Tagged: argentina

Mauricio, Filmmaker, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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
Mauricio, in his own words: “I remember being just 11 or 12 years old and one night going to bed crying; I had spent the afternoon at one of my closest Friends house hanging out with him and some others Friends from school, at one point (I don’t remember why) one of them said I was weird and different because I liked boys, my other friends agreed but none of us really understood what that meant, all I knew was I was being set apart from the rest of my friends and it hurt. That night my mom asked what was wrong and called my dad into my room, I told them what had happened and how I did not understand why being different was wrong, I was so sad…

Without hesitating my dad said that there was nothing wrong with me and that of course I was different from everyone else, that that’s something we all have in common, differences. Then my mom asked me if I knew exactly what those kids were talking about, I said “I think they were saying I’m gay” and she said no one had the right to tell me what I am, and that if I actually was it was only a part of me to be proud of, like my brown eyes and my large ears. I slept like a baby that night.

I never came out, I just never felt like I had to tell anyone that I’m into guys and not girls, my friends and family know I’m gay because they asked and I said yes; at first I think I avoided confrontation fearing rejection, but happily that didn’t last long, the thing is I grew up surrounded by loving people, I know I’m extremely lucky because of this, and thanks to that I’m a proud young man, kind and confident and in the search of true happiness.

I’m not really in touch with the gay community in Buenos Aires, I try to be aware of what’s happening all the time but I keep my distance, because I respect it so much, I’m still trying to understand myself and when I feel ready I know I want to take an active part in it; years ago I decided I wouldn’t let my sexuality define who I am and I know that people fighting for our rights have been responsible for this being possible and I’m so thankful, but I guess the truth was, until a few years ago, I didn’t want to belong to anything, I just wanted to be free. When the night the marriage equality bill passed I decided I wanted to be there to see it, so I stayed up all night waiting for the results in la Plaza del Congresso, happy, knowing that history was about to happen and that many people were closer to equality in the country I decided to call home. That night I discovered that in order to be happily different everybody has to have chances in life.

I think the only thing I would advise my younger self would be to trust more in people, it took me a while to do it and when it happened I started living life at it’s fullest, closer to happiness surrounded by people whom I love and who love me.”

Alejandro and Ernesto, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Alejandro (left) and Ernesto (right), photo by Kevin Truong
Ernesto (left) and Alejandro (right), 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
Alejandro and Ernesto, photo by Kevin Truong
Ernesto and Alejandro, photo by Kevin Truong
Ernesto, in his own words: “(Being gay) Significa una vida en libertad para vivir tu sexualidad de la forma más natural posible.

La ley de Matrimonio Igualitario que logramos en Argentina fue el desafío más notable que hemos tenido los homosexuales no solo en nuestro querida patria sino también en toda América.

Nunca tuve que salir del placard porque nunca me sentí adentro. Lo que sí hicimos con mi marido, fue iniciar el camino para lograr la sanción de la ley que mencioné anteriormente. La exposición mediática por ese tema, me dio más fuerza y convicción acerca de quién soy y lo que quiero

(The Gay community in Buenos Aires) Muy variada, muy ecléctica. Desde las personas trans hasta los/las homosexuales con aspecto hétero, las diferencias son enormes. Pero podemos ponernos rápidamente de acuerdo cuando hay que luchar por el respeto que nos merecemos solo por ser seres humanos.

(Advice I’d give my younger self) Nunca pierdan las esperanzas de vivir en un mundo mejor.”

In English:

“(Being gay) means a life of freedom to live your sexuality in the most natural way possible.
 
Equal Marriage Laws we achieved in Argentina was the most significant challenge we’ve had for homosexuals not only in our beloved country but throughout America.

I never had to leave the closet because I never felt inside. What I did with my husband we did was to start the way for the enactment of the law that I mentioned earlier. The media exposure for the subject, gave me more strength and conviction about who I am and what I want.

(The gay community in Buenos Aires is) Varied, eclectic. With trans people up to / with hetero homosexual aspect, the differences are huge. But we quickly agreed to fight for the respect we deserve just because we are all human.

(Advice I’d give my younger self) Never lose hope of living in a better world.”

Pablo, Student, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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
Pablo, in his own words: “The way I see it, being gay is just another part of my personality. I don´t follow a so-called “gay lifestyle” and I usually don´t like things gay people like. I´d like to think of me as a guy who likes guys.

Being gay in Argentina doesn´t mean hiding all the time. Gay marriage is legal here and being homosexual is not frowned upon, as it is in many other more “civilized” countries. It´s just OK to be gay. You won´t be rejected in a job interview for being openly gay, and cases of homophobia are quite uncommon. I don´t see any challenges or successes that I got from the sole act of being gay. I personally think that these challenges and successes are part of our everyday life, our social circle, our community and, most important, our attitude. We have to live with it. That´s all.

To be honest I haven´t come out yet. I know that my mother and my sister know something about my sexuality but we don´t talk about it. My father doesn´t know anything. I don’t know if he is blind or if he is just not accepting it. Anyways, I feel that I am stuck with this because I don´t want to hurt him.

(With regards to the gay community in Buenos Aires) I would say that it is very active. Buenos Aires is a big city, so there are parties almost every weekend. Being gay is accepted and normal.

(With regards to advice to my younger self)I would probably tell myself not to be afraid to come out. The sooner, the better.”

