05/02/2014 10:32 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What It's Like to Come Out in Brazil (VIDEO)


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Brazil has a reputation as a sex-positive country. But Kelvin explains that when it comes to homosexuality, Brazilian families might not be as liberal as you'd think:

[My parents started] reading all the conversations that I'd been having with my friends and were like, "What is this? What are you doing? What are you doing to us?" And at that point I was [in] a very fragile state, so I wasn't really able to stand up for myself in the way that I would today.

After his parents found out he is gay, Kelvin did what so many young LGBTQ people do: He lied his way back into the safety of the closet:

I basically made them think that I was dating my best friend, who was a girl. And by doing that I had my phone again, and I could use the computer again, and I could do all the things that I wanted. And if I wanted to meet a boy or do something, I would just tell them that I was with my friend, with my "girlfriend."

After Kelvin had spent several more years hiding his sexuality from his parents, his mom once again found out the truth, this time by finding a video of him on YouTube. But now Kelvin was older, stable, and confident, and his mom eventually came around a little. Kelvin concludes:

[C]ulturally in Brazil it's a shock. I grew up hearing, "Oh, I don't care about gay people, they're fine, but if my son was gay, it would be a different story." So I always knew it was going to be a hard time to come out. But eventually they came around [to] it.


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