PHOTOS | RAY LAVOIE
| TIFFANY SALTER
DR. STEVE HORVATH is the new vet in town. Except he isn’t. A native of Ohio, Dr. Horvath may have only recently joined Elemental Veterinary Center + Pet Spa in the Short North, but as a gay man, Steve has been involved in the neighborhood for most of his adult life. And he is thrilled to begin a new chapter serving the community he loves so much.
This small animal vet has always loved animals, but a career in veterinary medicine was a later aspirational development. He grew up around animals and says, “I was always out catching snakes in the backyard and in the woods behind my house.” His family had dogs growing up, but this hobby meant he also had fox snakes and garter snakes and reptiles around.
When he was in high school, Steve worked in the herpetology lab at Bowling Green State University as a volunteer (herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians). What he learned there eventually led him and a friend to start a small side-business called Cap City Reptiles. They bred leopard geckos and corn snakes, along with other small amphibians and reptiles. He pursued this for a few years until he started vet school. He just didn’t have the time anymore, although his friend still does this work.
Steve thought he wanted to work at a zoo and went to undergrad at Ohio Wesleyan from 2001-2005 for zoology, but wasn’t really sure what avenue he wanted to take and wasn’t quite ready to head to vet school. After undergrad he had various jobs, including one at the vet school in their autopsy lab. After about five years he made up his mind and went to veterinary school at OSU.
Steve chose small animal veterinary medicine because he wanted to be in the city, and because he is truly a dog person who also loves bunnies, ferrets, and reptiles. Of course he likes large animals and farms, but working as a farm vet is a round-the-clock venture—the work is 24-hours a day on call—so you really need to live in the country. Steve wanted to be close to the city center.
After graduating from vet school in 2014, Steve practiced in Hilliard for a year before joining Elemental in July of this year. He loves being in the Short North. Sometimes he’ll even bring his greyhound, Cali, into work with him. Steve and his partner have three other dogs, too—Bosco, a boxer; Cody, a Sheltie; and their old girl, Whisper, a 13-year-old German shepherd mix.
Steve’s long-standing love of animals carries over into his practice. His primary concern is making the animals comfortable. In the office or in client’s home (Elemental makes house calls), he uses positive reinforcement with treats. He will get down on the ground with the animals when he first meets them so they can get familiar with him and be more comfortable. He strives to make introductions as smooth as possible.
When asked what general advice he would share, Steve urges all you pet owners out there to seek out appropriate advice if you don’t know something about your pet. Sometimes that means asking a vet and sometimes vets need to help you find the proper person, whether that is for training or some other need. For instance, bunnies can be litter box trained, but since Steve doesn’t have bunnies, he connects owners with either Ohio House Rabbit Society or Columbus House Rabbit Rescue for more information. Steve urges us all to find out the intricacies of our pets and learn how to take care of them. Research, research, research before adopting an animal!
But Steve’s biggest advice for cat and dog owners is to be diligent about heartworm prevention medicine—pets need medicine every month year round, year in and year out. He passionately talks about the life cycle of heartworm disease because it can be deadly. All you cat and dog owners should talk to your own vet about the disease!
Steve is passionate about a lot, but especially giving back to his community. He is involved with both animal activism and human community involvement. When he was in veterinary school, Steve started Buckeyes 4 Greyhounds. Now he is involved with a good friend’s organization, Central Ohio Greyhound Adoption. He is looking forward to volunteering with Ohio House Rabbit Rescue—they are located in Clintonville where he lives. Last year, he spoke at the organization’s Bun Fest about basic nutrition and medicine for bunnies. For a long time he volunteered as a soccer coach with Columbus Youth Guild and continues to help part time and goes to their charities events.
Being a part of the business community in the Short North means he can give back more there, too. Steve is looking forward to a long career in the neighborhood and to meeting lots of neighborhood pets and owners. If you are in the area walking your dog you should stop in and say hi!
| JEFFREY SCOTT WISE
NEXT MONTH COLUMBUS will be ALL IN hosting the largest annual gay sporting event in the world. The Gay Softball World Series is in its 39th year and this is the second year Columbus is hosting the event. With its 31 fields, Berliner Park is the largest softball park in the country and a prime location for this year’s tournament.
