Tagged: brasilia

Octavio, Painter, 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
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Octávio, in his own words: “Being gay means allowing myself to be who I am; it means not to worry about following some patterns or standards that are ruled and dictated by a homophobic society. Homosexuality is just one of so many characteristics that I have, just a part of me. Honestly, I’m more disturbed by my tendency to get a bit sweaty than being gay, talk about sweating the small stuff!

When I was thirteen, I discovered that I might be gay. At first I became really worried about that and tried to deny the possibility. At that time, I was living abroad and had no friends. So I decided to keep myself quiet and save this secret with me. When I came back to Brazil, I was enrolled in a military high school. By then I already knew that I was gay, but to blend – to be accepted and to preserve my “identity” – I started following and adopting straight customs. In this struggling environment, I joined my school’s glee club. It represented for me a place where I could strip off that behavior designed to fit in, and started being myself. There I met a girl who became my best friend. For the first time, with her, I opened myself and shared my secret about my sexuality. Her reception was the best I could expect, and I started feeling lighter from that day on. A few months later, I decided to talk about things with my parents. I was expecting a violent reception, perhaps even being kicked out of my home. To my surprise, I was accepted and embraced. At the beginning, they sent me to a neurologist, because they believed that I was mentally ill and that homosexuality was a disease. For one year, I had psychological counseling. Over time we discovered together that I’ve always been gay and that homosexuality is not a disease and nothing has changed in my behavior since I came out. Actually, I’ve became happier and more buoyant. Nowadays, my parents treat me with the same respect that they treat my two sisters that are straight. In our family we can speak openly about any subject now.

I was a very sensitive and creative kid, but during my oppressive and repressive adolescence, I left my creative side behind. After I came out, I started not to care anymore about the opinions of others about my choices. Like, I didn’t care if they thought choosing an artistic career could look like a ‘gay’ thing. So I started to chase my dreams. For two years, I studied Architecture and Urbanism at university, but I found my true calling and personal fulfillment in the visual and fine arts. I’ve discovered myself as a painter, and studied Art History during an exchange year at the University of Florence in Italy. I continually expose my art all over the world (and online using my website, www.octaviorold.com). In the beginning, I was afraid that my sexuality could impact on my audience; perhaps people would decide not to go to my exhibitions just because I’m gay. But I have found that art touches people, and our deepest essence as human beings doesn’t have prejudice.

Despite being comfortable with my sexuality, I’m generally not into dance clubs. I know that there is a really good gay environment in Brasilia and it has a lot of good options for those that want to have some fun. I think that Brasilia is a gay-friendly city, and I’ve never suffered explicit homophobic aggression in the form of verbal or physical abuse.

If I could give Tavinho (‘Little Tavio’) advice, I would tell him to try to be more confident and not to worry so much about following standards. I would tell him to live fully and let the universe be in charge of the rest.”

Vitor, 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
Vitor, in his own words: “Ser gay me fez ser uma pessoa melhor, me ajudou a olhar para o outro com mais carinho e tolerância. Levei um tempo para aceitar a minha orientação sexual, mas hoje me sinto bem, pleno e realizado. A parte difícil é lidar com a sociedade e o preconceito. O Brasil é um país bem machista e ainda precisamos convencer uma galera de que não somos diferentes de ninguém e que merecemos o mesmo respeito e direitos das outras pessoas.

Certamente o maior desafio que a vida me deu foi o de alcançar a minha independência financeira. Nem sempre pode-se contar com o apoio das outras pessoas quando se é gay e nesse sentido ser independente foi fundamental para mim.

Já não morava com meus pais quando me assumi, mas a reação foi surpreendente. Tive muito medo, mas sentia que precisava contar. Minha mãe me disse que eu não era o primeiro e não seria o ultimo e que o amor que ela sentia por mim não mudaria jamais. Isso foi muito importante para mim. Hoje não falamos sobre esse assunto, mas não preciso mais mentir ou inventar histórias e isso é muito bom.

Acho a comunidade gay bem dispersa em Brasília. Aqui todos se conhecem pelo menos de vista, mas ainda mantemos uma certa distância uns dos outros. O engajamento é pequeno e não há um movimento LGBT consolidado. Apenas uma vez por ano é que pode-se ver muitos gays reunidos, na parada gay.

Se eu pudesse mandar um recado para mim há 10 anos seria: ouça o seu coração e faça aquilo que é certo para você. Perdi muito tempo tentando me adaptar ao que os outros diziam que era certo e sofri bastante.”

In English:

“Being gay has made me a better person, helped me to look at others with more kindness and tolerance. It took me a while to accept my sexual orientation, but today I feel good, full and fulfilled. The hard part is dealing with society and prejudice. Brazil is a very macho country and we still need to convince a galley that we are no different from anyone else and that we deserve the same respect and rights of others.

