Opinion | How to Process What Our Loved Ones Leave Behind

A beloved uncle left an inheritance made of love.

A beloved uncle left an inheritance
made of love.

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A beloved uncle left an inheritance made of love.

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By Diego Bragà

Diego Bragà is a filmmaker.

Historically, the queer community has not been portrayed in mainstream culture as being capable of protecting children and young people. Yet my uncle Ricardo, himself an openly gay man, was the ultimate guardian of my childhood.

When I was growing up, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, he lived with my mother, grandmother and me. He and his fellow guardians drew such an assertive and powerful map of survival that we, their queer descendants, have an obligation not just to survive but to thrive. I am alive and proudly effeminate, even though I was raised in a country with a continuing history of violence against L.G.B.T.Q. people. Without Ricardo, his partners, his icons and his friends leading the way, I couldn’t be who I am: a beautiful and unapologetically queer nonbinary Latin artist.

In 2016, five years after his death, I decided it was time to open the box Ricardo left me when he died, and breathe new life into his dream of a beautiful future — one that honors our ancestry and celebrates life. The short documentary above is a homage to the freedom of being yourself, and a vision of a world in which we all can flourish.

Diego Bragà is a nonbinary Latin-American artist in Lisbon.

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