I’m 38 years old and I still have a certain “je ne sais pas”, the question: Have you come out of the closet yet? Lately I have a more appropriate answer and that is that at this age I don’t come out of the closet but out of the sarcophagus.
I often quote a short phrase from Simone De Beauvoir: “In itself, homosexuality is as limited as heterosexuality: the ideal would be to be able to love a woman or a man, any human being, without feeling fear, inhibition or obligation”.
I felt that I liked or was attracted to men and not women since school.
At first there was some fear, as an oddity that this could be “weird” or present me with difficulties in the hostile environment of the school. Soon after that, I understood, and accepted, definitively, that my condition was that of a gay man.
Sometimes I felt anxious about making the environment uncomfortable for my mother and family. Staying quiet was the easiest and most practical thing to do.
That staying quite on certain topics that are not touched at home, was the reason for no talk or discussion.
Although, I never denied it when someone asked me, which was many times and in many spaces.
At school there was a lot of bullying, both of which were frightening in form and substance. Whistles, comments, looks and many others that were never pleasant.
The lack of education regarding diversity, to understand each individual as a unique and free construction that grows and develops criteria and decisions, became the a daily subject.
I always took it with tranquility, reflection and a certain freshness. Always trying to make something out of me and my life project. I don’t want that “condition” determining any of my personal dreams and interests.
I assumed that I said everything with my way of living, I never hid anything that I liked or places that I frequented, and I have always had the criteria of feeling free to make decisions in my life. These decisions, of course, have generated some differences with family and acquaintances, but without major difficulties.
I grew up as any other person does, and at the moment of talking or clarifying it was natural and without major prejudices.
I left home. Living in Bogotá for one year helped me a lot to let go of my last fears and silences.
I always recommend that we leave our mother’s house and our own city, to broaden our gazes and allow ourselves to be our true selves. Doing so without having to explain or be inhibited from knowing and exploring what calls our attention.
I must recognize that I am privileged to be able to develop a life project without further discrimination because of my sexual orientation and this includes society and all its components (politicians, church and other members).
The church is a private institution that has a (completely valid) belief about marriage: union between man and woman.
In the social state of law (secular as well), all citizens are free to decide their marital and property union.
It is necessary to establish some necessary considerations for these and other debates: the Bible is not the Constitution.
Colombia is a secular country. Gay marriage is a free option for people before the law.
The marriage union is a civil contract and not a religious sacrament. Two people who love each other join their lives before the state that guarantees their rights.
It is enough also to read Fernando Vallejo, to understand the simple reason of the respect; respect by the differences, the tastes and the pleasures.
It is a matter of respect. One spends one’s life without understanding almost anything. What does one understand about life, does one understand light, does one understand gravity, does one understand how the brain works, does one understand how an iPod works, how a computer or a cell phone works, who knows.
People here use cell phones the same way my dog rides the elevator with me. She goes up and down, and she knows she’s going up and down, that’s all. That is the common human way. We don’t understand anything. So it’s not a question of understanding. It’s a matter of respect.