He Was Young, Gay, and Sold For Sex. How Jose Alfaro Escaped a Trafficking Nightmare


As a kid growing up in the small Texas town of Navasota, Jose Alfaro spent his summers playing in the pastures and creeks near his home, examining bugs and frogs, crawfish and turtles. “It was one of those towns where tractors hold up traffic,” he says. Trains slowed things down, too, rumbling by on historic tracks that crossed the downtown streets. Life at home was less peaceful. His parents, high school sweethearts who wound up raising three kids in their early twenties, worked long hours — his dad at a metal-parts company, his mom at a hair salon. The family was poor, but Alfaro didn’t realize it at the time. He just knew that when his father came home, he was often angry and exasperated, ruling the house by fear.

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