Here are a few of the faces behind the game and a peek into what to expect next month when over 200 teams come from around the world to compete in our great city.
The support from the city and the LGBTQ community of our local softball teams has been overwhelming. It is an honor for our city to have the opportunity to host such an exciting international event right here in Columbus. Make sure to mark your calendars August 17-21 and come support our teams and our broader community.
Councilmember Hardin earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College after studying abroad in Nairobi, Kenya. He was born and raised in Columbus and is a proud resident of the South Side.
I recently sat down with Councilmember Hardin to learn about his new role and his plans to make Columbus a stronger city through his public service.
Photos | Ray LaVoie
JM: Is there someone in your family who serves as your role model?
SH: Well, everyone has more than one role model. Mayor Coleman is certainly a mentor for me. When my father passed, he really stepped up and played a father-like role. He inspired me to pursue my professional track. I couldn’t have taken it to this point, at this age, without his guidance. The role of mentor is to see in you some things you don’t necessarily know are there. But they do it in an organic way and thus encourage you to pursue your dreams. The mayor has shown a lot of people, and not just myself, how to be a service leader. He has taught me how to manage making decisions and how to be comfortable making decisions knowing that you’re not going to make everyone happy.
My mom has been a huge role model as well. She was in public service as an assistant to the mayor. She started in Columbus City Council a few months before I was born. I literally grew up in City Hall. She was able to show me that you can be kind and still get things done. Her work ethic was impressive as someone who balanced work life with motherhood. There is truth in the expression it takes a village to raise a child. I come from a very big family that so happens to be a close knit one. My grandmother and others helped my mother along the way. It wasn’t always evident that we were lower middle class and struggling at times. She clearly showed me how to do what you have to do with love and grace.
JM: Is there anyone you draw inspiration from?
SH: I would have to say Mayor Coleman. He’s been mayor for 16 years and served on City Council for another nine years before that. The decisions he has made have been very tough. In the end, if you ask a majority of people in Columbus their thoughts on his leadership, you will find many people are appreciative of his leadership and have emotions tied to his leadership. If I am able to have a legacy as forward and impactful for both the physical city and its people, I will be very happy.
I hope my superpower is the ability to connect with people and to be empathetic. People come from all sorts of different backgrounds and experiences. We all have our faults and come from different situations. Even though I grew up around politicians, I don’t feel like a politician. When I talk about issues that are important to me, they aren’t political. They are personal.
JM: Why have you chosen to serve on Columbus City Council? What do you want to accomplish in this role?
SH: I went for this opportunity because I was born and raised in Columbus. I have a drive for public service. It is the greatest honor to serve on City Council because one can help lead and shape the future of a city that you care so much about. I want to do my due diligence to make sure Columbus is inclusive for everybody. On a personal level, it means a lot to contribute to that social fabric of what Columbus is and what it is becoming. I think local government is the best place to serve because you get things done. This is especially true in Columbus where different communities respect each other and we thrive off of our diversity.
I also thought it was important to bring a younger perspective to Columbus City Council. My hope is that I can bring a certain perspective being an openly gay African American male. Furthermore, my roots are in the South Side of Columbus, a neighborhood that has historically been disadvantaged and disenfranchised from the overall success of the city. I wanted to make sure that folks from the South Side have a voice and are represented well. I want them to feel welcomed to join into the success of the city. It will be a big smack in the face if we leave behind entire groups of people. We see that in our schools and there is work to be done. It only takes a 10-minute drive in any direction from Downtown to see that our success as a city is not being shared. I believe we can do better and we must.
JM: How would you like to see public funds and resources invested in our neighborhoods?
SH: As Chair of Public Service and Transportation Committee, I’ve learned to appreciate how important infrastructure is as a catalyst for growth. It can even be as simple as sidewalks and curbs. When we go out and have our council community nights twice a month around town, the top items that people want are investments in sidewalks and curbs. People view crumbling curbs as a negative reflection of the neighborhood.
