Tagged: lima

Alexander, Photographer, Lima, Peru

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

Alexander, in his own words: “(Being gay means) Estar a favor de la diversidad y de la libertad de ser quien uno quiere ser, sin necesidad de encajar o cumplir ciertos patrones. No solo es la atracción física que uno siente hacia a otro varón, sino que abarca las mismas necesidades que todas las personas tienen: Amar y ser amado.

Me siento bastante feliz de tener familiares y amigos que me apoyan, me quieren, eso me da fuerzas para no tener miedo. Pero el mundo no está compuesto solo por esas personas y te das cuenta que afuera hay mucha gente mala, que odia, que no entiende y en muchos casos agrede y mata. Podría mencionar eso como un reto, no debería serlo, pero esa es la situación. En más de una ocasión me han hecho sentir mucho miedo y odiar el hecho de ser gay, he tenido experiencias desagradables de homofobia y otros tipos de discriminación. Cuando he estado con chicos me ha costado expresar mi amor hacia ellos con libertad en las calles, debido al maldito miedo de ser agredido.

Pero no todo es oscuridad. Por otro lado, ha sido genial conocer muchos chicos gays, lesbianas, transexuales a través de los años. Cuando ingresé a la universidad todo cambió, conocí mucha gente, todos diversos en todos los aspectos. Eso abrió mi mente y la de ellos, era una retroalimentación. Fue así que junto a amigos impulsamos un grupo LGTB en la universidad donde estudiábamos, nos volvimos más activistas o al menos es lo que intentamos. Ahora el grupo sigue en pie y ha crecido increíblemente. Yo ya no milito, me he metido de lleno a la fotografía y proyectos personales, quizás pueda sonar egoísta pero a veces a las justas tengo tiempo para lo que estoy haciendo. Pero me hace feliz saber que muchas cosas han cambiado en la universidad desde entonces y en la sociedad en general. Siento que ahora se toca más los temas LGTB, siento que hay más visibilidad pero de hecho hay mucho aún por hacer.

(The gay community in Lima is) Pequeña, con mucho ímpetu pero que puede resultar compleja. Hay muchas ganas por parte de muchas personas y movimientos de generar cambios. Y últimamente más por parte de jóvenes, chicos que se emocionan y se convencen como todos de que tenemos que ser generadores de cambios. Pero somos una sociedad bastante diversa, llena de diferencias que a la larga crea más diferencias entre toda esta gente y los grupos terminan disolviéndose, algunos chicos prefieren alejarse y luchar de una forma más silenciosa, lo cual puede ser criticado por otros y ello genera más fastidio y al final puede terminar siendo un gran lío.

Es algo que yo particularmente he observado. También a veces hay lucha de protagonismo e intereses personales y siento que esos pequeños detalles pueden terminar desviando la lucha por la que todos nos unimos, que es el de generar una mejor sociedad, sin discriminación y con igualdad de derechos para todos.

Creo que he salido del clóset más de una vez porque al inicio trataba de ocultarlo, temía, trataba de aparentar. Pero ahora que de alguna forma vivo con más libertad, ya no siento necesidad de hacerlo. Si me conoces, lo intuyes o conversando lo llegas a saber. Antes me daba terror llegar a la pregunta: “¿Y tienes novia?”. Ahora simplemente puedo hablar con ligereza de que me gustan los chicos y listo. No siento la necesidad de preparar a las personas o prepararme para anunciarlo.

Pero hubo un tiempo en que ello era distinto. En todo caso, la salida de clóset que considero importante fue la de casa.

El primero en saberlo fue mi primo mayor que es como mi hermano, lo supo abruptamente porque me vio con un chico. Se enojó, no me habló un tiempo pero luego de procesarlo, se calmó y me ofreció todo su apoyo. Creció conmigo y asumo que al igual que mis padres esperaba que yo fuera heterosexual.

Mi madre lloró mucho, se sentía confundida pero luego de semanas se calmó y las cosas para hoy han mejorado increíblemente, somos mucho más cercanos e incluso en la medida que puede me apoya en la lucha. La quiero demasiado y ella a mí, es una gran madre y mejor amiga.

Mi hermana menor simplemente me dijo “¿Tanto nerviosismo para eso? Ya lo sabía, todo bien, vamos a compartir más gustos ahora”. Me sorprendió, fue quien lo tomó de mejor manera.

Mi padre quizás es el que no lo ha tomado tan bien, lloraba mucho, se sentía culpable. Nunca reaccionó tan mal, me ofreció su apoyo, nunca lo ha dejado de hacer pero trata de no tocar el tema de mi homosexualidad. Y me apena porque ese aspecto es importante también en mi vida. Quisiera y espero que algún día él pueda verme con un chico y ser feliz como en ese momento lo podría ser yo.

