Colombian village offers hope for indigenous gay men

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12/17/2020

Growing up in an indigenous village in the Colombian Amazon, Junior Sangama long hid his sexuality — before clashing with his family and choosing to leave. But the 27-year-old has since returned home, one of a number of gay residents who have found a place, of sorts, in the deeply conservative community of Nazareth. It’s a remote settlement with just over 1,000 residents who survive on farming and making handicrafts, and where LGBT people were once forcefully rejected. In recent decades, the community’s leaders said they have halted cruel anti-gay punishments and offered a measure of refuge, but with caveats for about 20 gay residents like Sangama, Saul Olarte and Nilson Silva.

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