Category: City: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Laan, Dancer, 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
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

Laan, in his own words: (Being gay) means my inner self, my freedom. My biggest challenge was to accept myself the way I really am. Success for me was to be able to live as a gay man, to be happy with it and have lots of friends. Comming out was quick, practical and scary at the same time. (If I could give myself advice before coming out) : go slow kid, the world is big.”

Jean Wyllys, Deputy, Member of Parliament, 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

Jean Wyllis, in his own Portuguese words: “O trabalho de Kevin mostra como ainda estamos perseguindo as mesmas causas desde os anos 70, como a visibilidade. O gay é sempre tratado como excêntrico, o personagem da noite, do hedonismo, da parada gay. Sempre digo que não nasci de chocadeira, tenho uma rotina normal. Que bom que existe alguém mostrando isso.”

In English:

“Kevin’s work shows how we’re still pursuing the same causes from the 70s, like visibility. The gay is always treated as an eccentric, the nighlife character, hedonistic, the gay pride parade. I always say I wasn’t born a stereotype, I have a regular routine. So I’m glad there’s someone out there to show that.”

via OGlobo

Thiago, Event Producer, Rio De Janiero

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

Thiago, in his own Portuguese words:“Ser gay para mim significa saber quem sou e o que quero. Significa assumir os meus sentimentos e não reprimi-los por causa dos outros. Ser feliz como eu sou dando importância a mim. É entender que o amor indefere do sexo, mas que sexo é um fato para se ter uma vida mais prazerosa, saudável e prolongada.

Meus maiores desafios foram quando eu ainda estava na infância e já sabia dos meus sentimentos, pois via uma sociedade opressora com relação a sexualidade. Sabia das minhas dificuldades perante a sociedade e minha família. Pra mim isso foi um desafio. Como me comportar perante a eles? Conforme o tempo foi passando, fui tendo mais conhecimento do mundo através de livros e da história da humanidade, fui compreendendo que o meu genuíno sentimento não era anormal. Que a concepção de certo não é única e verdadeira, que a imposição sempre foi impostas através da culpa pelo santificado e de quem obtinha o controlhe (rei, clero, ditadores, etc), pois eles não entendiam tais sentimentos, sempre alegando que o carnal é algo profano, impuro, errado, demoníaco. Vi que também não sou o único, que como eu existia, existiam milhares de outras pessoas. Com isso, ganhei uma autoconfiança sobre os meus sentimentos, que mesmo que não fosse como os outros esperavam como eu deveria ser, eu não era do mal e meus sentimentos de amor não poderia ser errados. Dessa forma, eu percebi que nem todo mundo está certo. Que para alguém ter certeza sobre o que esta dizendo, a pessoa tem que estar muito bem argumentada. Convencer-me que seu ponto de vista é o correto. Meu maior sucesso foi ter essa afirmação de quê, cada um sabe o que é o certo para a sua felicidade, por tanto quê, para atingir a sua felicidade, você não faça o mal ao próximo.

Acredito que a comunidade gay do Rio de Janeiro, por ser uma cidade que tem muitos estrangeiros (turistas ou moradores) não seja diferente das outras grandes cidades do mundo. Somos uma cidade litorânea de clima tropical. Isso acaba nos influenciando certos hábitos. O Carioca em si pode até não ir à praia, mas não vive sem ela. A praia causa uma certa pressão no culto ao corpo, dos corpos liso e depilados. Isso faz com que a comunidade bear no rio não seja muito grande, porém ela existe e se faz presente. A praia de Ipanema, por exemplo, é um point gay em frente à Rua Farme de Amoedo. Lá é uma excelente local aonde você pode ver exatamente como a comunidade gay carioca é.

Nos meus 30 anos de idade, eu vejo mudanças de comportamento nos mais jovens. Por se assumem mais cedo, achava que essa juventude seria mais liberal. Ao mesmo tempo em que eles se assumem mais cedo, sinto que eles são mais caretas com algumas questões. Eles não são tão sexuais como os mais velhos, parece que estão conectados de outra forma. Assim como eu também vejo a mudança dos mais velhos, que estão assumindo mais seus pelos, cultivando mais seus corpos pela questão da saúde do que pela questão estética. De uma forma geral, as pessoas mudam com o passar dos tempos e os padrões vão mudando consequentemente.