Certainly the biggest challenge that life gave me was to achieve my financial independence. One can not always count on the support of others when one is gay and in that sense being independent was key for me.

(With regards to coming out) I no longer lived with my parents when I told them, but the reaction was surprising. I was too afraid, but felt the need to tell. My mother told me I was not the first and would not be the last and that the loved me and her feelings for me would not change ever. This was very important to me. Today we do not talk about this, but I don’t need to lie or make up stories and that’s very good.

I think the gay community well dispersed in Brasilia. Here everyone knows at least each other by sight, but still maintain a certain distance from one another. The engagement is small and there is a consolidated LGBT movement. Only once a year can you can see many assembled gays in a gay parade.

If I could send a message to myself 10 years ago it would be: listen to your heart and do what is right for you. I lost a lot of time trying to fit in to what others said it was right and suffered enough.”

Itallo, Business Administration, 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
Itallo, in his own words: “Ser gay para mim significa ser tolerante a diversidade, autêntico, lutador, independente, ter jogo cintura diante da ignorância da sociedade e acima de tudo ser um cidadão que merece respeito independentemente de sua orientação sexual.

O maior desafio que já tive foi morar sozinho em outro estado, pois sou do interior do Maranhão, município chamado de Pindaré-Mirim, que significa em tupi, língua indígena brasileira, peixe pequeno. Desta forma, sai da minha zona de conforto e vim morar sozinho em Brasília, capital do Brasil, sem parentes e amigos por perto, ou seja, foi bem difícil para mim no início, hábitos e costumes totalmente diferentes da minha terra natal.

Minha maior conquista foi em meio as dificuldades financeiras, consegui concluir minha graduação em Administração e atualmente trabalho na área.

Me assumi um pouco antes de me mudar para Brasília, aos 20 anos de idade, na verdade foi uma situação em que minha mãe me surpreendeu, no que diz respeito a reação. Dou ênfase a minha mãe, pois foi ela sozinha que me criou, sendo meu pai e minha mãe, uma mulher independente que sempre correu atrás daquilo que acreditava, uma mulher que admiro muito.

A comunidade gay em Brasília podemos dizer que possui certa liberdade, as ações da secretaria dos direitos humanos voltados para o meio LGBT é mais ativo, mesmo a sociedade apresentando ser preconceituosa quanto a pessoa gay e afins, possuímos certo privilégios/liberdade para nos expô e lutar pelos nossos direitos e respeitar entre nós mesmos os nossos deveres.

Independentemente de ser gay ou não, seja você mesmo acima de tudo e lute pelos seus sonhos, a vida em si não é fácil, e pior ela é muito curta, então, corra atrás, lute, para crescer na vida, ser independente, óbvio que nessa jornada terá que realizar alguns sacrifícios, mas todos nós alguma hora na vida sacrificamos algo para conseguir evoluir e crescer como pessoas e sermos satisfeitas com a vida que escolhemos, algo que acredito ser muito importante, então, acredite em você e se conheça, para poder assumir sua orientação com naturalidade e sabedoria, seja feliz!”

In English:

“Being gay for me means being tolerant to diversity, authentic, a fighter, independent, and above all to be a citizen who deserves respect regardless of their sexual orientation.
 
The biggest challenge I’ve ever had was living alone in another state, for I am from the interior of Maranhão, municipality called Pindaré-Mirim, which means in Tupi, Brazil’s indigenous language, small fish. Thus, out of my comfort zone I came to live alone in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, without family and friends around, i.e., it was hard for me at first, the habits and customs are totally different from my homeland.
 
My greatest achievement was in the midst of financial difficulties, being able to complete my degree in Business Administration and currently working in the area.
 
I (came out) a little before I moved to Brasilia, as a 20-year-old, and it was actually a situation where my mother surprised me, with regards to her reaction. I emphasize my mother because it was she alone who created me, was my father and my mother, an independent woman who always went after what she believed in, a woman I admire very much.

The gay community in Brasilia we can say has some freedom, the secretary of the actions of human rights facing the LGBT media is more active, even presenting society being prejudiced as a gay person and the like, we have certain privileges / freedom to expose us and fight for our rights and respect among ourselves and our duties.

(Advice I’d give my younger self) Whether you are gay or not, be yourself above all and fight for your dreams, life itself is not easy, and worse it is too short, so, chase, fight, to grow in life, be independent, this journey you will have to make some sacrifices, but all of us at some time in life sacrifice something to evolve and grow as people and be satisfied with the life we choose, something which I believe is very important, then, believe in yourself and know, in order to take his guidance and wisdom naturally, be happy!”