Youth and youth safety programs are other areas to target public investment. When I was in the mayor’s office, I created the A.P.P.S. program, which is an acronym for Applications for Purpose, Pride, and Success. This program focuses on crime prevention and intervention. On the prevention side, we opened our city rec centers to provide a safe space as well as provide educational opportunities to further personal growth. On the intervention side, we focus on leaders of rift raft because they are still leaders. We hired intervention workers from neighborhoods. Some of these intervention workers served time and are reformed members of our community. We purposely chose these kinds of people because they can talk to troubled youth in a more authentic way than we can. Even though I come from the South Side, I wear a suit and a tie. I probably could relate, but the perception is I cannot. The intervention workers are street level social workers that help find those barriers to success. A lot of the leaders from the streets have deficiencies in education. We address this by providing GED classes and workforce development. We want them to enter into a career field that pays well. A lot of the folks out in our neighborhoods selling drugs and engaging in criminal activity lack role models and have lost faith in school because they don’t realize the return on investment.
We must work with at-risk youth because they have certain aspects of entrepreneurial skills and they know how to pull folks together behind them. So the challenge is to help them change course and use their skills for good. We need to show them there are other opportunities. That’s why I have decided to stay in my neighborhood. At-risk youth need to see that there is another way out. The reason why so many at-risk folks the in hood want to be basketball players, or football players, or drug dealers is because that’s what many people who look like them and with similar roots do. They don’t believe there is any other way.
JM: How would you like to see public funds and resources invested in our neighborhoods?
SH: We live in a very progressive city. The council before me has already stepped up and reached the legislative limits for LGBT protections. An example is our city’s 100 point rating on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index. Since I joined council, we put forward a resolution to become the first large city in the state to support marriage equality. I’m very proud of that. We also have workplace discrimination protections in our city charter on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Those protections carry fines if violated. I believe there is room for conversation to increase those fines so it’s more than a slap on the wrist. The message we want heard loud and clear is that bigotry and homophobia will cost you in Columbus. It’s a serious offense. We need to continue to push the state to follow suit.
On a personal level, I am in an interesting position of being from both the African American and LGBT communities. It’s been a learning opportunity over the past several months where I’ve begun to talk more openly about my sexuality than I have in the past. It’s not been out of shame, but I didn’t want that to be the center of conversation. What I am realizing, is how important it is that I acknowledge who I am and talk about it. When I look at who is still contracting HIV at high rates, it’s young African Americans in the LGBT community. I want to do something about it. I come from the church. I was grown and raised in the African American church. We all have our challenges and our stories about coming out and living in our authentic selves. In the Black community, it is not that easy because of the role of the church. The questions that we still have around our sexuality are still very present in how we are accepted. It’s been tough to be involved in the church and be openly LGBT. Hopefully, I can be an example for all folks in Columbus—straight, gay, black, white. The intersection between the black church and my sexuality is something I am still dealing with. But I do know one thing for certain: The love that Jesus Christ has for us and the love a same-sex couple have for each other is the same love. It’s rooted in the same place. These are tough conversations we need to have. We have to give it its time and space. It’s a generational story as well. My hope is that my role as an African American LGBT councilmember will be a meaningful contribution to the movement.
JM: How can the LGBT community support you?
SH: The truth is I still have to work to do. I didn’t rise up through the LGBT movement. I need to be out and engaged in the community more. The biggest thing I ask is for understanding and patience. I am still learning but I am learning as a member of the community.
JM: Why have you chosen Columbus to call home?
SH: We are the best city in the world. I have traveled a lot and have lived in Atlanta. I have not found a city as open-minded, as welcoming, and that has as many opportunities as Columbus has. This is home. This is where my family is. I would not have chosen this life anywhere else. Only in Columbus can my story be true.
| Jeffrey Wise
INSPIRATION IS THE driving force behind any great work and Brian Reaume is brimming with it. Growing up in rural Michigan set the stage for Brian’s love of art and his passion for bringing new life into the structures bedeviled with decay strewn about the rural countryside. It is particularly in the change of light as the day evolves from morning to midday to night that affects how the barns speak to him. This daily transformation, along with the ongoing degradation of these structures time imposes, moved him into expressing their presence in the abstract.
Brian explains, “I give these structures a continuation of their stories; they have to speak to me, but once they do, their story is continued on in my art.”
Brian started painting early in his life. His first canvases were old wooden doors and other objects one would find on any country farm. His passion is expressed through these salvaged pieces. His art is the new life he breathes into them.
It was not a part of Brian’s original plan to come to Columbus. As with many other artists, he had the dream of making it big in New York City. Before moving to the Big Apple, Brian was asked by his brother to stay with him in Columbus for a year. In turn, Brian found a new home and new sources for inspiration that kept his creativity flowing.