Como foi sair do armário?

Difícil no primeiro momento. Sabia o que era. Já namorava um garoto 4 anos mais velho do que eu (eu tinha 17 anos e ele tinha 21 anos) e quis me assumir, pois tive medo que minha mãe pudesse encrencar com ele. Decidi me abrir com a minha mãe. Ela reagiu da forma mais preconceituosa, mas verbalmente. Surpreendentemente, meu irmão, a qual eu temia a pior reação, me ligou justamente após ter contato a minha mãe e minha mãe acabou contou a ele pelo telefone. Ele em seguida quis falar comigo. Para a minha maior supressa, ao pegar o telefone, ele começou a gritar “ é isso ai! Você é muito homem pra se assumir, isso não é para qualquer um não, parabéns, você é o cara!!” . Para a minha total felicidade aonde acabei me debulhando em lágrimas de felicidade.

Se você pudesse dar um conselho para você mesmo antes de sair do armário, o que você diria?

Vai em frente! Você está certo de seu sentimento e sentiu que era a hora de falar. Vai em frente! Se assumir é se definir como um homem, assumir os seus defeitos e também suas qualidades, encara-los de frente. Vai, pois você será feliz!’

In English:

“Being gay means to me to know who I am and what I want. Means taking my feelings and not suppress them because of the other. Be happy as I am giving importance to me. You understand that rejecting love sex, but sex is a fact to have a more joyful, healthy and long life.

My biggest challenge was when I was still a child and knew of my feelings , because I saw an oppressive society regarding sexuality . Knew of my difficulties to society and my family . For me it was a challenge . How to behave towards them? As time went on, I was having more knowledge of the world through books and the history of mankind , I was realizing that my genuine feeling is not abnormal . They design right is not only true that the levy has always been imposed through guilt by sanctified and who obtained the controlhe ( king, clergy , dictators , etc. ) because they did not understand such feelings , always claiming that the carnal is something profane, crude , wrong , demonic . I saw also that I am not alone , that I existed as there were thousands of other people . With that , I gained self-confidence about my feelings , even if it was not like the others waited as I should be, I was not evil and my feelings of love could not be wrong . Thus , I realized that not everyone is right. That for someone to be sure about what you’re saying , the person has to be very well argued . Convince me that their view is correct. My biggest success was having this statement of what each knows what is right for your happiness , therefore , to achieve your happiness , you do not do evil to others.

I think the gay community of Rio de Janeiro , being a city with many foreigners ( tourists and locals) is no different from other major world cities . We are a seaside town with a tropical climate . This eventually influenced in certain ways. The Carioca itself might not even go to the beach , but can not live without it. The beach causes some pressure on the cult of the body , the hair and smooth bodies . This makes the bear community in Rio de Janeiro is not very large , but it exists and is present . Ipanema beach , for example , is a gay point opposite the Rua Farme de Amoedo . There is a great spot where you can see exactly how the gay community is Rio .

In my 30 years, I see behavior changes in young people. Why are assumed earlier, thought that youth would be more liberal. While they are assumed earlier , I feel that they are old fashion. They are not as sexual as older , they seem to be connected otherwise . As I also see the changing older who are taking over their hair , their bodies by cultivating more health issue than for aesthetic reasons . In general , people change with the passage of time and the patterns are changing accordingly.

(Coming out was) Difficult at first. Knew what it was. Already dating a boy four years older than me (I was 17 and he was 21) and wanted to take me because I was afraid that my mother could get in trouble with it. I decided to open with my mother. She reacted the most prejudiced, but verbally. Surprisingly, my brother, which I feared the worst reaction, called me just after contact my mom and my mom just told him by telephone. He then wanted to talk to me. To my greatest suppressed, to pick up the phone, he started yelling “this is it! You are very man to assume, it is not for anyone not, congratulations, you’re the man!. “To my utter bliss where just thrashing me in tears of happiness.

(If I could give myself advice before coming out, I’d say) Go ahead! Are you sure your feeling and felt it was time to talk. Go ahead! If you assume it is set as a man, take your defects and also their qualities, face them head on. Will, because you will be happy!”

