Tagged: brazil

Edu, Quality Assurance Test Leader, Sao Paulo, 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

Edu, in his own words: “I think being gay is just a part of my personality but it is not the main thing about me. I think either gay or straight I would be looking for the same things. You know, I’m a human being who wants to be loved, to grow, to experiment things and so on.
On one hand there is the prejudice explicit or implicit, depending on the culture/city/country you are in, but on the other hand you are free to build your own path in life. You don’t have to necessarily follow the steps the society pre-programmed for you, like to marry, to have kids and to buy a flat in the suburbs. You can choose being single, having an open marriage, spending your money traveling the world because you don’t have kids, or whatever you want to. I notice that many people are afraid of this freedom; they prefer living in the box. For me I see it as a blank canvas I’m free to paint as I please.

My biggest challenge was to go through the bulling I suffered during school time. Bullying is a topic that is much discussed these days, but back in the 80’s it was really complicated to be a shy/nerdy/gay kid. One interesting thing is that I was bullied for being gay before I understand what sexuality was all about or even actually having a sex drive.

My biggest success was to overcome a very limited scenario in which I was born and raised. I was born in a poor family in the suburbs with all its financial difficulties. My parents and grandparents helped me out as much as possible for me to study and to grow as a decent person. I took all chances and I was the first on my family to go to college and have “a real big job”. I am grateful to all of them.

I could define São Paulo gay community in one word: diversity. You can find here the princesses (in Brazil they call them Barbies), bears, indies, hipsters and so on. I find it refreshing because I come from a city in which the only gay archetype that is acceptable it the buffed-all-waxed-suntan-lined-porn-star-look-a-like guy.

Getting out of the closet was complicated just in my head. Once I figured it out and accepted it was all natural. I didn’t have “the conversation” with my mother; my family knew it all along.

(If I could give myself advice before coming out) I would say to myself: “relax and go ahead. It won’t hurt and once you are out they will respect you more than being in the closet.”

William, Graphic Designer, Sao Paulo, 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

William, in his own words: “Being gay for me now means alot of things, and inside these things is being true with myself, happy more than sad. Against all the bad things that happened with a gay guy in school I decided to transform the experience into the power to be whatever I want, but being happy always, and if not I will work hard to find the happiness being myself.

My challenges happened when I decided to study a thing that I knew that in my hometown will not work, that was being a graphic designer in a small city. So I decided to move to São Paulo and needed to work hard to find myself in this city. Now I`m here for 3 years in a relationship and we have our apartament, so I think the things are really working now.

The gay community in São Paulo for me is very cool and diversified, now we have more space than before and its more safer to walk and be whatever you want. But as many cities of the world some things need to change and the people need to be more open minded.

Coming out from the closet was more easy than I thought it would be, my mother and dad now accepts me and my boyfriend very, very well.

(If I could talk to myself before coming out) I could say: Be happy being yourself, no matter what happen.”

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!”

Anderson, Social Worker, 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
Anderson, in his own words: “Ser gay significa ser gente. Ser gay não pode ser maior que nada na vida de uma pessoa. Assim como sou gay, sou branco, sou gaúcho, sou brasileiro, sou estudante, sou trabalhador, sou assistente social, sou ateu. Algumas características podem se findar, outras, como ser gay, não. Mas não podemos colocar a categoria gay como algo acima de qualquer outra coisa. Hoje, eu tenho muito orgulho de ser gay, apesar de não discutir gênero e movimentos LGBT. Mas vou para as ruas quando preciso for para defender nossas causas, não pela militância gay, mas pelo entendimento e comprometimento que tenho com a luta das minorias, assim faria com qualquer outro movimento social, como os indígenas e os negros. Além disso, ser gay, significa ser especial, me sinto especial por ser gay, me sinto especial pode entender na pele o que é o preconceito, o sofrimento, e a dor por sermos aquilo que não tivemos opção de escolher. Não é uma sentimento de pena, ou mágoa, mas sim, uma razão que me faz olhar o outro diferente, com um olhar muito mais aguçado. Consigo não só compreender o gay, mas a todos que passam pela inúmeras formas de preconceito, e isso implica até ao preconceito que ocorre dentro do próprio mundo LGBT. Não tenho então qualquer sentimento ou pensando do que eu seria se não fosse gay, sou gay, e sou feliz e adoraria ser gay se felizmente outra vida existisse…quem sabe em um mundo de mais liberdade.