Mariano, Market Manager, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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
Mariano, in his own words: “Puedo decir que ser gay es ser quien soy, ya que para mi la sexualidad atraviesa toda la vida de los individuos. Ser gay también es ser político, ya que la visibilización de mi orientación sexual es la mejor herramienta para cambiar la sociedad en la que vivo para que ésta sea mas plural, progresista, justa e igualitaria.

Creo que uno de los desafíos mas grande que tuve en mi vida fue darme cuenta que no podía cambiar mi orientación sexual y que entablar una relación con una mujer no iba a ayudar a borrar mi deseo por los hombres. Otro desafío también fue aceptar que puedo llegar a formar una familia con una persona de mi mismo sexo y ser feliz.

Tenía 18 años y hacía unos meses me había mudado a Buenos Aires desde el sur de Argentina, Santa Cruz. Toda mi infancia y adolescencia se desarrollo en una ciudad pequeña con “alma” de pueblo, cuya sociedad conservadora hacia del “que dirán” un evento social.

Vivir solo, tener nuevas experiencias, conocer otra gente y ser anónimo me ayudaron a descubrir quien realmente era. Un día conocí a un chico que me demostró que el amor entre hombres era posible. El tiempo paso y construimos una relación, pero por el contrario me sumergió a un mundo de mentiras y ocultamiento para con mis amigos y mi familia, el conocido “closet” o “armario”. Mi relación se circunscribía a las 4 paredes de mi casa, fuera de ella yo era un hombre heterosexual.

El tiempo paso, la relación se afianzo y de a poco empece a introducir a mi pareja en mis charlas con mi madre, era un “amigo” que cada día mas tenía mas protagonismo. Todas las historias y las aventuras nos tenía como protagonistas a ambos y de a poco mis señales despertaron la curiosidad y la pregunta del lado de mi madre: ¿A quien extrañas tanto? ¿Tomás es tu novio?. El tiempo se detuvo y el silencio fue eterno. De mi lado solo había lagrimas y tal vez el peso de la responsabilidad de tener una familia y ser hijo único.

Puedo decir que con mi madre pasamos muchas etapas: miles de preguntas, preguntas retóricas de su parte, culpas y llegamos de a poco llegamos a la aceptación plena.

Para concluir les dejo una frase que me dijo mi madre: “Uno como padre siempre intenta aliviar el sufrimiento de los hijos y lo que mas me duele es que, al vos tener una orientación sexual distinta a la de la mayoría, hay muchas situaciones en la sociedad que yo no voy a poder evitar.

La comunidad LGBT en Buenos Aires es ejemplificadora para Latino América y para el resto del mundo. En los últimos 10 años y gracias a la organización y la militancia de muchos y muchas que le pusieron el cuerpo a la lucha se consiguieron dos leyes fundamentales para nuestro colectivo: la Ley de Matrimonio Igualitario y la Ley de Identidad de Género. A su vez esta comunidad es diversa en su diversidad: existen como en toda sociedad quienes luchan por conseguir y reivindicar derechos y quienes tan solo los disfrutan. Lo bueno es que cada vez mas gente se une al primer grupo.”

In English:

“I can say that being gay is being who I am, because for my sex life spans my individual life. Being gay is also being political, as the visibility of my sexual orientation is the best tool to change the society in which I live for it to be more plural, progressive, just and egalitarian.

I think one of the biggest challenges I had in my life was realizing that I could not change my sexual orientation and that establishing a relationship with a woman would not help erase my desire for men. Another challenge was also to accept that I get to start a family with a same sex couple and be happy.

I was 18 and a few months I had moved out to Buenos Aires from a southern Argentina province, Santa Cruz. My entire childhood and adolescence was development in a small city with village “soul”, whose conservative society made news out of “gossip”.

Living alone, having new experiences, meet new people and being anonymous helped me discover who I really was. One day I met a guy who showed me that love between men was possible. Time passed and we built a relationship, but instead I plunged into a world of lies and concealment for my friends and my family, the famous “closet”. My relationship was limited to the four walls of my house, outside I was a heterosexual man.

Time passed, the relationship was strengthened and slowly I started to introduce my partner in my talks with my mother, he was a “friend” who every day got more prominence. All stories and adventures starring had us both and slowly my signs aroused curiosity and questions from my mother’s side: Who do you miss so much? Is Thomas your boyfriend ?. Time stopped and silence was eternal. From my side there were only tears and perhaps the weight of the responsibility of building a family and being an only child.

I can say that my mother passed many stages: thousands of questions, rhetorical questions, she blamed herself and slowly got to full acceptance.

In conclude I would like to repeat a phrase my mother told me: “Parents always try to avoid the suffering of their children and what really hurts me is that as you have a sexual orientation different from straights, there are many situations that I will not be able to avoid from society.

The LGBT community in Buenos Aires is exemplifying for Latin America and the rest of the world. In the last 10 years and thanked to the organization and advocacy of many and many who place their body to fight two fundamental laws for our movement were achieved: Equal Marriage and the Gender Identity Law. In turn, this community is diverse in its diversity: as in every society there are two groups: one who struggle for rights and the other that just enjoy them. The good news is that more and more people are joining the first group.”

Nacho and Alvarito, Buenos Aires, Argentina

photo by Kevin Truong
Nacho (left) and Alvarito (right)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
Nacho, in his own words: “En realidad ser gay para mí, es ser lo que quiero ser. Tiene que ver con mi identidad. Creo que cada uno debe ser digno en lo que es y en lo que quiere ser. En ese punto es donde ser gay se transforma en un campo de lucha para mí. De activismo. De derechos.

