I was born in a very conservative and religious family. Going to the church everyday sunday was part of our lives. I was born and raised listening how wrong it was to be gay, to have sex before marriage and that the devil was just right be my side if i had sinful thoughts.

My childhood was always surrounded by religious cerminonies and rituals. And I played that part for so many years. I used to be help the ceremony, sing in the choir, teach catechism for kids … and for years and years, I was playing the part of the straight perfect guy, and that was really boring.

I was 23 when I felt in love for a guy for the first time. At this time I was still in the closet. I didn’t know the world outside. One day, I was at the mess with my parents when the priest said that “gays are devil’s in disguise and that this disease must be cured”.

I didn’t feel sick at all. I was happy, in love, enjoying life with a nice guy and not doing any harm to anyone. I wasn’t the devil. The priest was wrong. And then i just got my things, left in the middle of ceremony and never come back to catholic mess.

The catholic guilt always haunted me. Even when I was already living in another city and far away from all the kinds of religious practices, I was still stucked in that thoughts. It took me a while to get free of them. By that time, being gay was the worst that could have happen with me. I was fighting against my thoughts and feelings everyday. Being with a guy felt so wrong sometimes. It was good when we were together but after that I felt dirty and impure, and somedays I hated myself for being gay. Things started to change when I was at the university when and I decided to get out of the closet for all of my classroom and it was really amazing. They really supported me and it turns that it happened the opposite that I was expecting: nothing changed. They were still my friends and my life definitely started to change by that time. One of my biggest fear of geeting out was to loose my life as it was, meaning, leave only in a gay ghetto and lose all of my friends. But I said to myself once, if they are my real friends they’ll be with me. Nothing changed. The ones who really love me and care about me were always right next me. I realized that when it comes to real friendship it doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, bi … it’s all about love and respect.

I’m living in Portugal since 2017 (I’m Brazilian). Things really changed a lot in the last years. And they changed for good. I feel more free, more mature and less afraid of showing who I am. Living in Porto made me feel more mature and offered me another perspective of how we can enjoy life. Portugal is safer than Brazil in a thousand ways. The life in Brazil for gays is getting even worse since the extreme far right is in control. Now the homophobes feel allowed to be homophobic, they have a president who is and who says that out loud. Those years away from my family gave me strength to face my fears.I told to my parents that I was gay last year, and that I was the best thing that happen in my life. There is no more guilty or lies haunting me. I have a husband that I love and that loves me back. My parents are now part of my life and i have no reasons to lie anymore. I’m proud of who I am!