by: Keishla Rodriguez Lopez
“I never felt any sort of attraction to women,” said Héctor, an University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez student. Everything was covered in silence, he was with his white coat and his green colored eyes; he was staring at his hands, sort of nervous, while answering my first question regarding his homosexuality.
Héctor has gone through many changes during his life, as many teenagers, after leaving their fear about their sexual orientation. Most of these teenagers face many problems with society, families, friends, university, work, etc. There’s only one way to overcome this phase.
Héctor, who is secretary of the UPRM Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Transsexual movement, shared his story about how his life changed since he turned 19.
The movement has brought peace and satisfaction to him while accomplishing his goals: “I remember the first time I ever heard of the movement, it wasn’t official at all and I was just getting signatures for the movement to be created,” he recalled.
The LGBTT movement participates in many activities such as RELEVO POR LA VIDA and many other groups that support the university’s diversity, conferences, etc. “I’ve always liked activism so that was the key for me to be heard amongst others.”
But everything hasn’t been peaches and cream for Hector, who always remembers his mother’s words when he first told her about his homosexuality: “I prefer a fugitive or a drug addict son rather than a homosexual one” he said with watery eyes.
“My mother was the best, my communication with her was excellent and I thought that counting on her with this was going to improve, but it wasn’t that easy.” Héctor began to walk in circles in a lab that had 15 students inside. Staring at everyone he said: “My life changed completely, I was hacked, every single account I had was either blocked or erased. I thought this nightmare was never going to get to an end.”
At the age 19 he decided to tell his family, Héctor was in his second year of college majoring in Chemistry. “Everything changed for worse, my grades began to drop.”
Héctor thought that he was going to get help but it wasn’t as he expected . “I lost my family” Staring firmly while twirling his hair he said,. “The only place I ever felt good was here; college became my shelter”.
Now, the 22 year old LBGTT secretary says: “my family has not yet accepted this, nothing has ever been the same” He lost his family’s trust and his freedom. “My mom questions me in everything, asks about with who I’m going out, where, etc. and also thinks that my friends have influenced me to be like I am.”
“All my life I’was raised in the church, which is why they see my homosexuality as something evil that has to be changed.” Also Hector from kinder to high school he studied in religious schools. That’s why his mother keeps on reinforcing their beliefs of the creation of man and woman, as the bible says.
Héctor knows that his family is never going to be the same with him although time has passed by. “I hide my activism with the LGBTT movement for the same reason.” A few months ago his mother saw him on T.V. supporting an activity against homophobia. At that point his relationship with his family worsened.
Now that Héctor’s parents know about the movement, they try to hide this from the family especially his grandfather who still doesn’t know about his grandson’s sexual orientation. When Hector is in his house, his mother makes him to hide all things related to the LGBTT movement. “She still doesn’t want to accept who her son is.”
Many of his friends confirmed passions for these groups and the good person that he’s always been. Javier López Rios, President of the LGBTT movement, said: “Héctor has been a great member, without him I wouldn’t continue to push this movement. I am very satisfied about his participation here.”
Although all the things that Hector went through like any adolescent on his way to accept his sexual orientation and how the family could react, he stood out. He states that he feels more confident now, “I feel better, I have nothing to hide, everybody knows who I am and many accept it.” He wants others to enjoy this journey “I think it’s very important to create help groups and conferences to promote motivation in young people that still haven’t managed to get through their reality.”
The final words that Héctor Alexis shared with a big smile on his face were: “This movement changes my life, now I think I’m doing something for the world.” “I’m not afraid of anything, now I can say that I have the control of my life.”