Felipe, Graphic Designer/LGBT Activist, 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
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

Felipe, in his own words: “Being gay for me today is more than just having sex and being in love with another man. Its a political choice that I make everyday.

Everyday is challenge for me. I truly believe that being openly gay in Brazil is still a challenge and thats why after living abroad I choose to be here. I feel like there’s a lot to be done for the Brazilian gay community.

(The gay community in Rio De Janeiro) is the same as anywhere else in Brazil, lol.

(Coming out of the closet) was easy and disturbing at the same time. Easy because after you do it you keep thinking: why was I there in the first place? Disturbing because you realize how scared people can get from it. To find myself in such a hateful world was really confusing.

(If I could give myself advice before coming out, I’d say) If you want to go far, go slow”

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!”

Alex and Candido, Engineer and Tax Lawyer, 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
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

Alex and Candido, in their own Portuguese words: “O que ser gay significa para nós?

Ser gay na verdade é ter coragem de se assumir gay. Boa parte do preconceito está dentro de nós mesmos, nas nossas fantasias sobre o que a família e sociedade pensam de nós. A partir do momento em que você se despe dos seus próprios preconceitos e medos, ser gay se torna nada mais do que uma característica pessoal assim como tanta outras. Ser gay não nos define como alguém que faça parte de um grupo diferente, para nós, simplesmente significa que em termos de relacionamento amoroso nos sentimos completos com alguém do mesmo sexo. Somos apenas duas pessoas comuns que decidiram seguir a vida juntos.

Quais os desafios e sucesso nós tivemos?

O maior desafio em relação a ser gay foi superar os nossos próprios preconceitos e entender que ser gay não nos fazia diferentes ou menos respeitáveis. Assumir-se gay para a família foi um desafio que aos poucos fomos superando. Mas nós pensamos que esse desafio na verdade se tornou o nosso maior sucesso. Ser amado, aceito e acolhido pelos nossos pais, irmãos e demais familiares foi algo sem dúvida muito gratificante. Não há nada mais lindo hoje do que ver a felicidade de uma mãe ajudando nos preparativos do nosso casamento e de uma avó, uma senhora de 83 anos, toda orgulhosa por ter sido convidada por nós para levar nossas alianças ao altar.

Como é a comunidade gay no Rio de Janeiro?

Acho que é igual a todos os demais lugares do mundo. hehehe Atualmente estamos mais focados na nossa vida em família e nas nossas profissões. Não pensamos muito em nós como parte de uma comunidade gay segregada. Nos vemos como gays que fazem parte de uma sociedade composta por gays, héteros, crianças, idosos, casados, solteiros, etc.

Como foi sair do armário?

Bem, foi diferente para cada um de nós. Candido se assumiu muito mais cedo e teve mais problemas com a aceitação pela família. Para o Alex foi um processo mais demorado e que ocorreu em paralelo com sua independência pessoal e profissional. Acho que para ambos não foi um processo fácil. Atualmente somos muito tranqüilos com relação a isso, nossos familiares nos amam, nossos colegas de trabalham nos respeitam. Acho que um grande aprendizado para mim foi perceber que ao me assumir gay me tornei mais forte.

Se você pudesse dar um conselho para você mesmo antes de sair do armário, o que você diria?

Diríamos: vá em frente, não tenha medo, seja feliz e nada mais.”

Francisco, Journalist/Communication Consultant, 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

Francisco, in his own Portuguese words: “O que ser gay significa para você?

Ser gay não significa nada de muito diferente do que ser uma pessoa como qualquer outra. Talvez uma sensibilidade um tanto mais apurada, mas não me sinto mais ou menos especial por isso.

Quais desafios e sucessos você teve?

A vida é um desafio cotidiano. Considero como vitórias a minha carreira, trabalho e o estudo.

Como é a comunidade gay em Rio De Janiero?

Não me interesso muito por comunidades gays ou guetos. Acho que devemos viver integrados com todos e transitar por qualquer ambiente.

Como foi sair do armário?

Sair do armário é sempre uma conquista. Quando isso aconteceu, me senti mais inteiro, seguro e respeitado.

