On March 16th, 2014. I came out to my parents in a three-hour conversation that took place in Quito, Ecuador. Accompanied by my sisters, (that already knew) I documented the event as part of an experimental photography project I called 'Unveiled'
The results could not be predicted; I understood that from the outset. I had no idea how my parents would react. I knew that their utter rejection was a possibility – a serious risk. And yet, the more I thought about the potential of the project and the more ideas I had for it, the more willing I grew to take that chance.
Much of my conflict and inhibition stems from the religious aspect of my upbringing. Just like eighty per cent of the Ecuadorian population, my parents and extended family are all devoutly Catholic. Both my mother and father have always accepted priestly teachings without question. Dad always makes the sign of the cross as a greeting, followed quickly by a tender kiss on the cheek; and Mum keeps a shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe near her bed.
Growing up in that environment made it difficult to accept who I increasingly suspected I was. I often struggled with it, sometimes denied it. For many years I felt so perverted, confused, and embarassed.
I was five years old when I began to notice that I was somehow different. I was aware that I was drawn to girls. Not sexually at first, of course, but there was something about them that intrigued me in a way that boys didn’t.
My first kiss with a boy wasn’t as terrible as one might imagine. It was typically awkward, I suppose. The feeling I remember was the rather bland sensation of wetness on my mouth – no emotional bells or whistles. I didn’t discover the true value of a kiss until I was nearly twenty. It was my first kiss with a girl and it was everything those previous kisses had not been: immediately exciting, exhilarating and enjoyable. A few years later, I would fall in love for the first time.
I had shared my sexuality with my sisters a few years back, they were both inmensely supportive about it, but the idea of telling my parents had never really appealed to me. I’d always been sure of their rejection of me. I was okay with not coming out and I’d never felt bitter about it.
*All of the images used here have the full consent and support of my family.