My father’s Australian and my mother’s Brazilian. They met when he travelled to South America to work as a Christian missionary. Six days later, he proposed, and 28 years later, they’re still together. When I was 15, they decided to move from Brazil to Toowoomba, in Queensland.

I wasn’t that keen on coming to be honest, as I didn’t want to leave my friends. It took me a few months to adapt – I’d get headaches all the time from trying to understand English at school, even though I had been speaking it at home in Brazil. And I had a few issues, one being that I’m gay. Some friends knew, but I was in Toowoomba, a very conservative place, and I also have a very Christian family who did not embrace that, which was my biggest struggle.

Moving to Brisbane for uni was a good change though – I feel a lot more at home here. Now, I’m studying Economics, and volunteering full time for the Greens. I’m interested in the cost of Climate Change. I see a lot of Economics students who just want to be bankers or investment managers, but we have all this data about the environment that nobody’s using properly. For example, the transition from coal to solar – I think people don’t realise that although the cost appears higher in the short term, it’s a lot lower in the long term.

I came out to my parents a year and a half ago, and we still have a good relationship. I see them every now and then, and they still love me, but my sexuality is not something they’ve accepted. I like to hope that in the future they will.

The recent tragedy in Orlando really upset me. But there was one positive I could get out of it. I think people who have a problem with gay people on a superficial level looked at that and thought, ‘Would I be OK with that, do I think it’s OK that that happened? No, I probably don’t.’

People can hate you for the stupidest reasons. But humanity has always moved towards progress, at different speeds and different times, and that gives me hope, no matter what – we just have to give it time and keep fighting.

Arrived 2007

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