Brian’s first show was an unexpected opportunity. One day while Brian was at the original Union location, a buddy of his (who was a manager) got a call from an artist scheduled for a show in two weeks’ time. The artist cancelled, leaving Union without an artist for the upcoming show. Brian offered to take his place. It was a challenge, but he pulled it off; his work featured wooden doors painted in abstract art. The show was a hit and the reception of his art was a needed positive reinforcement for him to pursue art further in Columbus.
Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in August 2005. When Brian heard the extent of the damage caused by the storm he immediately went to Louisiana to try to help with the cleanup efforts.
For collusion, Brian collaborated with photographer Chad Cochran. The two artists worked simultaneously but separately. Chad’s work is intertwined with Brian’s for the show. Without any consultation, Chad photographed the structures that spoke to him and Brian took those photographs and breathed new life into them by allowing them to speak to him and expressing that in his art. Brian only used the ones which spoke to him and created his art from it.
Brian’s inspiration is evident in his life and his work. Not only does he push the limits of art in our city, but he is an incredible addition to our community. If you have time before the 10th, be sure to check out his work at the Cultural Arts Center downtown to witness his talent first-hand.
When asked what gender pronouns we should use for Michael Gray and for Mr. Pottymouth, he says, “Honestly, it’s super fluid….The girls in my troupe call me Pottymouth, and some of them refer to me as he or she. [Some] refer to me as ‘My brother-sister,’ but that was all part of my character. I wanted to be that in between.”
Michael has always found the in-between to be particularly beautiful. He tells of seeing Annie Lennox in The Eurhythmics video for Sweet Dreams at age six one morning after church: “I didn’t know if she was a boy or a girl, but I [said] ‘She is beautiful’, and I wanted to be her.” Since that young age, he has sought to keep things ambiguous, especially on stage. `
Michael spends a lot of time working on costumes for Mr. Pottymouth, often collaborating with costume designer Larry Conroy. And when Michael is conceptualizing outfits for stage shows or photo shoots, he says, “I always struggle. ‘How can I look in-between?’ If I start to look too masculine, what can I do to start looking more femme?” Sometimes people even take Mr. Pottymouth for a drag king, which she loves. It bolsters the work she is doing: “There are a lot of drag queens out there who do things much more beautifully than I would ever do or would ever want to do. But that’s not what interests me. [It’s] the in-between… that I find to be so attractive and so interesting.” She leaves “pretty” for others in the troupe.
At the same time, Michael began promoting parties at the old club Outland. He was very much part of the club scene and would spend a lot of time making and wearing complicated, over-the-top outfits for his nights out. Michael started taking some pictures of his outfits and then working with Columbus-based Laura Dark Photography.
One look at Mr. Pottymouth’s photos on Facebook reveals that in addition to blurring gender lines, she is interested in pushing against other conventions of drag. A lot of her work pushes into the macabre. One picture features Mr. P. in a green wig, mustache and bra as well as a pic of Mr. Pottymouth’s version of a zombie warrior princess. There’s even a nightmarish and funny black-and-white clown persona, complete with black pearls, ruffled collar and butcher’s knife. In fact, you can find a lot of gender-bending clowns on Pottymouth’s Facebook page – Halloween is Mr. Pottymouth’s other favorite holiday.
Michael takes inspiration from everywhere and says, “I daydream a lot.” He also finds inspiration in music – Siouxsie and the Banshees, Goldfrapp, Eurhythmics, Coco Rosie and Swedish electronica and audiovisual artist Iamamiwhoami – all artists who are as much visual as they are sonic.
It all leads to an aesthetic that is equal parts campy, trashy and avant-garde. Since he had such a long time to let the persona develop naturally, Michael knows precisely who he wants Mr. Pottymouth to be.
In fact, when Mr. Pottymouth won Project GLAMAZON, the Glamazons said to Michael, “You really knew who your character was.” And Michael says that he tries to do something “a little more thought-provoking with some sort of message.” Mr. Pottymouth sees the Glamazons as a great place to grow and is looking forward to this year’s Genderfuck Glamor-themed Project GLAMAZON 2015 in March. She says “I have heard on the wind some of the girls who might be competing this year, and I’m like ‘Whew! Glad I competed last year!’”