Soy una persona que trabaja con la imagen. Cuando en nuestro país se sancionaba la Ley de Identidad de Género en el año 2012, me sentí con la necesidad de hacer algo, de aportar desde lo artístico mi granito de arena. Así surge un proyecto personal que titulé “Magnolias” (flor que simboliza la perseverancia y la dignidad) y que retrata a doce feminidades “trans”, dejando de lado los estereotipos y estigmas socialmente impuestos, y vinculándome desde el amor y el respeto. Poder dar a luz, transitar y finalizar este proyecto fue algo hermoso, que me permitió conocer personas maravillosas, y conectarme con mi lado más humano.

(Coming out) Al principio fue bastante difícil. Al pertenecer a una colectividad (japonesa) donde mucha gente se conoce entre sí, el gran problema para mis padres era el “¿qué van a pensar los demás?”. Tuve que lidiar con ese “karma” durante muchos años. No se habló más del tema. Preferí la invisibilización dentro de mi casa a enfrentarlos. Luego de un tiempo, decidí romper el silencio y dialogar. Y fue algo grandioso. Ahí me di cuenta lo importante que es perder el miedo y hablar las cosas.

La comunidad LGBTI en Argentina, es una comunidad luchadora. Que lucha por sus derechos, que sale a las calles, que se hace escuchar. Creo que si bien aún la discriminación está presente, en materia legal se avanzó muchísimo en los últimos años, gracias al activismo.

A mi yo más joven, le tengo mucho cariño. Creo que fue un luchador e hizo lo mejor que pudo, para que yo hoy esté aquí plantado a mis 34 años, con una ideología, y un espíritu de lucha y de derechos.”

In English:

“Actually, being gay to me, is to be what I wanna be. It has to do with my identity. I think everyone should be worth what it is he or she wants to be. This is the point at which being gay becomes a battlefield for me. Activism. Rights.

I am a person who works with the image. When the Gender Identity Law in 2012 was sanctioned in this country, I felt the need to do something, from the arts to contribute my grain of sand. So I did a personal project titled “Magnolias” (flower that symbolizes perseverance and dignity) and twelve portraying femininity “trans, leaving aside the stereotypes and socially imposed stigmas, and linking to me the love and respect that arises. To give birth, transit and end this project was something beautiful, which allowed me to meet wonderful people, and connect with my human side.

At first (coming out) was quite difficult. Belonging to a (Japanese) community where many people know each other, the big problem for my parents was “what will the others think?”. I dealt with that “karma” for many years. There was no talk anymore. I preferred to be invisible inside my house rather than to confront them. After a while, I decided to break the silence and talk. And it was something great. Then I realized how important it is to lose the fear and talk things out.

The LGBTI community in Argentina, is a struggling community. Fighting for their rights, which hits the streets, it is heard. I think that although discrimination is still present, in legal terms there is much progress in recent years, thanks to activism.

For my younger self, I have much affection. I think I was a fighter and did the best I could for myself to be here today planted at 34 years with an ideology and a spirit for struggle and rights.”

Alvarito, in his own words: “Being gay does not mean anything in particular to me other than being part of a social segment of people who experience sexual desires for someone of his/her same sex.

I do believe that being part to this group which is somehow always fighting for LGBT rights has allowed me to be in touch with wonderful values that have become part of who I am.

Becoming acquainted with different people, prejudice aside, has been both a great challenge and an accomplishment. These people have helped me to grow and to be become a better person. I am a good judge of character! I’m still in the search for news things so, there are plenty of challenges ahead of me.

When I was an innocent child I thought I would never share my secret but when I become a teenager I felt the urge to experience who I really was.

When I was eighteen, I wrote a letter to my parents telling them how I felt with the help of a cousin of mine with whom I had a great relationship. I left them the letter for my parents to discover when I went or holidays to my uncle’s house on the coast. When I returned from my holidays, my parents and I had a talk about my letter. Fortunately, They took the news very well and they have always been very supportive so far.

(The gay community in Buenos Aires) is a social sector which is brave and always struggling. Luckily, at this political moment in Argentina, the fruits of this fight are beginning to be born in spite of the generally Catholic sectors that have always opposed this struggle.

Anyway, even within the LGBT group there are diverse voices whom have opposite interests an times.

I believe the best advice someone could be give is that the most important thing in life is to work towards being in touch with oneself, with the essence of who one is. It is from here that any situation that may come up can be faced and dealt with. Honesty always pays. Being honest is the best way to live.”

Emiliano and Andres, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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
Emiliano, in his own words: “(Being gay) Tuvo distintos significados a lo largo de mi vida. En mi infancia más pequeña, no tenía significado. Pero recuerdo sentimientos y fantasías donde ya se despertaba mi homosexualidad, que en aquel momento vivía sin represión. Cuando entré en la pubertad, significó miedo. Le tenía mucho miedo, rezaba, literalmente, porque no me “tocara” a mí ser gay, y luchaba, inconscientemente, para alejarla. Durante mi adolescencia, fue sinónimo de calvario y falta de entendimiento. La viví a través del bullying de mis compañeros de escuela. No entendía por qué veían eso en mí, cuando para mí no me representaba. Luché entonces contra la homosexualidad, y llegué a convencerme de que era heterosexual. Durante mi juventud significó represión. La mantuve oculta, sin permitir que se manifestara, durante muchos años, aún marcado por la experiencia de bullying y rechazo de mi secundaria. En mi juventud más tardía, significó, al fin, experimentación y liberación. Aceptarla me sacó un peso de encima, me permitió empezar a vivir mejor, a relacionarme con felicidad no sólo con hombres, en un plan amoroso o sexual, sino con la gente en general, de una manera más honesta. Hoy, representa una forma de vida que me hace feliz, que me permitió conocer a la persona que elijo para el resto de mi vida.