O primeiro desafio era sair de de casa. Como sair de casa, menor de idade e sem dinheiro? Não tive muitas opções, a alternativa foi estudar e ir morar fora devido ao ingresso no ensino superior. Acho que esse é a primeira vitória. Não escolhi o conforto e o comodismo de casa, escolhi ser independente, pagando o preço que for. Entrei no curso de Serviço Social, e isso é algo que transformou minha vida. Iniciei um processo teórico de discussão sobre política, sociedade, Estado, e que consequentemente irá perpassar por família, conservadorismo, gênero, movimentos sociais e minorias. Durante a graduação em Serviço Social ocorrem dois fatos muito importantes e que mudam minha vida. Primeiro é me aceitar e contar para minha família sobre ser gay, e segundo é começar um namoro que durou seis anos, e confesso, foram bons seis anos, apesar do término. No Serviço Social tive a nítida certeza que pertencia ao grupo de estudantes certo, e sabia que somente através do trabalho eu iria ter a liberdade tal almejada. No ano seguinte após o término do curso de graduação fui aprovado em um concurso público federal, fui trabalhar interior do centro-oeste brasileiro com comunidades de agricultura familiar e indígenas. Ser gay assumido em uma pequena cidade não é fácil, mas confesso, com o namorado assumindo isso, ficou muito mais fácil, tanto para mim quanto para ele, e ressalto, nunca passamos por problema algum quanto a isso. Em 2013 já solteiro sou transferido para Brasília, coloco isso como uma grande conquista no campo profissional, de fato, ser gay não teve implicações, como disse, é só uma característica, assim como minha cor. Nesse mesmo ano me torno coordenador de um curso de graduação em Serviço Social em uma instituição de ensino superior de Brasília, de origem neopentecostal, ou seja, ou fato de eu ser assumidamente gay, não é um problema para assumir cargo e executar meu trabalho, porém, concordo que é um grande avanço na instituição onde atuo. Em 2014 entro no Programa de Pós Graduação em Política Social da Universidade de Brasília no Distrito Federal, e esse é outro ponto que marca uma conquista importante, o ingresso em uma universidade pública e em um programa de estudos reconhecidos internacionalmente. Mais uma vez, minha discussão não entra no campo do gênero, prefiro discutir os movimentos sociais na era da internet, mas tendo ter o mínimo de acompanhamento do que anda ocorrendo nessas temáticas. Em 2014 ainda assumo a gestão do Conselho Regional de Serviço Social do Distrito Federal. E isso marca um posicionamento e a participação em um grupo crítico que trabalha na defesa dos direitos humanos, o que inclui as questões LGBT. Entendo que apesar dos meus 28 anos, já consegui muita coisa, mas o caminhada não para. Não quero o acúmulo, quero o suficiente para uma vida legal, com qualidade e com alegria quero somente ser feliz, e isso inclui a vida mental, sentimental, profissional e familiar. Continuo atrás da felicidade, e de novos desafios, sei que posso ser melhor sempre!

