Happy National Coming Out Day!

When open LGBT people meet each other and are getting to know one another, it isn’t long before the topic of conversation steers toward coming out. It is a bond that those who have bravely decided to live openly share. It is something we wear as a badge of honor, for all those who have made the announcement understand the gravity of the decision to do so.

So, on this National Coming Out Day, NCLR has teamed up with the Latino GLBT Latino History Project to feature some of our supporters who live out and proud. Below they share their stories, why they decided to come out and why it’s vital that all LGBT people take that important step out of the closet. These brave men and women represent some of the best of our community and we are grateful to them for sharing with the world.

Why are you proud to be out?

I was stressed and tired of lying. I wanted to come out. I was tired of pretending to be someone else . I wanted to be out and be me.
–Cristhian Alonsso Lazaro
Lives in Washington, DC
Originally from Trujillo, Peru

 

 

 

 

I’m out because I needed to breath, I wanted to love and I wanted to live!
–Carlos Valdovinos
Born in Los Angeles
Lives in San Francisco
Member of the San Francisco Aguilas Organization

 

My name is Ivan. I am 21 years old and currently living in Maryland. People knowing my sexuality has been one of best things that I’ve done . Being accepted from friends and family and having their support is one of the blessings that I have. I can’t ask for more. 馃檪 We’re all equal and should be respected for what we are and for what we like. I am happy to say that I have accomplished so many goals in life. One of them has been working with “Empoderate,” a youth center for youths. I am happy to say that I am their king for this year. Remember to be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
–Ivan Aguilar

Ms. Alexa Elizabeth is originally from Usulut谩n, El Salvador where founded Mi Nueva Familia, a working group for people living with HIV and Transgender women. She also worked with the PanAmerican Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) as a health educator. In 2010, Alexa arrived in the United States and continued her work as an HIV/STI prevention educator with groups such as Mariposas, Empoder谩te Youth Group, Casa de Maryland and Virginia Department of Public Health. She currently is a promoter for Miss Maryland Latina, an advisory committee member for the Latino GLBT History Project an avid advocate for Transgender Latina equality and the recently crowned Miss Latino GLBT History Project 2012-13.

La Sra. Alexa Elizabeth Rodr铆guez es de Usulut谩n, El Salvador, donde fund贸 Mi Nueva Familia, un grupo para las personas que viven con el VIH y mujeres transg茅neros. Tambi茅n trabaj贸 con la organizaci贸n Panamericana de Social Marketing (PASMO), como un educador de salud. En 2010, Alexa lleg贸 a los Estados Unidos y continu贸 su trabajo como educadora en prevenci贸n del VIH / ITS en los grupos Mariposas, Centro Juvenil Empod茅rate, Casa de Maryland y el Departamento de Salud de Virginia. Es promotora de Miss Maryland Latina, miembro del comit茅 del Proyecto Hist贸rico de la Comunidad Latina GLBT, una defensora de los derechos de la comunidad transg茅nero latina y la recientemente coronada Miss Latina GLBT History Project 2012-13.
–Alexa Elizabeth Rodriguez

I’m out for those that can’t be. I’m out in politics to assure we are a force to be reckoned with!
–Roger Ortiz
Political Director
HONOR PAC
Los Angeles, CA

 

 

 

 

There are so many reasons to “come out,” but the most important one is so you can be true to yourself. I’m so much more happier out than I ever was in the closet, hiding from my friends and family. Those that accept me, I embrace them; those that don’t, well I hope one day they change their mind. There is nothing wrong about being gay
–Jonathan Morales

 

 

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Gandhi
I am proud to have done many things, seen many things, and be many things. Among them, I am PROUD to be a Lesbian. My hope is that by living as an example others will be inspired to do the same.
–Lena Hernandez

 
 
 
 
 

It is important to me to be out because I stay true to myself. Because what you see is what I am. I enjoy every single day, every move I make & every step I take.

Es s煤per importante para mi vivir en forma plena mi orientaci贸n sexual. El sentirme feliz y aceptarme tal cual soy me hace una persona integra; y me deja disfrutar cada instante en mi vida.
–Alejandro Contreras
Lives in Washington, D.C.
Originally from Guadalajra, Jalisco, Mexico
 
 
 
 

Working with youth is a privilege I get to have every day. Being out as a young queer Latino professional has always been important to me because it allows those youth the ability to see that you CAN be true to yourself and succeed in whatever career they set out to pursue
–Ariel Cerrud
Unit Director
Boys & Girls Club of Portland Metropolitan Area

(This was originally posted to the Latino聽GLBT History Project Blog.)