El resto de familiares y amigos lo han llegado a saber por mis publicaciones en Facebook, diálogos cuando hay reuniones familiares, entre otras mil formas. Ya no me causa miedo, preocupación o frustración.

No están solos, solo deben observar mejor. Aprendan constantemente, equivóquense, vivan, luchen. No tengan miedo. Sean libres. Es un consejo que también me lo doy a mi mismo siempre.”

In English:

“(Being gay means) being in favor of diversity and freedom to be who you want to be without needing to fit or meet certain standards. It’s not just the physical attraction one feels for another man, but rather covers the same needs that all people have: to love and be loved.

I feel quite happy to have family and friends who support me, love me, and that gives me strength to be fearless. But the world is not made up ​​of only those people and you realize that many bad people out there have hate, and do not understand and many are often assaulted and killed. I could mention that as a challenge, it should not be, but that’s the situation. On more than one occasion I have felt much fear and hate for being gay, I have had unpleasant experiences of homophobia and other discrimination. When I’ve been with guys I don’t express my love for them freely in the streets, because of the fear of being attacked.

But not all is dark. On the other hand, it has been great to meet a lot of gay guys, lesbians, transsexuals through the years. When I entered college, everything changed, I met many people, all different in all aspects. That opened my mind and theirs. With friends we created a LGBT group at the university where we studied, and we became more activists or at least we tried. Now the group is still standing and has grown incredibly. I have fully embraced photography and personal projects, it could sound selfish but sometimes I have just the time for what I’m doing. But it makes me happy to know that many things have changed since then in college and in society in general. I feel like I played more LGBT issues, I feel that there is more visibility but in fact there is much still to do.

The gay community in Lima is small, but with much momentum and can be complex. There really is a desire by many people and movements to create change. And lately more young guys get excited and convinced that there has to be changes. But we are a very diverse society, full of differences that ultimately create more differences between these people and groups end up dissolving, some guys prefer to go away and fight in a quieter way, which can be criticized by others and this creates more nuisance and in the end it may end up being a big mess.

I’ve also noticed something else. Sometimes there is a struggle for leadership and personal interests and I feel that those little details can end up diverting from the reason that we come together, which is to create a better society, without discrimination and with equal rights for all.

I think I came out of the closet more than once since in the beginning I tried to hide it . But now that some live more freely, I feel no need to do so. If you know me, you get the sense by talking and you get to know. Before I was terrified to get to the question, “Do you have a girlfriend?”. Now I can just speak lightly of the guys I like and go. I do not feel the need to prepare people or ready myself to announce it.

But there was a time when it was different. In any case, the coming out that I consider important was at home.

The first to know was my older cousin who is like my brother, he knew abruptly because he saw me with a guy. He was angry, he did not tell me a while to process it but then calmed down and offered his support. He grew up with me and I take that as my parents expected me to be heterosexual.

My mother cried a lot, felt confused, but calmed down after weeks and things have improved incredibly. Today, we are much closer and even to the extent that she can support me in the fight. I love her too much and she to me, is a great mother and best friend.

My younger sister just said “So much excitement for that? I knew, all right, we’ll share more interests now. “I was surprised, she was the one who took it best.

My father is the one who perhaps has not taken it so well, he cried a lot, he felt guilty. He never reacted so badly, he offered his support, he has never failed to support me but tries not to touch the subject of my homosexuality. And I am sorry that this aspect is also important in my life. I wish and hope that one day he can see me with a guy and be happy as as I am.

Other relatives and friends have come to know through my Facebook posts, dialogues when family gatherings, among a thousand other ways. It no longer causes fear, worry or frustration.

(Advice I’d give my younger self) You are not alone, only observe better. Constantly learn, equivóquense, live, fight. Do not be afraid. They are free. It is advice that I would also give myself forever.”

Alejandro, Professor, Lima, Peru

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
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, in his own words: “Somos personas como cualquier otra, ni más ni menos, nos nombramos políticamente como homsexuales, como gays porque reivindicamos nuestra orientación homosexual, nuestra capacidad de amar, de desear a personas de nuestro mismo “sexo.”

El principal desafío: luchar contra el prejucio propio, de mi entorno y de la sociedad, desafío en el que sigo, porque nuestra sociedad sigue siendo muy TLGBfóbica. Las normas son necesarias pero es indispensable luchar contra el prejuicio cotidiano, contra el prejuciio que se da al interior de las familias y de las escuelas, en el trabajo y en la calle. Ese es el desafío más grande. Las normas sancionarán los actos de discriminación, pero es indispensable generar la condena social contra el prejuicio y las fobias.