Lamentablemente, la primera vez que se me presentaron desafíos con respecto a mi sexualidad, no tuve éxito. El maltrato y el bullying que viví durante la secundaria me imposibilitaron aceptar mi sexualidad. Durante mi adolescencia hice terapia, luego de que una noche, llorando desconsolado, le confesé a mi mamá que me era imposible soportar el maltrato de mis compañeros. Mis padres, deseosos de ayudarme, me llevaron a terapia con la mala suerte que el terapeuta que me trató fue muy dañino. Con el tiempo pude darme cuenta que el terapeuta tenía sus propios fantasmas y problemas con la homosexualidad, y se dedicó, durante los años que duró el tratamiento, a convencerme de que la homosexualidad no era mi camino, y que se trataba más de una consecuencia de mi manera de relacionarme con mis compañeros. Simplificando la idea que me transmitía, creía que mi soberbia y altanería al relacionarme con mis compañeros, era lo que provocaba que ellos respondieran, a mi supuesto maltrato, con bullying. Me costó años darme cuenta que mi manera de tratar a mis compañeros, con esta supuesta altanería y soberbia, era más un mecanismo de defensa que había desarrollado para defenderme de sus abusos. El segundo gran desafío fue superar mis propios prejuicios. Tantos años de negar mi sexualidad, me había provocado ese prejuicio. Viví durante muchos años auto engañado, y llegué a pasar años sin tener sexo ante la imposibilidad de aceptarme. Tan difícil era, que me convertí en una persona asexuada. Y aún cuando me movía dentro de un ambiente de amigos, o inclusive un ambiente laboral, donde la homosexualidad era aceptada, yo no podía aceptar la propia.

En Buenos Aires hay grandes posibilidades de tener una vida gay activa. Hay lugares para para que los gays puedan hacer cualquier cosa que desean, y mucha apertura a ser quienes somos en casi todos los lugares púbicos. Inclusive crecí en una familia donde mis padres o mi hermana tenían amigos que eran homosexuales. Y en mi trabajo, dentro del mundo de la televisión y los comerciales, los homosexuales no tienen, en general, problemas de discriminación.

Mi historia fue de mucha represión. Durante toda la secundaria viví discriminación y bullying, aún cuando todavía nunca me había sentido atraído por otro hombre. No entendía por qué los demás me molestaban con ser gay, porque no era algo que todavía había podido descubrir de mí mismo. Esto me llevaba a la represión, que sumado a la experiencia psicoanalítica equivocada que viví en la adolescencia, me llevaron a perdurar mi auto negación. Luché contra todos aquellos que afirmaban que era gay y me alejaba de los círculos donde esto aparecía. Me volví una persona más oscura, apartada de la vida nocturna, de la vida de juventud. Nunca me animé a experimentar, ni siquiera a fantasear con el tema. Finalmente, a los 26, llegó un momento en que la infelicidad era muy grande. Y luego de llegar a pesar 20 kilos más de lo que peso ahora, sentí que había tocado fondo. Creo que inconscientemente estaba esperando que llegara alguien, un príncipe azul, que me rescatara y ayudara a vivir mi verdadera sexualidad. Pero obviamente ese príncipe nunca llegó, y tuve que hacer solito el camino de salir de ese pozo. Empecé, por fin, una terapia que me ayudó en ese camino, que no me reprimió. (Aprovecho a decir, gracias Oscar Peña, mi terapeuta de ese momento). Mi primera relación sexual me llegó una vez que pude aceptarme. Lo único bueno de toda esta situación, es que cuando decidí vivirla finalmente, ya no lo hice con culpa. El sexo lo pude asociar siempre al placer y la felicidad, y no a la represión que vivía antes. En seguida me puse de novio. Una vez en pareja, me animé y hablé con toda mi familia y amigos, en el lapso de una semana. Luego de hacer unas 7 u 8 veces la charla de “te tengo que contar algo”, decidí que no lo iba a hacer nunca más. Entendí que esa charla era lo mismo que estar pidiendo permiso o aprobación para vivir mi sexualidad, y que en todo caso, era un problema de otro si no la aceptaba. De ahí más, nunca oculté mi orientación sexual, me negué a tratarlo como algo diferente o especial, e hice siempre de la igualdad una bandera. Hoy estoy casado, con un hombre que amo. Y me hace muy feliz recordar mi casamiento, que compartí con toda mi familia, desde mis abuelos, de más de 90 años, hasta mis sobrinos más chicos, junto muchos amigos y gente querida, que se alegró y festejó conmigo.

Me diría a mí mismo que sea valiente, que se permita seguir sus sentimientos y que no se deje ganar por el miedo. Que la valentía siempre, por lo menos en mi experiencia, trae el éxito.”

