More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
GLAAD Board Member and Ecuadorian Politician Humberto Mata Comes Out and Marries His Partner
I'm very happy to begin this new chapter in my life, but I must admit that at some point I felt scared and insecure. I experienced moments of confusion and anguish about feeling vulnerable, so I hid my sexual orientation so that I wouldn't get hurt and so I wouldn't hurt my loved ones. Many friends and family members advised me to not talk about this subject in public because it is private; that there is too much evil in the world and people would do me harm.
Many media outlets do not show fair, accurate or inclusive representations of LGBT people and lives. Before being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, we are human beings with dreams, values, ideals, fears, and challenges like anyone else.
Deciding to come out and live a full life as I am was not an overnight process. I sincerely hope to contribute in some way so that others can live their truth without fear or trauma.
The respect and protections I ask for myself, I ask for everyone. It's about our neighbors, our family members, our colleagues, and our friends who are many times victims of ridicule, firings, discrimination, rejection and even death due to the prejudices our society unquestioningly believes.
In this happy moment in my life, I've decided to let go of my fears and speak freely. Marrying the person with whom I've shared my life for more than 5 years, and being able to form a life together is the true dream of any committed couple.
How could I be embarrassed or deny the love that illuminates my heart every day?
Peace, light and equality for all.