Carlos, in his own words: “(Being gay) is as normal as waking up, it is who I am and always have been, it means Love.
The biggest challenge was trying to find myself, growing up was not easy and I didn’t want some bad experiences to define the way I related to other people, it’s a struggle still, but one of my successes is my marriage. Meeting my husband allowed me to change and finally be myself, accept myself and others.
I never did a coming out, I remember my younger brother read out loud some of my texts from my first crush in front of my mother and that was that, we never talked about being gay, for my family it was who I was, and a funny fact, after me my two younger brothers also came out as gay but never needed to say anything, we were lucky.
(The gay community in Lisbon) is very active, tolerant and laid back. Lisbon has a sparkling night life where you can have lots of fun.
(Advice to my younger self) Just go for it. You’re stronger than you can imagine and you deserve to be happy, and most important you deserve and will be loved.”
Emmanuel, in his own words: “(Being gay means) Nothing: Like being French or having glasses. Having 3 brothers and sisters and dark hair. It is a part of me.
Everything: Being gay takes a huge part in your self-acceptance process, it changes your sensibility to the world, teaches you that maybe there will be obstacles, maybe there will be hard times, maybe I am different, but everyone is and so I have the rights to ask and grab everything I want for my life, as anyone.
(A challenge was) accepting who I am. Sharing who I am with my family and friends. Understanding what I wanted for my life. Starting a new life in another country. Building a life with my husband.
(My coming out) a letter. In it I told everything to each member of my family. Who I am. What it felt like dealing with this secret during my teenage years. What they meant to me. The importance of having them by my side. But the willingness to sacrifice that in order to accept myself and live the life I want to live. The relief of their tears of joy and acceptance. The second part of my life begun.
A trip. To go and see all my closest friends. And tell them one by one. The weight on my shoulders and the pain in my stomach getting smaller and smaller each time. The chance to have these people as my friends.
(The gay community in Lisbon is) diverse, Fun, Open, Easy Going.
(Advice to my younger self) The sooner you’ll accept yourself, the happier you’ll be.
Being open to everything. Don’t make plans, let them happen, you’ll be surprised.”