New Documentary Highlights Growing Up Gay In Los Angeles

NBC Latino
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August 14, 2012

Brian Pacheco is good-looking, smart, articulate and self-assured. But his confident demeanor comes after years of heartache as he struggled to reconcile his identity as a gay man in the Latino community. And his journey – which is characterized by the prevalence of negative stereotypes and cruel jokes made by family members mocking gay people – is the subject of a new documentary, “Gay Latino LA: Coming of Age.”
“Gay Latino LA” documents the lives of three young Latino gay men – Carlos, a gay gangster from South Los Angeles, Alex, an undocumented hipster and Brian, a recent graduate from East Hollywood – and how they each explore their sexuality and identity within the framework of the Latino community.
“I truly believe the documentary was put in my path so that I could realize my fullest potential,” says Pacheco, who now works as a media strategist at GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) in Los Angeles. “The world surrounding me taught me it wasn’t okay to be gay, and this made it hard to accept myself even years after having initially come out to myself.”
Pacheco learned about the casting call for the documentary through Facebook in 2009 shortly after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley. Suffering from what Pacheco calls “post-graduation blues” but willing to explore his insecurities, fears, doubts and resentments as a Salvadoran gay man, he decided to open up his life to filmmaker Jonathan Menendez.