For now, Michael is looking forward to Valentine’s Day. He just wants to find a nice boy who will make him laugh: “I love people who make me laugh … I love boys who have a great sense of humor. They have to because look at the fucking shit I do. Haha. Weird as shit. I know that I’m weird.” And if Mr. Pottymouth handed out Valentines to classmates, she says they “probably wouldn’t even be Valentines. They’d probably just be mini sex toys. Here’s cock rings for everyone! … Or awesome mixed-media Valentines with porn. A girl with multiple eyes and four dicks. And she’d be like ‘Respect me for my mind on Valentine’s Day.’”
Well, we respect you for your mind, Mr. Pottymouth — your beautiful, weirdo mind.
Thomas, a Clintonville native, earned an MFA in dance at OSU, dancing with, and eventually becoming company manager for, BalletMet. His career led him around the world, but eventually back home. After five years of working steadily as a New York-based dancer and touring Europe, Thomas grew tired of the grind and began teaching on the east coast. He was then offered an opportunity to teach aerial dance in Taiwan.
“I had needed to be able to fly on the trapeze for a show in New York, so I started training, and I loved it—more than dance. I just decided it’s what I wanted to do,” says Thomas. The aerial arts are related to circus, but there are some key differences. “Mostly circus is about that spellbinding moment when they do a triple flip and get caught.” The aerial arts on the other hand are “a little more about athleticism, about artistry. Maybe it takes us a little more into theater or performance art,” says Thomas. When his Taiwan work visa ended, he brought his passion for aerial arts and his decade of performance experience back to Columbus.
“I love Columbus, and after going other places, I feel like there’s not a better city. It sounds cheesy, but it’s affordable, it’s easy to get around, people are friendly. There’s a great gay and lesbian community here, which I love,” says Thomas. And perhaps most important for Thomas’s performance group, “It’s easy to do things. It was important to me to come back to take this opportunity to do what I really wanted to do, and Columbus allowed that.”
Thomas was immediately attracted to 400 West Rich Street and was one of its earliest tenants. “I walked into this building, and it was disgusting. They had cars parked in here. It was raining inside here. I was the only person on this floor, and I rentedby the week,” says Thomas. On the ceiling and beams, you can still see remnants of apparatuses Thomas hung as he moved around the evolving space. Thomas loved the gritty feel. “We are not LA Fitness; we are not a special club. When people walk in, you know right away if this is not gonna be for them.”
When Thomas moved in, there were plenty of naysayers. He remembers, “People said, ‘No one’s gonna come to Franklinton. Nobody’s gonna pay to be in this building.’ And now look what’s happening.” Still, Thomas gets encouraged to go elsewhere. “People all the time are like, ‘Come teach in the suburbs, teach children, make more money.’ It’s not what I want to do.” Matt Wovrosh, one of the group’s instructors, adds that Franklinton really fits the group’s identity. “Franklinton very much exists kind of between the cracks of other things, or on the periphery, and we also exist in the cracks of other traditions and practices and exist kind of on the periphery.”
If the group isn’t catering to suburbanites, Thomas is unapologetic about who it is for: “I wanna have people who really feel passionate about what they’re doing. I want people who can’t afford it to be able to come in and do it, and I want the LGBT community involved. That’s why I’m here,” says Thomas. He goes out of his way to partner with other LGBTQ small business owners, such as Jes Bodimer of Aspire Circuit Training, who also performs with the group. Thomas says, “I’m tired in the world news and national news of hearing all this ‘We’re not gonna service these people,’ all this stuff going on right now. Push and push and push, and watch us let the dollars speak.” The group hopes to add Pride and ComFest appearances in the future, despite the challenges presented by outdoor spaces. In March, they will exhibit at the Arnold Classic in conjunction with Studio Rouge.
Thomas’s true passion is the artistic aspect of the sport, however. “I want us doing meaningful, creative, unique stuff. We try to sneak in a little bit of art,” says Thomas. A recent show incorporated a German Bauhaus movement theme. “It was a movement about functionalism, shape and form. A performer doesn’t have to be all sparkly and pretty to be entertaining,” Thomas explains.
| JEFFREY WISE
MAURICIO FERNANDEZ AND Ray Valentine were married on September 26, 2013 on the beach in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In addition to celebrating their love for one another, their legally-recognized marriage allowed them to achieve something that heterosexual international unions have always enjoyed: a green card. Mauricio, a native of Mendoza, Argentina, had lived in the U.S. illegally for 13 years. His time as an illegal alien was finally over.
