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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



A Gay in the Life: Alfonso Rodriguez
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

This article shared 4107 times since Wed Jun 19, 2013
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Alfonso Rodriguez is a survivor.

"I overcame trust and intimacy issues as a result of being molested from the age of 6 to the age of 8," he said.

Rodriguez also survived an emotionally-abusive relationship, he said.

"I survived falling into the dark world of drugs and alcohol. I survived being homeless as a result of that part of my life. I survived thinking that I was going to die when I was diagnosed with HIV. I survived," Rodriguez said. "I firmly believe there was always something bigger than me with plans for my life; I just needed to take those few steps to make it happen and open my mind and heart to positive changes in my life.

"Today, I live a happy life as a full-time student."

Rodriguez attends Truman College, where he is in the LGBTQIA & Friends Club. He also is the communications officer for the Student Government Association, and said he likely will run for president of the LGBTQIA & Friends Club in August for the fall semester.

"I'm convinced I've always been aware of my sexual preference," Rodriguez said. "My mom shared with me that, when I was in kindergarten, I refused to wear a blue knit sweater. She'd put it on me and I'd run back to my room to take it off when she wasn't looking. One day she confronted me and demanded to know why I didn't want to wear the blue knit sweater. I said, 'Mommy, if I wear the blue sweater, then Johnny can't see me.'

"Johnny was a little boy in my classroom [who] had blue eyes. I figured that if he had blue eyes and if I wore anything blue, then he wouldn't be able to see me, that I would become invisible to him. Interesting how the mind of a 6-year-old works.

"Johnny and I were caught in the coatroom once after that, [though] I really can't remember what we were doing back there."

Rodriguez said gay student life at Truman College is, thus far, "a pleasant experience."

"When I got to Truman, there was a not-so-active [gay] club in place, but this past semester there have been two superstar role-models in the club [who] have made a difference, not only on a school level but in the local community, too. I'm very proud to have worked alongside Dr. Rudra Dundzilla, who is our advisor/sponsor; Marie Martin, president of the club; and Aaron Ramirez, vice-president.

"Marie and Aaron took the club to a different level that will serve as a platform for other students to get involved in what's going on in school and in our community.

"I'd like to keep the LGBTQIA & Friends Club involved in community events and perhaps take it to a service level where we volunteer at a local community organization as a group for worthy causes, such as working with displaced youth, feeding the homeless and wherever we may be of service. It's not about being in a club that matters, it's how we move as a whole in the community and what difference we make. If we're not making a difference in someone's life, or if we're not having an impact in the community we live in, then what are we doing? I know we have some pretty enthusiastic students at Truman College, and they [too] feel the same passion for getting out there and lending a helping hand."


Age: 42

Relationship status: Single

Neighborhood: Uptown

Hobbies: Movies, dining out, and window-shopping

Roots: Was born in Chicago. His mom is from Colombia. His dad is from Puerto Rico. They met at Amundsen High School and married at St. Mary of the Lake Parish in Chicago.

Favorite movies: Gia; Love, Actually; and The Holiday

Four people (living or dead) who you'd like to have dinner with: Meryl Streep, Michel Legrand, Ellen DeGeneres and Ernest Hemingway

Little-known fact: "I'm a little bit of a freak," he said, laughing. "I'm pretty much an open book. My friends and family know me well; I hide nothing and I'm very seldom censored; it's a flaw that I'm working on."

This article shared 4107 times since Wed Jun 19, 2013
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