February 28, 2011


Magno, age 10
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1994)

As a little boy, I was often mistaken for a girl. Not only by school mates who didn't know me well, but also sometimes people on the street. I suspect it was because of my skinny build and my long, bushy hair. My father wanted it kept short, but he'd let me grow it for months before eventually forcing me to trim it.

I also had a very "girly" voice. Some other kids' parents advised me to try and sound more masculine when I spoke, and when I tried to explain to them that my voice sounded that way naturally, they just frowned at me.

I had a best girl-friend in my building who had lots of toys and dolls, and whenever the kids gathered together to play with her stuff, I would always pick the Barbies.

The good thing about coming across as gay so young, is that you never really have to hide or disguise anything. There's no such thing as a "coming out," since people already see you're different, and treat you as such.

The terrible thing about it, is that owing to being different and gay meant dealing with a lot of bullying, confusion, and suffering. I was called "gay" or "f*ggot" often, all before I was even able to fully understand what being gay means.

I went through hell during my school years, and it wasn't until about age 17 that things began to change a bit. That was when I decided there was nothing wrong with me. If people weren't OK with me being gay (be it family members, friends, whoever), then to hell with them.

My advice to young gay kids: School years can be hard, and I suspect they were even harder when I was your age. There weren't any support groups fighting to end the bullying, as there is now. But eventually, all that pain will be gone.

I learned to accept myself the way I am, and learned not to care about other people's opinion about my sexuality.

Magno's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Macaulay Culkin (in "Home Alone") & Elijah Wood


Unknown said...

Oh, Magno, I am so proud of you. You said it so well, so succintly and I am sure it will be of great help to those of us gays out there that are trying to find the courage to be who they are. To those who imply god hates gays, I always ask, doesn't your literature say god created me? Thanks for bravely sharing your story. May millions read it.

Unknown said...

Well said friend. I'm happy that you love yourself because in the end that's the only person that matters. Nobody will accept you or love you if you don't. :0)

Talal Nayer said...

Magno my friends was my guide to understand more about homosexuality which is crime in country, Sudan. By law you are criminal by law if you are gay!
I can imagine the suffering of gays in there life and the invidious discrimination which is exerted on them. I have many gay friend in Sudan but they are very afraid to tell the people about their nature.

I admire courage Magno and I hope some day my citizens can be free to choose what they want freely with no fear .

birdinhandgrandpa said...

This is a fantastic, inspirational, uplifting, and motivational my best Facebook friend, you are truly a special being. You do ooze such an amazing, bright spirit. I adore reading your story am very happy were indeed 'BORN THAT WAY' 9I love that cute little dress and what a beautiful doll!You rock Magno!

Unknown said...

You are wonderful and the story just shows me who you are and what a great human being you are. I love how you are thoughtful most of all.

Loyd Clayton said...

Well said Magno! Hopefully others will find inspiration, hope, strength and courage in themselves after reading your experience.

Anonymous said...

You are all very sweet, you know. ♥