For a little boy growing up in a Catholic family and in a Baptist school, telling anyone that he was queer meant facing eternal damnation. In hell. No, really.
Regner Ramos probably didn't grow up any different than most 80s kids in Puerto Rico. But today he accepts and celebrates his queer identity. Speaking with him, he tells me, “I don't understand LGBTQ people who say that their gender identity and sexual orientation ‘doesn’t define them’. It defines me, thankfully. It guides me, pushes me, moves me, it gives me purpose, ideas, and nurtures me.”
As he fixes his beret while I take his portrait, he continues, “Everything I’ve accomplished professionally hasn’t been in spite of my queerness; it’s because of it.” As Pride wraps up with the last of the global celebrations, I ask Regner, if a 34-year-old-you could give advice to a 21-year-old-you, what would you tell him?
Portraits and Interview by Regner Ramos