“No matter how people treat you, don’t let anyone make you step out of yourself. I was born and raised in the Pentecostal Holiness Church in the South. And I’m gay.”
“Were you openly gay back then?”
“Yes, I was. I mean, look at me. You know I’m gay.”
“Was it difficult?”
“It was like the Pet Shop Boys song: ‘Everything I’ve ever done, Everything I ever do, It’s a sin.’
You grow up being told you’re going to hell. You just do the best you can. You know who you are. Today I’m taking care of an 85-year-old lady who has 14 children, and not one of them cares about her. And I’m doing it for nothing.”
Portraits of Boston is a project of independent photographer Ivan Velinov. He is regularly sharing some of his favorite portraits with WBUR. Visit his website to see the hundreds of portraits he has taken on the streets of Boston.