Tagged: new york city

Vince, New York City

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

Vince, in his own words (first published in 2014): “February 6, 2014 was a special day. I met Kevin Truong at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 42 Street in New York City to be photographed. Participating in the Gay Men Project and being photographed in the theatre district of the Big Apple are important to me. I live in Philadelphia, but my life as a gay man began in Times Square thirty-four years ago.

I am sixty-eight now, and on my thirty-fourth birthday I stood in line on 47th Street for two-for-one tickets for a Broadway play. A girl friend met me there. She brought a birthday cake, and people in line sang “Happy Birthday” as she lit the candle. After the show we went to “Uncle Charlie’s,” a gay bar in the Village. She asked if I was gay. Well, six months later in Philadelphia I had my first sexual experience with a man. His name was Jimmy, a great guy and still a friend. When he embraced to kiss me, I remember thinking, “This is what it’s like.”

All of the years before that first sexual experience I was afraid to admit that I was attracted to men. The fear drove me crazy. But admitting that fact to myself was a first step to being a better man. No need to describe the years which followed in any great detail. My life is much like thousands of others who lived through the eighties and beyond. Close friendships were established, boyfriends came and went, and many, many died. But the man who mattered most in my life, my partner and best friend for twenty-three years, made me a “mensch.” In Yiddish, the word simple means to be a real human being. Our life seemed perfect for the first eight years. Of course, that was on the surface. We had the house in Philly, friends, jobs, supportive parents, and each other. But like any other couple, we had hard times, bad moments, frustrations, disappointments; and over our heads hung the fear of AIDS. In 1990 we decided to be tested. I tested negative, and Jon, my partner, was positive. His results came back on the eve of my forty-fifth birthday. He had planned a special birthday for me: a weekend in New York, two Broadway plays, a nice dinner, a romantic evening together. That never happened, but the next sixteen years did. How Jon became positive never mattered. How to live did. The years were tough, but he was the Energizer Bunny. He kept going and going. Jon was my life partner no matter what happened, and many things did. He died in 2006, and like the moment he received the phone call to tell him he was HIV positive, I was there to hold him and love him when he died.

Today, almost eights years later, it’s hard to believe that we could be legally married if he were alive. Unfortunately not in Philadelphia, but that too will happen. Life is good; people are wonderful; and the advice I have for a younger gay man: confront your fears, go after your dream, and be a “mensch.”

Bryce, Scenic and Media Designer, New York City

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

Bryce, in his own words: “Being gay means that I am: me… I suppose? In an ideal world me, being gay wouldn’t be a large part of my life, but alas it is. It means I’m honest with myself and truthfully, I find it hard to compare it to something or really know anything different. It’s normal. A constant.

I think because we are gay (or counter to the “norm”) we are subjected to the idea that we are different, somehow. Lady Gaga has really tapped into that market. [Her motto of: I’m different, you’re different…we’re the same! drives me insane.]

Now, I’ve had my share of glee and heartbreak, but nothing that isn’t relatable to our other straight counterparts. I am honestly no different then my straight male friends except- in our preference of gender.

Nonetheless, being gay is about honesty with myself and the people around me. I don’t try to hide it anymore- I just do me. And I hope that everyone else gay or straight, just does them. Because what’s the fun in being something you are not?

I am 22 years old.

I am a scenic and media designer.

I live in New York City.

And I am gay.”

Eduardo, Architect, New York City

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Eduardo, in his own words: “Well let’s see how I can put this…

Being gay for me does not necessarily mean that much in terms of who I am. I think it does mean something to others surrounding me, it might make them more comfortable to classify who I am based on hetero-normative and prejudice, on which we have a lot to improve on.

Not too easy to identify what my biggest challenge has been because I try not to look back that much but let’s see…

Getting into grad school, I’m tough on myself and growing up I didn’t believe I was smart or capable of a lot. But look at that, I graduated high school, studied architecture and have been a Harvard grad for a couple of years. I don’t talk about it very often but it’s something that I’m very proud of.

The second challenge/success would be telling my siblings that my biological father use to sexually abuse me as a child. I have coped with it but the risk of them not believing was just not an option for a while. Mom is the next, but I’m sure she will believe me, even when it will be unexpected… let’s see how it goes.

I never came out to my Mom, I felt she already knew and did not need clarification. None of my other siblings told her they are straight, why would I then? Mom and I never talked about it but I got a job offer right after grad school and she borough it up because it involved moving to a country where being gay is not accepted. I considered it because it was the only job offer that seemed good at the moment.
I am number three out of four children. I did come out to my siblings via text a bit weird but it just happened naturally. To some extent everyone close to me knew it, it was just a matter of me being more open about it. Thankfully everyone was super cool about it.

The LGBT community in NY is q big one, with a lot of influence, respect and a lot of different people, but it does not make it any easier in any way. I do identify with it more here than back home in Puerto Rico.

I would tell my younger self to Believe in himself.
Don’t be scared to express emotions because of what others think. Fuck that.”