In English: (Being gay) Has had different meanings throughout my life. In my early childhood, it had no meaning. But I remember feelings and fantasies where I woke up and my homosexuality, which at that time lived without repression. When I entered puberty, this meant fear. I was very afraid, read literally, because I did not “play” with me being gay, and struggled unconsciously to zoom it out. During my teenage years, it was synonymous with Calvary and lack of understanding. I lived through the bullying of my classmates. I did not understand why they saw that in me, when for me it did not represent me. Then I fought against homosexuality, and became convinced that I was heterosexual. During my youth this meant repression. I kept it hidden, without allowing it to manifest, for many years, still scarred by the experience of bullying and rejection of my high school. In my later youth, it meant, finally, testing and release. It took me to accept it to feel a load off, allowing me to start living better, to relate to happiness not only with men, in a loving or sexual plan, but with people in general, more honestly. Today, it represents a way of life that makes me happy, it has allowed me to know the person that I choose for the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, the first time I was presented with challenges regarding my sexuality, I was not successful. Child abuse and bullying that happened during high school precluded me from accepting my sexuality. During my teens I had therapy, after a night of inconsolable crying, I confessed to my mother that I could not stand the abuse of my peers. My parents, eager to help, unfortunately took me to therapy with a therapist who treated me very harmfully. Eventually I realized that the therapist had his own ghosts and problems with homosexuality, and devoted himself during the years of treatment, to convince me that homosexuality was not my way, and it was more of a consequence of the way I interacted with my peers. Simplifying the idea that he conveyed to me, I thought that my pride and arrogance to interact with my peers, was what caused them to respond, my alleged mistreatment with bullying. It took me years to realize that the way I treated my colleagues with this alleged arrogance and pride, was a defense mechanism that was developed to defend their abuse. The second major challenge was to overcome my own prejudices. So many years of denying my sexuality had caused me such prejudice. I lived for many years self-deceived, and I went through years without having sex, it was impossible to accept. So hard it was, I became an asexual person. And even when I moved into an environment of friends, or even a work environment where homosexuality was accepted, I could not accept it myself.

In Buenos Aires there are many chances of having an active gay life. There are places for gay people to do anything they want, and very open to be who we are in almost all pubic places. Even I grew up in a family where my parents or my sister had friends who were gay. And in my work, in the world of television and commercial, homosexuals do not, in general, face problems of discrimination.

My (coming out) story was a lot of repression. Throughout high school I experienced discrimination and bullying, even though I still had never been attracted to another man. I did not understand why others were bothering me with being gay, because it was not something that I had discovered myself. This led me to repression, which added to the wrong psychoanalytic experience I had in adolescence, lead me to endure my self-denial. I fought against those who claimed that I was gay and I walked away from the circles where it appeared. I turned into a darker person, apart from the night life, the lives of youth. I never dared to experiment, or even fantasize about it. Finally, at 26, came a time when my unhappiness was very large. I then weighed more than 20 kilos more than I do now, and I felt I had hit bottom. I think I was subconsciously expecting someone to come, a prince, to rescue and help me live my true sexuality. But obviously that prince never came, and I had to go alone the way out of that pit. I started finally a therapy that helped me in that way, it did not repress me. (I take to mean, thank Oscar Peña, my therapist at that time). Once I could accept it I had my first sexual experience. The only good thing about this whole situation was that when I finally decided to live it, I did not blame myself. I could always associate sex with pleasure and happiness, and not the repression that I lived before. Then I stood with my boyfriend. Once a couple, I decided and talked to all my family and friends, in the span of a week. After making about 7 or 8 times the talk of “I have to tell you something”, I decided that I would never make it. I understood that this talk was the same as to ask permission or approval to live my sexuality, and that in any case it was another person’s problem if they did not accept it. Hence, I never hid my sexual orientation, I refused to treat it as something different or special, and I always hung an equality flag. Today I am married with a man I love. And it makes me happy to remember my wedding, I shared it with my whole family, from my grandparents of over 90 years until my nephews, smaller, with many friends and loved ones, who rejoiced and celebrated with me.

(Advice I’d tell my younger self) I’d tell myself to be brave, to be allowed to follow my feelings and not let fear win. That courage always, at least in my experience, brings success.”

Andres, in his own words: En la Argentina y en gran parte de los países occidentales hemos pasado de la penalización de la homosexualidad a la penalización o al menos al rechazo de la homo-fobia. Cuando me empecé a descubrir como gay, la homosexualidad estaba asociada a soledad y sufrimiento. No entendía porque me tocaba a mi, me daba vergüenza y vivía como una condena mi realidad sexual. Como gay debía esconderme o llevar una doble vida, me era difícil contarle a mis amigos que me gustaba un chico en vez de una chica, me resultaba muy difícil decirle a mis padres y a mi familia que estaba enamorado, no podía ni imaginar la posibilidad de caminar por la calle con un novio de la mano, y me era imposible imaginarme la posibilidad de formar una familia. De a poco, con mucho trabajo y esfuerzo, me fui aceptando, fui saliendo del armario, primero con amigos, luego con algún familiar o un compañero de trabajo…fui entendiendo que no necesariamente mi sexualidad significaba rechazo. Fui de-construyendo la concepción de la homosexualidad que la sociedad, la educación y los valores familiares habían implantado en mi cabeza y empecé a descubrir que no estaba sólo, que lo que me pasaba, le pasaba a mucha gente y que se podía ser feliz sin sentirme atraído por alguien del sexo opuesto. Descubrí el amor con otro hombre, la noche y el ambiente, el sexo, la promiscuidad y los códigos de la amistad entre gays. Descubrí que no había nada porque avergonzarse. Mi re-conceptualización de la sexualidad creció mientras crecía mi compromiso por la militancia social y política…y transformé la vergüenza en orgullo. Llegaron las marchas de la diversidad sexual, los debates políticos y la invisibilidad fue reemplazada por visibilidad, el sufrimiento por alegría de vivir, la soledad por sentirse siempre acompañado. Esos amigos, más que amigos se convirtieron en una familia extendida. Y mientras crecía y maduraba como persona, la lucha individual se convirtió en lucha colectiva, la sociedad empezó a cuestionarse sus propias concepciones, y llegaron las leyes: unión civil, matrimonio igualitario y ley de identidad de género. Y con esas leyes, me di cuenta, que todo a lo que había renunciado al aceptar mi realidad sexual cuando era apenas un adolescente, ahora estaba al alcance de mi mano. Pero sobre todo me di cuenta que soy un privilegiado, porque si bien ahora tengo los mismos derechos que un heterosexual, parece como si tuviese muchos más, porque hasta ayer, entre otras cosas, no me podía casar, no podía pensar en adoptar y debía cuidarme en el trabajo por miedo a ser despedido o discriminado. Ser gay para mí significa sentir orgullo, por todo lo que luché contra la vergüenza, la internalizada y la externa. Ser gay significa una re-conceptualización constante, porque debo descubrir y re-descubrir lo que puedo o no puedo por vivir en una sociedad, que aunque avanza, es aún un lugar hostil, producto de años de hetero-normatividad. En definitiva, creo que ser gay en esta época es un descubrimiento constante. Es un eterno construir y de-construir de conceptos.

