José Ferrer, 39, is a gay man who grew up in Mara, a rural municipality outside of the Venezuelan city of Maracaibo that is close to the country’s border with Colombia. Ferrer on March 7 said during an interview in Maicao, a city in Colombia’s La Guajira Department that is less than 10 miles from the border, that he was able to “make my life independently” by working at a hair salon in spite of the homophobia and machismo he faced. Ferrer told the Washington Blade his life improved when he moved to Maracaibo, even though his parents had accepted his sexual orientation. “Gay life in the city is more open,” he said. “There are nightclubs where gay people can be free. They can live their lives openly.” Ferrer arrived in Maicao 20 days before he spoke with the Blade.
March 28 / Washington Blade