Es complicado hablar de “comunidad” gay, mejor si hablamos de ambiente gay, éste es muy diverso en Lima. Oculto y soterrado en muchos espacios, con mucho closet y muy explícito en otros- Mucha violencia entremezclada con la etnia, la clase social y la identidad de género. Las nuevas generaciones son mucho menos prejuiciosas en cuanto a la orientaciòn sexual pero tambien hay mucho conservadurismo y las religiones contribuyen con ello.

En mis años de adolescencia y hasta los veintitantos viví en el closet, cuando conocií a Carlos mi parej fue mi primera salida personal del closet, asumirme y reinvindicando mi diferencia en mi encuentro con el activismo, luego salí del closet con mi familia cuando les comenté que al día siguiente (hace por lo menos 12 años atrás) iba a salir en televisión hablando sobre el matrimonio entre presonas dle mismo sexo y confirmarles lo que ya sabían o intuían que Carlos era mi pareja. Posteriormente las marchas, en el trabajo, con lxs amigxs, etc.

Consejo parafraseando a la Agrado de “Todo sobre mi madre” de Almodòvar: Porque serás más auténticx cuanto más te parezcas a lo que has soñado de tí mismx.

besos y felicitaciones por el proyecto que està fabuldivinregio (fabuloso, divino y regio).”

In English:

“We are people like any other, no more no less, politically called homosexual, because we claim gay as our sexual orientation, our capacity to love, our wish to be with people of the same “sex.”

The main challenge: combating prejudice, my environment and society, challenges that I follow, because our society is still very homophobic. Regulation and policy is necessary but it is essential to combat the everyday prejudices that occur within families and schools, at work and on the street. That’s the biggest challenge. The rules penalize acts of discrimination, but it is essential to generate social condemnation against prejudice and phobias.

It is difficult to talk about the gay “community”, it is very diverse in Lima. Hidden and buried in many areas, with many in the closet others experience much violence interspersed with ethnicity, social class and gender identity. The new generations are much less judgmental about the sexual exposure but there is much conservatism as a result of religions.

In my teens and even twenties I lived in the closet when I met Carlos which was when I first came out of the closet, I assumed and reinvented my difference in my meeting with activism, then I came out with my family when I mentioned the next day (at least 12 years ago) I was going to be on television talking about marriage between same sex persons and that confirmed what they already knew or sensed, that Carlos was my partner. Subsequently marches, at work, with Anarchist amigxs, etc.

If I could give my younger self advice, I’d paraphrase “All About My Mother” by Almodovar: Because you will be more authentic the more you look like what you’ve dreamed of mismx.”

Hans, Doctor, Lima, Peru

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Hans, in his own words: “Being gay means to me being able to enjoy my sexuality in all aspects. I like to have interests, points of view and a sense of life that is different than other people, BUT it doesn´t mean that i deserve less human and civil rights than straight people. It´s unfair. What I do in my bed doesn’t define me, I´m more than that: I´m A PERSON.

The challenges I have had in my life was to be openly gay among my family, some friends and at work (at first instance it was difficult, but you have to show that you deserve respect like any other person) and the fight to get equal civil rights in my country …we´re still fighting….

The gay community in Lima is so varied and different between their members, from gays who are openly gay and support LGTBI rights, to those who think and fight against their own rights (many of them are politicians and members of the catholic clergy who have strong religious beliefs ). Fortunately the young LGTBI generation and some straight people support equality and fight against homophobia, but we have a lot to do.

(With regards to coming out) I was studying medicine at university and liked to go to gay clubs. When I was 22 years old my mother asked my about my sexual preferences, and I lied: I said ” I like both men and women”. My mother was confused. The next year I decided to come out. I invited her to dinner out and while we were eating I told her : ” Do you remember when you asked me about my sexual preferences? Well, I like men, I have always liked them.” My mother’s first reaction was to say: :You have to study in a foreign country, I don´t want people to hurt you.” We came back home and didn’t talk about the issue for about two months. By that time I usually liked (and still like) “Will and Grace.” One night I was studying in my bedroom and she yelled: “Hans, come to dinner with me, Will and Grace is going to start”… and since then I knew she was changing her mind. That sitcom helped me so much, showing a positive image of gay people to my mother and all audience….

The advice I´d give to my younger self would be: “Don´t give up on what you think you deserve, always study and be nice with people who need your help.”