Como gay el primer desafío y a la vez éxito que se me planteó en la vida fue el de aceptar mi realidad sexual. Utilizo adrede la palabra realidad, y no inclinación, orientación o elección, porque creo que claramente no me representan como sujeto que ejerce su sexualidad. Inclinación u orientación me suenan a eufemismos para nombrar lo nefando y la palabra elección pone a la sexualidad en un lugar de voluntarismo. No creo que la sexualidad se elija, si creo que la voluntad pone al ser humano en el dilema de optar por ejercer su sexualidad o reprimirse. Entonces, volviendo a la esfera personal, creo que mi primer éxito como persona fue plantarme y decir, vivo esto, hago esto y no aquello, me acuesto con un hombre en vez de una mujer.

En Buenos Aires existe la posibilidad de tener una gran vida como gay. Hace mucho que existen lugares gays muy populares, que se llenan de gente. Ir a bailar, salir a tomar algo, y divertirse en grupo, nunca ha sido un problema para mí en mi ciudad. Recuerdo que cuando era más chico, no siempre era fácil moverse como gay en algunas circunstancias. Como en los primeros años no compartía mi realidad sexualidad con mis padres, no les podía decir por ejemplo, que estaba de novio, ni mucho menos tener relaciones sexuales con el en la casa de mis padres, entonces muchas veces terminaba en hoteles alojamiento, y a veces los recepcionistas de estos, te prohibían la entrada. Las muestras de afecto en público representaban cierto peligro y el miedo a la discriminación y al qué dirán eran un limitante de la libertad. Por suerte, la sociedad argentina, especialmente en las grandes urbes, ha evolucionado, y hoy es posible sentirse libre para ser quién uno es.

Mi salida del armario a nivel personal entiendo que se desarrolló con un nivel de inconciencia alto. Tuve a los 18 años algunos encuentros sexuales que viví con cierta culpa e incomprensión por lo que me estaba sucediendo y luego me puse rápidamente de novio y tuve una historia de amor muy larga y profunda. Creo que íntimamente, durante esos años de noviazgo, pensé que lo que me estaba sucediendo, el amar a otro hombre y el sentirme atraído por otros hombres y no por mujeres, era algo pasajero. Pude compartir mi sexualidad con amigos, que en términos generales fueron comprensivos y cariñosos. Sin duda, el obstáculo más grande fue mi familia. La primera vez que hable sobre mi sexualidad con mis padres tenía aproximadamente 24 años. Ya había pasado mucha agua bajo el puente, un noviazgo largo, muchos encuentros sexuales y ya me encontraba transitando mi segundo noviazgo. Claramente, después de mucha terapia psico-análica, ya sabía que lo que me había tocado no era algo pasajero. La bi-sexualidad y claramente la hetero-sexualidad no estaban en el menú de mis opciones. Cuando enfrenté a mis padres por primera vez, utilizó esa palabra a propósito, porque así lo sentía en ese momento, y les conté que era gay, ellos me brindaron todo su apoyo y me dijeron que no me preocupará, que ellos siempre me iban a querer y apoyar. Sin embargo, al poco tiempo, mostraron su preocupación y desaprobación y me ofrecieron ayuda de un psiquiatra, que ellos habían seleccionado, cosa que por supuesto rechacé. Ese fue un momento de mucha crisis en la relación con mis padres. 1 año más tarde, ya no estaba en pareja, y la necesidad de sentirme libre para ejercer plenamente mi sexualidad, me impulsó a vivir con una amiga lesbiana y de alguna manera acelerar la huida de mi hogar familiar.

Me diría a mi mismo, que no tenga miedo, que sea valiente, que sepa que las crisis pasan, y que ser gay no es un castigo ni un lastre que dificulta mis posibilidades de ser feliz. Sin dudas, hubiese compartido mi vida y mi realidad sexual antes de lo que lo hice, con mucha gente. Le diría a esa persona inexperta, que no hay que tenerle miedo al rechazo, que no es necesario que todos comprendan. Le diría que unas de las cosas más importantes en la vida es tener cierto grado de certeza, y que no se puede vivir en la ambivalencia por demasiado tiempo.”

