This interview is about a young man who inspired me to help and inspire others in what I do on social media. I advised him to follow his dreams, eve if he is never as good as his hero or icons but to be as good as he can. He lives in Brazil and considers himself as a gay male. In this interview he talks about homophobia and visibility in Brazil.
Tell me a little about yourself
My name is Edward (or Eduardo, in the Portuguese language), I’m 20 years old and I consider myself as a homosexual. I live in São Paulo City, Brazil, I was also born there and I’ve always lived here
Many people will not know about your city, can you tell us more and what it is like?
São Paulo holds the São Paulo’s Gay Pride Parade annually, and it is considered as the biggest one of the world, according to the Guinness Book. Having said that, homophobia exists here and sometimes it’s ridiculously sad. Not just in São Paulo, but all over Brazil, people have been killed because of their sexual orientation. Only last week two brothers who were hugging each other were attacked by a group of men and one of them died, unfortunately.
When did you discover you were gay?
That’s something very interesting. When I was a child (until I turned twelve) I remember I used to be interested in girls. However, I cannot explain when or why, as I don’t know exactly, I started to feel attracted by boys. After a while I began to realise I was gay.
Tell me about the first person that you told.
The first person that I told was my best friend. I was about sixteen years old. She reacted in a very good way. It wasn’t a surprise because she had contact with other gay people. She has always supported me, we are still close.
I understand that you told your mother. Is that correct?
Yes. When I told my mother that I had met a guy and that I’d kissed him she reacted in a very cool way. She said that that I must follow my heart and this made me so happy, because I had to fight a monster inside of me in order to be brave enough to tell her in the first place. It actually took me about four years and she is still the only person in my family who knows about my sexuality.
Have you ever suffered any homophobia at all in Brazil?
It had happened once! My boyfriend and I were in a swimming pool at a friend’s apartment, close to the beach. He gave me a very simple kiss. One old lady that also owns an apartment in the same building complained to my friend’s mother about it. She made a few homophobic comments, as you expect from someone who is unaware of homosexuality. At the time it hurt me, but I soon got over it and went down to the beach.
Also sometimes when people look at my boyfriend and I holding hands with disgust it makes me feel sad.
Do you thinking being open about your sexuality helps the fight against homophobia?
Yes! For sure!! I think talking about LGBT issues or any another subject, is always the best and most effective way to destroy other people’s prejudice and not attacking with words or violence.
Do you think being visual about yourself, actually helps or educates anyone out there?
I think it depends. Of course I think that everyone has the right to dress or wear anything what ever they wish, as long as it doesn’t offend other people too much. A good example is not to go out nude. I feel the way you dress is a way of expressing your identity, it may help but I am slightly worried about it because if I look too “gay” and you catch the attention of people who are stupid enough not to understand LGBT people.