Eu tinha 18 anos de idade. Tinha saído de casa para estudar Serviço Social na Universidade de Passo Fundo no Rio Grande do Sul. Minha família foi me visitar, e minha irmã acabou mexendo no meu celular por curiosidade do aparelho mesmo. Enfim, viu algumas mensagens. Contei para a família que gostava de pessoas do mesmo sexo, e que não iria mudar, que não era uma questão de escolha, eu era assim e pronto. Aos 18 anos decidi que deveria ser feliz, independente da família ou de qualquer pessoa. O primeiro dia, foi horrível, mas também foi a certeza que não tinha mais que esconder nada, chorei muito, pensei que dali para frente, seria eu comigo mesmo, seria a vida longe de casa, sem ter para onde voltar. No dia seguinte, minha irmã e minha mãe me pediram desculpas, e disseram que tinha algo mais importante, que era o amor entre nós, isso foi crucial para eu entender o significava família. Dias depois recebi ligações de vários familiares para me dar apoio e dizer que nada mudava, e o que importava era eu estar bem e feliz. Foi a certeza que eu tive que poderia contar com todos. A sexualidade e a orientação sexual passaram a ser algo cotidiano dentro da minha família, sem discussões relevantes. Depois e mim, vieram outros, e hoje somos m três gays, três primos homens, e confesso que isso ajuda muito. Somos mais que primos, somos amigos todos podemos contar com uma família que nos apóia e que torce por nós. Hoje, se deixar, qualquer tia minha, me arruma um namorado, tenho que cuidar kkkkk.

Brasília é diferente em todos os sentidos, tanto para os gays quanto para os não gays. Brasília é uma cidade moderna, com boa infra-estrutura, e que atende o público gay de todas as tribos. Nunca presenciei nem um ato homofóbico em Brasília, mas é claro que isso também existe, afinal o conservadorismo esta no mundo todo. Mas Brasília vale a pena. Minha escolha por viver em Brasília deve-se muito ao fato da receptividade ao público gay, a aceitação e as possibilidades que temos aqui de andar mais livremente e expressarmos de fato o que somos. Acredito na liberdade, na livre expressão. Não sou um adepto de beijos e carícias ao ar livre, mas também não os nego e não os condeno, expressar algo de bom quando temos vontade é sempre a melhor coisa, por isso digo que é bom viver o amor, os passageiros ou os duradouros em Brasília,

Eu falaria, “guri, o mundo é maior do que você pensa, vá viver, conheça tudo e todos, aproveite e experimente tudo em todos os sentidos, viva a liberdade do ser”. Além disso, diria para o Anderson, guri do interior do Rio Grande do Sul, que ele pode e deve ser feliz. Que ele é gente, que ele pode sorrir, que não deve ser culpar por nada e nem achar desculpas, que que deve aproveitar a vida, diria para ele acreditar mais em si mesmo, ter mais autoconfiança, menos medos, viver sua adolescência como todos adolescentes.”

In English:

“Being gay means to be us. Being gay can not be greater than anything in the life of a person. As I’m gay, I’m white, I’m Gaucho, I am Brazilian, I am a student, I am working, I am a social worker, I am an atheist. Some features may be ended, others, such as being gay, not. But we can not put the gay category as something above anything else. Today, I am very proud to be gay, though not to discuss gender and LGBT movements. But to go to the streets when needed to defend our causes, not by gay militancy, but by understanding and commitment I have with the struggle of minorities, as with any other social movement, such as indigenous and black movements. Also, being gay means being special, I feel special for being gay, I feel special and that I can understand firsthand what it is to experience prejudice, suffering, and pain because of who we are. There is a feeling of pity, or hurt, but it is one reason that makes me look different than others, with a much sharper look. I can not not understand what it is to be gay but to also pass by numerous forms of prejudice, and that means the bias that occurs within the LGBT community. I cannot imagine how it would be if I was not gay, I’m gay, and I’m happy and would love to be gay, it is fortunately another life there … maybe in a world of more freedom.