In English: “In Argentina and in most Western countries we have moved from the criminalization of homosexuality to the penalty or at least the rejection of the homo-phobia. When I began to discover I was gay, homosexuality was associated with loneliness and suffering. I did not understand why it touched me, I was ashamed and lived as a condemnation of my sexual reality. A gay should hide or lead a double life, it was hard to tell my friends that I liked a boy instead of a girl, it was very difficult to tell my parents and my family I was in love, I could not imagine the possibility of walking down the street with a boyfriend in hand, and I could not imagine the possibility of forming a family. Gradually, through hard work and effort, I accepted myself, I went out of the closet, first with friends, then with a family member or a coworker … I was not necessarily understanding that my sexuality meant rejection. I was deconstructing the concept of a homosexuality society, education and family values ​​were implanted in my head and I began to discover that not only was that what happened to me, it happened to many people and you could be happy. I found love with another man, the night and the atmosphere, sex, promiscuity and codes of friendship between gays. I discovered that there was nothing to be ashamed of. My re-conceptualization of sexuality grew while growing my commitment to social and political activism, and transformed my shame into pride. Marches reaching sexual diversity, political debates and invisibility were replaced by visibility, suffering joy of life, loneliness always accompanied by feeling. Those friends, more than friends became an extended family. And while growing and maturing as a person, the individual struggle became a collective struggle, society began to question their own conceptions, and soon arrived laws: civil union, gay marriage and gender identity law. And with these laws, I realized that everything I had renounced when accepting my sexual reality when I was a teenager, was now within reach of my hand. But mostly I realized I am privileged because although now I have the same rights as a heterosexual, it seems like I have a lot more, because until yesterday, among other things, I could not get married, I could not think of adopting and should take care at work for fear of being fired or discriminated against. Being gay means to feel pride in myself, for all that I fought the shame, internalized and external. Being gay means a constant re-conceptualization, because I must discover and re-discover what I can or can not live in a society that although advances, is still a hostile place, a product of years of hetero-normativity. In short, I believe that being gay at this time is a constant discovery. It is an eternal construct and deconstruct concepts.

Being gay, the first challenge in life was to accept my sexual reality. I deliberately use the word reality, not inclination, orientation or choice, because I clearly do not represent myself as a person exercising his sexuality. Inclination or orientation sounds like euphemisms to me to name the nefarious and word choice putting sexuality in a place of voluntarism. I do not think sexuality is a choice. Then, returning to the personal sphere, I think my first success as a person was planting myself and saying, I live it, I do this and not that, I sleep with a man instead of a woman.

In Buenos Aires it is possible to have a great life being gay. Long ago there were very popular gay places that were full of people. Going dancing, going for a drink, and having fun in a group, there has never been a problem for me in my city. I remember when I was younger, it was not always easy to move as gay in some circumstances. As in the early years I did not share my true sexuality with my parents, I could not tell them for example that I was dating, let alone to have sex with him in the house of my parents, so then I often ended up in accommodation hotels. Sometimes the receptionists of these would prohibit entry. Displays of affection in public represented a danger and fear of discrimination and of what people would say were limiting freedoms. Fortunately, Argentina society, especially in large cities, has evolved, and today you can feel free to be who you are.

My coming out personally was developed with a high level of unconsciousness. I had come out at 18. I experienced some sexual encounters with some guilt and misunderstanding on what was happening to me and then I quickly found a boyfriend and I had a very long and deep love story. I think intimately, during those years of dating, I thought that what was happening to me, to love another man and be attracted to other men and not to women, was temporary. I could share my sexuality with friends, who were generally supportive and loving. Undoubtedly, the biggest obstacle was my family. The first time I talkd about my sexuality with my parents I was about 24 years. It had been a lot of water under the bridge, a long engagement, many sexual encounters and since I was traveling my second courtship. Clearly, after much análica psycho-therapy, I knew what had hit me was not a fad. The bi-sexuality and hetero-sexuality clearly were not on the menu of my choices. When I confronted my parents for the first time, I used that word on purpose because I felt it at the time, and told them I was gay, they gave me their full support and they told me not worry me, they would always love and support me. However, soon after, they showed their concern and disapproval and offered help from a psychiatrist, they had selected, which of course I refused. That was a moment of great crisis in the relationship with my parents. One year later, I was no longer a couple, and the need to feel free to fully exercise my sexuality, prompted me to live with a lesbian and somehow accelerate the flight of my family home.

I say to my (younger) self, do not be afraid, be courageous, you know that crises happen, and that being gay is not a punishment or a burden that hinders my ability to be happy. Undoubtedly, I should have shared my life and my sexual reality sooner than I did, with many people. I would tell the inexperienced person, we must not be afraid of rejection, it is not necessary that everyone understands. I would say that one of the most important things in life is having some certainty, and not living in ambivalence too long.”

Gustavo, Writer/Journalist, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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
Gustavo, in his own words: “Significa la forma de pararme en el mundo.
(Being gay) Es mi identidad y mi orientación sexual, pero es también mi forma de hacer activismo político. Por que mi visibilidad es política y eso va más allá de mi deseo. Amo y deseo de la misma forma que cualquier otra persona, sin embargo creo que en un mundo donde la homolesbotransfobia impera en muchos países, mi orientación sexual, mi SER GAY, es un campo de lucha.

