69 year-old, black gay man Michael at home in Orlando, Florida. Michael is a youth educator. Behind the scenes photography and video and assistant: Juan Pablo Ampudia, juanpablo@cuartocreativo.com. Phone +52 1 55 8676 5741. Photography by Robin Hammond, pitures@robinhammond.co.uk. Editor: Mallory Benedict, Mallory.Benedict@natgeo.com, +1 202.791.1282. 26 March 2019

Michael /

“STAMPED FOR LIFE
By The Steps of  Molestation

Love,
Innocence
Trust
Obedient
Curious
Secret
Quit
Pleasure
SHAME!!!

For the rest of your life
Your sexual life

Am I different?
Like you I Iove
Like you I want to be loved
Like you I’m attempting to live a full happy; life
Like you I have accomplishments
Like you I have explore to the world, people and events
Like you I’m cultured
Like you I’m giving
Like you I want to leave my world better
Like you I’m truthful
Am I different or is it who I happen to love

My journey started with fear and others knowing my attraction was for boys, trying to change, trying to fit, ran away unable to accept who I was. Created characters and situations to avoid to keep the real me from showing up, when I couldn’t or would not accept myself the pain increased and I allowed addictions to take over, addictions that was not beneficial with my body or help: depression, infections life alter, chronic illnesses, this awaken a realization of self hatred and suicidal tendencies. Hit pause bottom, I analyzed and understood who I really was, why I was, understood the route cause and started to make necessary adjustments to see I I loved me, accepted me, I saw the person that everyone else had seen for years. A good intelligent loving and sharing individual. A man who listen and respected for who he was not because of their looks, belongings or position in life.

I can only imagine for what I have learned or explained so far that the reason that I chose me was…… I don’t know”

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