The first challenge was leaving home. Like leaving home, being a minor and having no money. I did not have many options, the alternative was to study and go live out to enter higher education. I think this is the first victory. I did not choose the comfort and the home of indulgence, I chose to be independent, paying the price for that. I entered the course of Social Services, and this is something that changed my life. I started a process of theoretical discussion about politics, society, state, that consequently will pervade each family, conservatism, gender, social movements and minorities. During my graduation in Social Work occurred two very important facts changing my life. First was me telling my family about being gay, and second was to get a courtship that lasted six years, and I confess, they were a good six years, despite the end. Social Work had a distinction that belonged to a group of certain students, and I knew that only through this work I would be free as desired. The following year, after the undergraduate program was approved in a federal public contest, I went to work inside central-western Brazil with family and indigenous farming communities. Being openly gay in a small town is not easy, but I confess, with my boyfriend assuming this, it became much easier, both for me and for him, to shoulder upon, and we never went through any problem with that. In 2013 already I was single and transferred to Brasilia, I put it as a great achievement in my professional field, in fact, being gay had no implications, as I said, it’s just a characteristic, as well as my color. That same year I become coordinator of an undergraduate degree in Social Work at a higher education institution in Brasilia, of Pentecostal origin, that is, that I am openly gay, is not a problem to take charge and do my work, however, I agree that is a major advance in the institution where I work. In 2014 I entered the Graduate Program in Social Policy at the University of Brasilia in the Federal District, and this is another point which marks an important achievement, enrollment at a public university and a program of internationally recognized studies. Again, my discussion does not go on gender issues, I’d rather discuss the social movements of the Internet age, but having to have the minimum follow-up of walking occurring in these themes. In 2014 I am still assuming the management of the Regional Council of Social Service of the Federal District. And that brand positioning and participation in a critical group working to defend human rights, including LGBT issues. I understand that despite my 28 years, I have gone through a lot, but not to walk. I do not want to accumulate, want enough for a legal life, with quality and with joy I only want to be happy, and that includes mental, emotional, professional and family life. I continue after happiness, and new challenges, I know I can always be better!

(With regards to coming out) I was 18 years old. I had left home to study Social Work at the University of Passo Fundo in Rio Grande do Sul. My family came to visit me, and my sister working on my mobile device, saw some messages. I told the family that I liked persons of the same sex, and that would not change, it was not a matter of choice, and I was ready. At 18 I decided I should be happy, regardless of family or anyone. The first day was horrible, but I no longer had to hide anything, I cried a lot, I thought that from then on, I would be myself, life would be away from home, without being able to return. The next day, my sister and my mother asked me excuses, and said they had something more important, it was the love between us, it was crucial for me to understand the meaning of family. Days later I received calls from several family to support me and say that nothing changed, and what mattered was I be well and happy. I was sure that I had all I could count on. Sexuality and sexual orientation became an everyday thing in my family, without relevant discussions. After me came others, and today we are three gays, three cousins, men, and I confess that it helps a lot. We are more than cousins, we’re friends and can all have a family that supports us and roots for us. Today, if you leave any of my aunts, get me a boyfriend, I have to take care kkkkk.

Brasilia is different in every way, both gays and for those not gay. Brasilia is a modern city with good infrastructure, and serving the gay community of all the tribes. I never witnessed a homophobic act in Brasilia, but of course it also exists, after all there is conservatism worldwide. But Brasilia is worth it. My choice to live in Brasilia owes much to the fact that receptivity to the gay public acceptance and the possibilities we have here to walk more freely and express the fact that we are gay. I believe in freedom, free expression. I’m not a fan of kisses and caresses outdoors, but do not deny them and condemn them, I express something good when I feel it is always the best thing, so I say it is good to live love, passengers or lasting in Brasilia.
 
(If I could give advice to my younger self) I would say, “kid, the world is bigger than you think, go live, know everything and everyone, enjoy and experience everything in every way, live the freedom of being.” In addition, I would say to Anderson, kid in the interior of Rio Grande do Sul, you can and should be happy. You are a person, you can smile, not to be blamed for anything or find excuses, that you should enjoy life, tell yourself to believe more in yourself, have more confidence, less fears, live your adolescence as all teens.”

A Note from Mauricio, in São José dos Campos, Brazil…

Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Photo provided by Mauricio
Mauricio, in his own words: Essa história de amor começa da forma que eles se conheceram.

