Armando, Los Angeles, CA

i was 18 when i came to the united states. i was very naive because you grow up in mexico watching these movies, watching all these white people living in beautiful houses and you think that all of america is like that. you think that you are going to cross the border and it’s going to be like the movies. but then reality hits.

being in the united states is like being in a cage because you have so many goals but you can’t achieve them. i wanted to do so much because supposedly the US is the “land of opportunities,” at least that’s what everybody says. unless you’re undocumented and queer.

i had this stupid, naive and ignorant mentality that whoever wants to can “make it” can “make it.” but it’s not like that for people of color. it took me a lot of years after going to school, learning english, trying to go to college and then realizing that i couldn’t go to college because of my undocumented status. at the same time struggling and denying my identity. denying what i felt because of society, my family and because everyone around me told me that what i felt inside was wrong.

these intersections of being latino, mexican, living at home with siblings trying to experience your queerness being in the closet. it’s definitely something i don’t wish on anybody. it’s a lot of pressure and causes a lot of anxiety. i’ve been living in this country for over 16 years and really started living my truth a few years ago.

armando, he/him/his
los angeles, ca

interviewed & photographed by: louie a. ortiz-fonseca


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