Being Queer in New York City

Being Queer in New York City


Anaury Peña is a model, born and raised in New York City. Below, he shares his take on growing up openly queer in the city.

"Generally, the city feels to be embracive of LGBTQ+ culture, for sure there are people here and there who will heckle you, but that happens anywhere, right? I would say PDA is acceptable for the most part. I’ve never felt like I couldn’t hold my partner’s hand, or couldn’t be affectionate to them. I’d recommend using your own judgment for these kinds of things.

Queer people are easy targets for verbal abuse no matter what city you’re in, but generally it is pretty safe to be yourself in New York. Also, there are a good amount of spaces and neighborhoods where queer people are welcomed and are a part of the culture.You’re able to dress whichever way feels comfortable for you on any given day. You’ll see people of all kinds dressed in what feels best to them and no one bats an eye.

Growing up queer in New York, I’ve always felt blessed to express myself the way I’ve wanted to, to feel free to speak the way I do, and to do the things I want. New York can be a city for the marginalized to feel welcomed and empowered and you see it happening a lot here."

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