February 01, 2011


Raffael, age 6
Havana, Cuba (1965)

I was born and raised in Havana, and this picture was taken at a party in our home. Both of my parents migrated to Cuba from Italy, in a town in the south called Padula.

"Here's a gay boy!"
I was a very happy child, and I have a twin brother who is not gay. I knew from around age 6 that I was different, but didn't know what - if anything - to do about it.

In 1967 we moved to Mexico City. It was around this time I actually did anything for the first time, with another boy who was about 13 years old.

Keep in mind, this was back in 1968, and my parents where both very traditional.
My father was open-minded, and I knew this because my sister had a lesbian friend when she was 15, and my father was very close to her friend, since her parents had not been.

I, on the other hand, was too afraid to let him know. Later in life I told the whole planet, and here we are today.

My family is very close, supportive, and loving, and I've been truly fortunate that all my friends and relatives have accepted me, and have always loved me.

Today, I live in Los Angeles. I enjoy watching TV Land, especially old episodes of I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch, and many more. I speak Italian and Spanish, and I work for one of the nation’s largest HIV/AIDS non-profit organizations.

Raffael's first, same sex crush:

My neighbor that lived next door.
He was maybe 12 or 13, and I had

the biggest crush on him. Every time I saw him, I was all in a daze.


Ryan said...

I'm wondering if there is a way to contact Raffael...I'm a grad student studying homosexuality in Mexico, and his life experience sounds fascinating, particularly since he lived in Mexico City.

If it might be possible to inquire if he would be interested in talking with me, I would appreciate it.

R.M.Jones, Univ. of Illinois

Anonymous said...

You can get a hold of me at APLA.ORG