Soy una persona con algunos privilegios de clase, pero también con ciertos privilegios que tiene que ver con mi profesión. Comunicar también es un privilegio. Sin embargo tengo retos en mi vida, cosas que no manejo voluntariamente que tienen que ver con mi salud y eso es lo que centra mis mayores preocupaciones. Por eso, a veces los privilegios que ostenta que devienen en éxitos no son sólo lo importante. Las dificultades del vivir día a día también hacen que mida muy bien mis acciones.

Indudablemente ((the LGBTI community in Buenos Aires)) es una comunidad en efervescencia sobre todo en los últimos años.
La construcción de esta comunidad se remonta a casi 50 años donde el Grupo Nuestro Mundo comenzaba una especie de organización que luego continuó el Frente de Liberación Homosexual. Después la dictadura del 76-83 borró todo tipo de resistencia hasta 1984 en que se funda la CHA. Después del 2001 la comunidad LGBTI argentina creció y también se diversificó en ideas, ideales, formas de construcción y métodos de activismo. Es muy importante el nacimiento de un activismo nuevo, con la fuerza puesta en el futuro. Pero también fue importante quienes plantaron los cimientos. Hay que saber combinar ambas praxis para seguir pensando el futuro, que sin dudas, estará en manos de las nuevas generaciones.

Salí naturalmente. Seguí mi instinto y casi sin contención lo hice. Siempre estuvo ligado a la lucha, al activismo, y eso lo hizo menos dificil. La gran duda eran mis padres, pero fue tirarles la pelota y que ellos lo digirieran. Hablé con ellos muy joven y fue sacarme una inmensa mochila de encima.
El clóset nunca fue un problema para mi.

(With regards to advice to young people) Qué le recomendarías a la juventud? No me gusta dar recomendaciones. Pero si tuviera que compartir un pensamiento sería: sean libres, felices, aprendan de los errores del pasado y nutranse de los logros que conquistamos en otros momentos donde eran mucho más duros.”

In English:

“(Being gay) Means how to stand in the world.

Is my identity and sexual orientation, but it is also my way of doing political activism. Because my visibility is political and that goes beyond my desire. I love and desire in the same way as anyone else, but I believe that in a world where homolesbotransfobia prevails in many countries, my sexual orientation, my BEING GAY is a battlefield.

I am a person with some class privilege, but also with certain privileges that have to do with my profession. Communicating well is a privilege. However I have challenges in my life, things that do not have voluntarily and that have to do with my health and that’s what I focused my biggest concerns.

So sometimes I have privileges and successes are important. The difficulties of living day to day also make great measures on my actions.

Undoubtedly (the LGBTI community in Buenos Aires) is a community in turmoil especially in recent years. Building this community dates back almost 50 years where the Our World Group began a kind of organization which then continued the Gay Liberation Front. Afterwards the dictatorship of 76-83 obliterated all resistance until 1984 that the CHA is based. After 2001 the Argentina LGBTI community grew and diversified into ideas, ideals, forms of construction and methods of activism.
It is very important to the birth of a new activism, with the force on the future.

But also important was those who planted the foundations. One must know how to combine both praxis to keep thinking about the future, which will undoubtedly be in the hands of the younger generation.

I came out naturally. I followed my instinct. It was always linked to the struggle, activism, and that made it less difficult. The big question were my parents, but that was throwing the ball and they digirieran. I talked to them was very young and take my huge backpack off. The closet was never a problem for me.

(With regards to advice to young people) I do not like to give recommendations. But if I had to share a thought it would be, to be free, happy, learn from past mistakes and Nurture of the achievements that we won at other times when it was much harder.”

Agustín, Writer, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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
Agustin, in his own words: “Ser gay significa SER. No hay demasiada vuelta que darle. Uno nace con un corazón. Y ese corazón tiene vida propia y habla por sí sólo. Actúa y se enamora de otro corazón, independientemente del sexo. Ser gay es SER.

Mi primer reto fue aceptarme y mi primer éxito es haberlo logrado. Pero el mayor reto en mi vida fue habérselo contado a mis amigos y a mi familia; y mi mayor éxito es saber que todos me apoyan, me quieren y respetan.

(With regards to the gay community in Buenos Aires) No estoy muy enterado de lo que hacen o comunican. Sé que existe, nada más.

(With regards to coming out) Confirmé lo que hacía años sospechaba y me predispuse a ser feliz con lo que soy. Lo afrenté (esa es quizás la clave), lo comuniqué, me acepté, me aceptaron y soy feliz.

(Advice I’d give my younger self) Que sean fieles a lo que de verdad sienten. Que entendamos (todos) que hay cuestiones en la vida que sí se pueden controlar y que la felicidad, la tranquilidad espiritual y la alegría dependen de cómo actuemos nosotros con lo que nos pasa y lo que somos.”

In English:

“Being gay means being. Not much way around it . One is born with a heart. And that heart has its own life and speaks for itself . Acts and falls for another heart , regardless of gender . Being gay is being.

My first challenge was to take myself and have my first successes achieved. But the biggest challenge in my life was to tell my friends and family; and my greatest success is knowing all the support I had, I have love and respect .

(With regards to the gay community in Buenos Aires) I’m not aware of what they do or communicate . I know there is nothing else.

(With regards to coming out) I confirmed what I suspected for years and I decided to be happy with who I am . I affronted ( this is perhaps the key), I communicated, and accepted myself, accepted myself and I am happy.

(Advice I’d give to my younger self) Be true to what they really feel . Understand (all) that there are issues in life that itself can be controlled and happiness, peace of mind and happiness, depends on how we act with what happens to us and what we are.”