I was born in Mexico City. My family and I migrated to the US when I was 6 years old. I grew up in a pretty bad neighborhood in the San Gabriel Valley with a lot of gangs, violence, and drugs. At the age of 16, I had two friends pass away: one committed suicide and the other was shot. I remember my street block off with crime scene tape and noises of people running on my roof because the police was after them. I grew up thinking that all you needed to do was graduate High School, so I did just that.
But also at the age of 16 (a lot happened during this timeJ), I was outed by what I called my boyfriend at the time, Alex was his name. Alex was a pretty vindictive person. He was very hot-blooded and confrontational, meaning that he was ready to fight anyone, even the police. Alex and I were always off and on. We had that kind of young, passionate, stupid love, the kind of love when you think that this is the one. Because of our passionate, stupid “love” we took sexy-risky picture together. We were kissing and hugging in our underwear. Well, when I broke up with him, Alex treated to out me to the entire school by posting fliers of these pictures all over campus. For two days I went to school in fear thinking he would do this, but he didn’t. Instead, he gave my mother a yellow envelope with these sexy-risky pictures inside and said to her, “here this is who your son really is”.
When I go home from school that day, my mother gave me the yellow envelope and said, “what is this?” I opened it and saw the pictures. I couldn’t speak. My mother took the yellow envelope from my hands and as she stormed out the front door said, “I am going to tell your father, but think about it as a disease. You will get over it one day.”
It wasn’t until the second day after this happened that my father called me into the room. He said. “Tony ven a qui” (come here). He said (all in Spanish), “do you have something to tell me?” I said, “no papi, I have nothing to tell you.” His voice got loud, macho, and aggressive and said, “Are you sure? Do you have something to tell me?” So my voice got loud, macho, and aggressive and said, “No! There is nothing you need to know!” Then he said, as he pulled and threw this yellow envelope on the bed. I can remember all of my pictures, in slow motion, scattering all over my parents’ bed. I put my head down in shame, and at that moment, my father sat next to me, put his arm around me and said, “I love you, you are my son. You will always be my son.” He said, are you sure this is what you want”. I said, “yes, I am man and I like men.” Then he said, “okay, just be careful. Don’t do anything today that you cannot change tomorrow. Because when I was your age, I experimented too, but look at me now. I have four beautiful boys and I love your mother.” I said, “well, I know who I am, and I know what I want.” He said, “okay mijo, I love you, and you are my son”.
With the support and encouragement of my family, I was able to graduate High School with a 2.0, just barely passing. Shortly after I found a minimum wage job and help support my family, but after a few year something happened. It was like a light bulb went off. At the age of 27, I wanted to go college. I started with remedial math, remedial English and worked my way up to advance classes at Community College. After a lot of work, I was accepted to UCLA and USC, but decided to go to USC. At USC, I double major in Economics and American Studies & Ethnicity with a minor in Business Entrepreneurship. I was very involved in leadership and was even the President of the Latino Business Student Association. I graduate with honors and conducted my own honors research project which was published.
Today, I work as an Analyst at a bank. I deal with Corporate Governance, Risk & Compliance. I also work with Information Security, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery as it relates to contract management. I love what I do because I think it is important for LGBT people of color to take space in corporate environment in today’s homophobic, racial social structure. I am working on applying to Business School and studying for the GMAT. My hope and dream is to attend and graduate from Harvard Business School in 4 years. I plan to also apply to Stanford, Yale, UC Berkeley, UPenn, UCLA, and MIT business schools, so keep your fingers crossed.
In the future I hope to be a CEO of a company and/or own a consulting firm focused on Latino enterprise development while being the person I am and not hiding myself from anyone, and at the same time being professional.
Some activities that I see myself engaged in as a title holder are having sex positive events. For example, Leo and Esteban had an iPorn even where people submitted their homemade porn videos and had a chance to win money. I think this was a great idea. It promoted the idea that many people have homemade porn or at the very least like to watch it. I have a collection of about 600 plus videos of homemade porn I have done. Maybe I will have an event where I show all of my videos, with the consent of the people in the videos of course. I want to have events that promote sexual liberation. I want people to see sex as a gift that should be explored, enjoyed, and not hinted behind closed doors. I think that everyone should have the sexual freedom to do what they want as long as it is between consenting people and that these people know what they are getting into. Overall, I want my events to help raise money for the LGBT community while people enjoy and express their sexual identity without shame.