:

Man, surround yourself with kind people and be kind!”

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