Marc Antoine, Professor, Brasilia, Brazil

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
Marc Antoine, in his own words: “It is perhaps inscrutable to gauge the exact impact that being gay had on my life. If one takes into consideration the complexities inherent in coming to terms with one’s sexuality I believe there can be no doubt that “gayhood” or “gayness” means a lot in the sense that it may affect one’s perception of the world , for it , more often than not, instills a certain perspective on life, which is marked by a certain poetic melancholy, as I would have it, in addition to a capacity of analyzing the Other, for I was forced to think before acting for fear of showing more than I could and therefore would be trapped by other people’s cruelty.

My life is made up , as most people’s, of challenges. They just change but never cease to exist. My nature is very determined therefore I’ve always attempted to embrace these many challenges as stimuli rather than impediments. I feel challenged and this is motivational. Professional challenges are substantially informed by personal conflicts and now , at 45, my main challenges involve strengthening my curriculum by pursuing doctorate studies in Theory and History of Art. I see this PhD as a contribution to my old age. I tend to be too hard on myself but it would perhaps be unfair to ignore the many successes I’ve had in life, the biggest of which being my having overcome difficulties pertaining to these moments in which I reinvented myself. After teaching English for more than a decade , I decided to do an MA in Literary Theory , which provided me with the possibility of starting an intellectual move , teaching at tertiary levels. I am currently the head of a Fashion Design course , which was accredited with the highest possible credentials by the Brazilian Ministry of Education, I have also curated art exhibitions which proved immensely rewarding on a personal level. I feel better looking now than I did when I was younger but it is particularly cruel to age as a gay man in Brazil and there resides my new challenge which is inevitably coupled with my intellectual journey…

The gay community in Brasília is big, for there are many civil servants here…diplomats coming from all over the world as well as gay men who come here to earn more and live comfortably and more freely, but we live in an artificial city, which was planned and this ends up affecting people’s relationships. I find the gay community here to be far too stereotypical and homogeneous in addition to being artificially “cold” and segregational as regards class and standards of beauty.

(With regards to my coming out story) Difficult yet resolute, I do not partake of the view of living one’s life as a lie. It took me a long time to actually feel that I could live my homosexuality. I was 23 years old when I first had sex with a man and it took me another two years before I could tell my whole family in a somehow tempestuous manner, for I decided to leave home to live with my boyfriend, whom I passionately loved. I was bullied throughout my childhood and especially in my adolescence but it all contributed to making me stronger albeit a bit melancholic. I do believe that my connexion with the Arts stems from the pain of feeling threatened and belittled by the world. Therefore, my coming out is part of my victory over this past of humiliation but equally the past which shaped who I am and I mostly like it.

I think one’s life is what one can do out of it. All in all, I take pride in having done my very best to avoid becoming bitter over the problematic facets of my past. I try to take responsibility for my life. I avoid blaming whoever it is for what may have gone wrong.”

6 comments

  1. Jem

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is very encouraging to read how you have coped with things and how resolutely determined you are to forge ahead in spite of obstacles and difficulties, and with such a posititve attitude (avoiding blaming!) in spite of hinting at much melancholy. Stories like yours encourage me to go on.

  2. Manel

    Loved reading this experience of life, what drives me to the conclusion life is not easy on gays, as we all know.
    Some survive, and make the most of their lives, others live other people’s lives.
    Thank you for bringing all this to us, makes me less lonely.

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