I am a true native to LA, born at White Memorial Hospital in East LA and raised in Highland Park. Los Angeles will always be home.
Growing up as the youngest of six boys was an interesting experience. We were our own tribe, especially since we were the only Belizeans in the neighborhood. Everyone looked out for each other even though we were all so different.
I have an identical twin who has always been by my side and there for me. I love creating events and bringing people together because I want others to know the feeling.
I am also grateful for my older brother that came out before me. He truly bared the brunt of the coming out experience and paved the way for my twin and I to come out.
Well…. I actually never really came out…. My mom called me one day and said “please don’t tell me you are like your brother, I’ll just die”. I responded with, “ you won’t die, you’ll suffer depression for a little bit but you’ll get over it”. Nowadays, mom and dad are my biggest allies.
When I was 14, my dad worked in construction so we had tons of leftover job supplies around the house. One weekend, I was tired of our house looking like it was going to fall down. I grabbed a scrapper, paint supplies and started to work on the house. After a few hours my brothers and parents slowly started helping out. By the end of the day everyone was working on something and our house had a full on facelift. This all started with scraping old paint off the walls…
I ran my first marathon in 2005 for APLA just because I wanted to do something different. Afterwards, I started working for Nike and throwing community events. My mission was to create an authentic running store by connecting with the community. I started a running club at the LGBT youth center and a fitness Friday class at a local elementary school. Also, we were able to throw free 1⁄2 marathons and create training programs.
My experience with Nike inspired me to open up a gay bar in DTLA and help bring the community together. I had lived in DTLA for 6 years and witnessed the growth of the LGBTQ+ community. There was a lack of safe spaces for people to meet motivated me to embark on journey to create one.