Se você pudesse dar um conselho para você mesmo antes de sair do armário, o que você diria?

Isso é menos importante do que parece. As pessoas vão te aceitar de qualquer maneira. Quem realmente gosta de você, vai continuar gostando e, na verdade, vão te admirar mais pela sua coragem e força de ser quem você realmente é.

I was born in Chile, but my family came to Brazil when I was four. I was living in Brasília, but I’ve came to Rio three months ago.”

Vito and Fernando, Photographer and Civil Servant, 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
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

Fernando, in his own words: “I never thought what means to me to be a gay man. But I know or I feel it´s not just only be sexually attracted to other men, it´s being comfortable with it.

Challenge or success of being gay? I think we only have challenge being gay! All of the people around us think about our sexuallity or our homosexuality, and rarely we hear good things from them. All the time we have to prove we are not pathetic or promiscuous.

“Coming out” was not very easy. Even hard! I think it was a process I took some time to complete. It was not very easy to accept myself but keep secrets is very exhausting. The first step of my “coming out” was accept that I am gay, then was easier to tell my sons and my family.

(If I could give myself advice before coming out I’d say) Don´t waste time!! Be happy!!”

Vitor, in his own words “It’s really simple, to be gay is to be happy with myself and faithful with other people.

I keep having a challenge, cause my family “don’t know” about my sexuality, or they pretend to… but it’s ok, because we live too far. I’m being successful about my friends, I’ve never had any problem with then about this. They are my family in Rio.

The gay community in Rio is really bad… we have always the same things happening, same parties, same places, same people…. same blah blah blah. I love the gay community at São Paulo, there’s a lot of differences from here!

(With regards to coming out) I’m still in the closet…to my family! hahahhaha But in Rio, everybody knows, and it happened in the most normal way:
– Hi Carol, I’m gay.
– Ok. lets go drink!

(Advice I’d give myself) Face your family, they love you.”

João Pedro, Graphic Designer/Actor, 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

João, in his own words: “Well, I used to say, and to think, that being gay is nothing but a part of me, just as my black hair, my voice, etc, and this is true, but now, more and more, I feel like its actually much more important. I feel like being gay is being free, but not in the poetic sense (I’m not a huge fan of poetry haha) but free in real life! Free to do whatever I want, wear whatever I want, go wherever I want, etc.

And when I stop to think about it, if I weren’t gay, I’d probably never do many of the things that I’ve done and that have changed my life in someway.

If I weren’t gay I’d be afraid to be who I really am, to do what I really feel like doing, afraid of the bullying, afraid of what others would think of me.

But being gay I grew strong and am not afraid of any of those things anymore. I learned that there will always be people that hate me and people that judge me, you can’t please everyone, so you better please yourself.

If I could give myself advice before coming out I’d probably say something like this: “Baby, relax, chill, don’t you cry and don’t you worry about it! To be gay It’s not nothing, it’s not something irrelevant, it is in fact something that kind of defines you, but for those who actually like you it will be just fine, and for you, well, I don’t want to spoil the surprises, but trust me, being gay, out and proud will be hard sometimes, but it will also be fucking awesome!!”

Tapioca, Political Advisor, Rio De Janeiro

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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

João, in his own words: “I don’t really like to identify myself as gay because I believe this concept has been moralized. I feel it’s been captured by a conservative agenda to normalize deviant men. If you perform the role of the sexless fairy consumer, then you are accepted. I’d rather be identified as a queer (in portuguese I like to use the word “transviado”). For me being queer is rejoicing in inadequacy. It’s that permanent feeling that you are an outsider; a stranger to established norms of moral and behavior. Instead of knocking on the doors, begging for acquiescent acceptance, we chose to glitter bomb society. After all, I’m an avowed Pink Bloc, Glitter Vandal, Anal Terrorist and so on. Being queer is resisting oppressive identities that divide us. It is being a nonconforming body and soul.

My advice to myself in the past would be:
Listen, honey! That thing that it gets better is pure bullshit! You do get stronger though. Strong enough to fight for your rights, to go out wearing whatever you want and holding hands with whomever you like. Don’t argue, act. Flaunting is not only beautiful, it’s revolutionary.”