Los Chicos (Lima, Peru)

Honoring the gay millennials who have been at the forefront of the movement for LGBTQ rights in Peru.

The subjects in the series Los Chicos represent an important, emerging, community within Peru’s culture. Defying patriarchal machismo and the antiquated social mores of masculinity, these young gay men have exhibited tremendous courage and tenacity by allowing themselves to be seen, publicly, as a thriving community within a slowly changing environment of acceptance. This increase in visibility has contributed to an empowered vocalization for equal rights within Peru’s LGBTQ communities; specifically, in 2014, the demand for recognized civil unions had become an official component of Peru’s political discussions—a groundbreaking event and a clear first step toward equality.

And yet, as Lima remains a classist society, the members of the "upper" classes—particularly those established by social rank, or those embracing the obligatory silence demanded by a social standing through familial lineage—maintain a far less public presence. In contrast, and through grassroots efforts, positive changes within the LGBTQ community are primarily introduced by the youth from the supposed "lower" classes who are consistently becoming more visible.

The boys have been photographed within one of Peru’s hidden manses: a home once lavish and regal, now left nearly neglected, it stands within one of Lima’s most revered communities surrounded by pockets of new construction, high-rises, and tourist destinations. It remains a reminder of Peru’s magnificence and cultural significance as well as its dysfunctional concepts of class and social rank.