This March we went looking for gays and lesbians who were willing to be interviewed and photographed. When we asked them, their responses were a potpourri of excuses: “my partner doesn’t want to do it in public,” “I’m scared about my job,” “I have a son and I don’t want to expose him to that,” “I work in a high school and they might fire me,” “some of my family still don’t know,” “I’ll do it, but don’t take any photos,” and the list goes on.
At 27, the nutritionist Moisés Cordonero isn’t afraid to talk about his sexual orientation. He’s so clear about it that he came out of the closet when he was 16. “It was hard. The truth is that I was bullied a lot,” he remembered.
The Nicoyan still has painful memories of a high school religious retreat when none of his classmates wanted to sleep in the same room with him. Instead of becoming depressed, he tried to give them time to accept him. His parents, on the other hand, supported him from the beginning.
Today he has a nutritional consulting office in downtown Nicoya, gives dance fitness classes, and says that he’s never felt discrimination from his patients.
To Cordero, having a different sexual orientation is difficult, but it becomes more complicated in a small place like Nicoya. “I often thought that I couldn’t be myself here.”
The Nicoyan longs for LGBTQ spaces in the community, such as a coffee shop or community center where they can meet, share stories, and give psychological support to other gays in the community that have had problems with their family and society.
Getting to know other men in Nicoya is difficult, although he makes it work with social networks like Facebook, Grindr and Tindr in which he has a better chance to make new friends.
Guanacastecans with diverse sexual orientations didn’t hold any marches in June to celebrate International LGBTQ Day; however, Cordonero plans on going to San José for the first time. He says he’ll wear a rainbow-colored shirt and the name of Guanacaste, in the hope that someday he can raise the gay pride flag in Nicoya’s streets.