Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"The Truth About Who We Are..."

Edu, Quality Assurance Test Leader, Sao Paulo, Brazil
by thegaymenproject

photos 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.”

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