Mauricio came to the U.S. in October 2001 while Argentina was on the visa waiver program, allowing citizens from stable governments to travel for up to 90 days without prior permission. The $400 a month he made working at an Argentinian bank left him wanting, and he decided to come to the U.S. to seek a better life.
Mauricio had some advantages not every immigrant enjoys. He arrived in California with some cash in hand and already speaking English. His father had sent him to private schools in Argentina and had encouraged of him to learn English. After a short time in the country, he moved to Indianapolis because a friend from Argentina lived there. He stayed there for only a few weeks before heading to Miami. Mauricio was there when his visa expired, but he made the decision to stay in the U.S. He found a job that paid him under the table and worked there for five months.
Mauricio then moved to Indiana, living first in Bloomington and then in Vincennes in short succession. He landed a job at a restaurant, allowing him to get his own apartment and buy his first car. After two years of hard work, the restaurant’s owner asked Mauricio to manage a new restaurant venture in Mishawaka, Indiana. He accepted the offer, but knew it would mean even longer hours. As is common with businesses willing to hire illegal immigrants, Mauricio’s employers left him overworked and underpaid.
While in Mishawaka, Mauricio started a romance with a man from Columbus named Ed. Their relationship inspired Ed to make the five hour drive to visit many times before Mauricio made the move to Columbus in 2006. Mauricio had saved enough money in a bank account opened with only a tax ID number. Such accounts are not difficult to set up for those living in U.S. illegally. The system allows illegal immigrants to file taxes; Mauricio began filing taxes shortly after he arrived in the U.S.
Once in Columbus, Mauricio discovered a natural talent for photography, so he bought better camera equipment and eventually made it a side job. Over time, friendship replaced romance between Mauricio and Ed. Mauricio found a job at a local eatery which gave him an invaluable opportunity to live and thrive in Columbus’ LGBTQA community. His roots in Columbus grew deeper, and he joined the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus. He built many friendships and worked very hard. In April 2010, Mauricio’s connections grew stronger when he met Ray. It did not take long for them to fall deeply in love and eventually move in together.
Time passed for the couple, and the news regarding the Supreme Court hearing a case involving the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act came to their attention. As SCOTUS struck down DOMA on June 26, 2013, an unforeseen opportunity for Mauricio and Ray became closer to reality. The next day, the federal interpretation of the decision determined that same-sex marriages not only needed to be recognized, but they also necessitated equal treatment with regard to immigration. The love that Ray and Mauricio shared could now allow Mauricio to come out of hiding about his citizenship status.
Mauricio remained a bit skeptical until a chance encounter with Brian DeFranco at the Latin Festival. Having recognized him from a previous visit, Brian approached Mauricio and introduced him to the idea that the DOMA ruling applied to his situation and would allow him to gain a green card. Once legally married, the couple paid the legal fees necessary to pursue the green card in early December. After a relatively speedy process, as immigration decisions go, Mauricio received his green card on February 19 this year.
Having lived in hiding for so long, Mauricio felt the idea that he would no longer need to hide almost seemed too good to be true. Even though their love and marriage are genuine, their lawyer advised them to memorize pages of information regarding each other’s families and family history in case the application was contested. In the end, this proved to be unnecessary. It all came down to a clerk at the counter of the immigration office. With her simple words, “I approve you” and some paperwork, Mauricio and Ray became the first couple in Columbus and the second couple in Ohio to be granted a green card through their marriage as a same sex couple.
After receiving his green card, a friend approached Mauricio about a potential job opening. Interested in the position, Mauricio started working on his resume. “I got to create a resume for the very first time!,” he said. Mauricio applied for the job and landed an interview with Norse Dairy Systems. The interviewer was very impressed with his resume and offered him a job. He started the new job in early September. This past Labor Day was the first paid day off Mauricio had ever had in his life.
The journey to become a legal resident has been a difficult one for Mauricio, but through the steadfast love and support from Ray and their unwavering commitment to each other, they can finally share their story openly.
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