O Maurício Caetano ( @maucaetano_ ) recém chegado na cidade de São José dos Campos ( interior de SP ), encontra o Arnon Cypriano ( @arnoncypriano ) aleatoriamente para pedir informações. Ele de prontidão lhe da as informações e nisso começam a conversar. Era 25/08/13. Eles trocam número de telefone, e desde então não pararam de conversar. Com 4 meses juntos oficializaram o namoro e comunicaram aos familiares.

Hoje fazem mais de 3 anos que essas almas de encontraram e cada dia mais sonhando viver a eternidade juntos. Em breve irão se casar e sonham também adotar uma criança e assim então viver felizes para sempre.

In English:

“This love story begins with the way they met.

Mauricio (@maucaetano_) newly arrived in the city of São José dos Campos (São Paulo state), meets Arnon (@arnoncypriano) at random to ask for information. He gives him the information and they start talking about it. It was 08/25/13. They exchange phone numbers, and since then they have not stopped talking. Four months together and they officially starting dating and informed their family.

Now after more than three years since these souls met, and each day they dream more of living eternity together. They will soon get married and dream also of adopting a child so they can live happily ever after.”

Matheus, Fashion Producer, São Paulo, 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

Matheus, in his own words: “Actually I think being gay it’s not something that has a meaning for me, it’s a part of who I am just as being black or being tall.

I think the worst part of being gay it’s trying to fit in and find your place and sometimes being a little bit afraid of other people’s comments and reactions.

The gay community in Brazil in Sao Paulo is very diversed, I think there is a place for everyone twinks, bears, fashionistas and etc… and even for people that don’t like labels. hehehee

When I came out to my family I wanted to tell my father first because we have more of a open and straight foward relationship, but my sister who already knew at the time, convinced me to tell my mother first. My mom literally freaked out, and because of that started a little family war between the two of us, that lasted for almost a year. After things calmed down a little bit I told my father , he wasn’t that open minded, but he was supportive in his own silent way, and for that I’m very thankfull, because after I told him the bickering between me and my mom ended, and things actually started to get better.

Advice I’d give to anyone (who hasn’t come out) is, be patient to others,, it’s a process, sometimes you have to put yourself in someone elses shoes to understand their heads. and just be strong. being gay it’s not the end of the world, it’s just the beggining. hehee”

João Victor, Engineer, Rio De Janeiro, 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

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!”

SILVIO, PROMOTER/DJ, SÃO PAULO, 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
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

Silvio, in his own words: “Being gay means for me being me, means being human. There’s no meaning, it’s just like being straight. A normal thing!

It was really hard for me to be accepted by my parents, this could be considered as a challenge, but I also consider it as a success. After they knew about it and the dog days were over, I could finally be myself without caring about others opinions. The only people whose opinions was relevant was the people I love and respect.

The gay community in São Paulo is really full of people wanting to be famous, rich, or trying to show they are, even if they aren’t. But I can’t say only the bad things. The Gay community here is really free. After bad thing happened, the attack of homophobics ceased. You can find gay people walking hand in hand on malls, some streets and avenues, supermarkets etc. There’s also a big gay nightlife scene that has got the best parties and clubs!

To come out of the closet was REALLY hard. The moment I told my parents, the chaos was established in my house. My father almost died and my mother cried about a week without stopping. They tried to convince me that I should think better about my “decision” and after I told them that there was no decision, my mom became angry and started to be aggressive. Due to all the suffering, we all went to a psychologist and they only opened their minds when the woman said that they should accept this, or they were gonna lose a son. I still was their son, the same guy and nothing changed in me, I was the same son that I was when I was a child! I was born gay!

(If I could talk to myself before I came out) I would say to my self: hey kid, you’re gonna suffer A LOT! But don’t worry, it will only prove that you’re strong enought to get through all of this! And trust me, things will get better! You’re gonna be sooooooo happy after all of this hurting situation is over…”

“All of my life I been wading in
Water so deep now we got to swim
Wonder will it ever end
How long how long till we have a friend

Look at me, I just can’t believe,
what they’ve done to me
We could never get free
I just wanna be, I just wanna dream”
Get Free – Major Lazer

Vitor, Law Student, 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.”