I usually don’t like to talk about myself in public, feeling a bit unease and shy (although with my circle I am pretty social and open). I guess this has always had something to do with the fear of being judged, or not being liked for who I am.

Since I was a child, I always felt different from the majority of people around me. I used to live in a small town, where conformism was (and still partially is) the way to feel part of the community. A place where traditions are very strong and male dominant culture is still the rule. Every kid would go for soccer playing and riding a motorcycle: I didn’t like soccer and played first basketball then tennis, and I never owned a motorbike on my own.

I also come from a mixed family, where my dad is Italian and my mum is from Slovakia. Although it wasn’t very common to meet mixed families in my little village, I never felt discriminated because of my origins. I grew up in a small village, where everybody knew each other, and it felt like a family. I used to play in the street with my childhood friends, it was a bit like living in a fairy tale (or that is what felt like at the time).

I only came out as homosexual quite late to my friends and family (and myself). It took me a while to acknowledge and accept that when I was at the pool, I was more interested in looking at guys rather than girls, or that I would turn to look at a pretty guy in the street. As a teenager, I mostly focused on studying, and more or less subconsciously, I didn’t explore my sexuality.

Things started to change when I started university, that happened also when I moved to a bigger city. Although then I experienced my first encounters with men, I still didn’t find confident enough to accept who I was, and to express it in the world I lived in.

I believed I was waiting for the right person to come out as gay and start to live my live fully: it might sound romantic and a bit cheesy, but I am happy to have waited for this moment to happen. My friends always supported me and couldn’t me more happier that I would finally find someone to be with. Coming out to my family was something different: when I decided to tell them, it was because I had someone stable in my life and I was happy to share this love with them. My family didn’t receive the news with the same enthusiasm: it was a tough period between me and them, as they refuse to talk to me for a month. Hopefully I received all the support from my previous boyfriend and my friends. I was not alone.

Nowadays my relationship with my family is still a work in progress. I feel comfortable to talk openly with them about my private life, but on their side there is not the same interest there could me if I were straight. Nonetheless, I keep living and loving my life to the fullest, being aware day after day of who I am. And most importantly, I learned to accept who I am and how I am. I still believe I have a long way to become the man I want to be.