Natalino Ornai Guterres || Timor-Leste Pride

by | Jul 22, 2018 | Faces of Pride, More About the Soul

Meet Natalino Ornai Guterres, one of the organizers of Timor-Leste Pride.

On June 28th, 1969 the Stonewall Riots kicked off a larger gay rights movement in the USA.

In 1970, the first gay pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago – today pride parades are taking place all around the world.

In 2018, I wanted to know who the people organizing today’s pride parades are, what the marches mean to them, and met wonderfully powerful, loving and kind people from places, which might not be the first ones that come to mind, when we think of queer love.

See all Faces of Pride.

Natalino Ornai Guterres – Timor-Leste Pride

What’s your name and age?
My name is Natalino Ornai Guterres. I identify myself as a gay man.

Since when have you been involved with Timor-Leste Pride?
I’m part of youth group Hatutan that helped organize both Timor-Leste’s first Pride parade in 2017 and the second Pride parade in 2018. In 2016 there was an indoor Pride event (no parade) organized by Fundasaun CODIVA (Coalition for Diversity and Action), and I also helped out as volunteer.

Why do you think Timor-Leste Pride is important? Timor-Leste needs Pride because it is important to teach our young generation the value of diversity and inclusion.

For the LGBTI community specially, visibility is important. When people come to realise that LGBTI isn’t some strange thing, but it’s their family, it’s their friends and their loved ones – that’s how hearts and minds are changed. Creating a safe space for people to be visible is a key part of that.

Pride parade is also a moment to join forces, both within and outside the LGBTI community to ensure the rights of everyone are respected. Pride celebrates diversity in its many forms. The fact that people are still afraid to be who they are, that we as a society and as a country continue to pursue and ridicule difference shows why we need Pride.

LGBTI people, especially trans people, often get harassed on the streets and have been excluded from the different opportunities. Giving them a safe space where they can walk with pride and celebrate who they are, knowing that there are so many allies from different sectors who will be out there to support them, can mean a lot to them. It can also educate others, especially the young generation, that it’s okay to be different.
And I don’t see this as a foreign import. Protesting on the streets has always been part of the Timorese culture. We did it throughout the 24 years of occupation.

But of course, the fight for acceptance and inclusion is more than just a Pride parade. It’s a daily struggle. However, that one day parade can send powerful message of our existence. I know it’s still a long way to go and maybe I’m just an overly optimistic person, but over the past year we are starting to see small progress. Slowly but surely.

What is one (or two) remarkable thing (s) that has/have happened at Timor-Leste Pride? Timor-Leste Pride is a powerful force for inclusion and acceptance. In a region growing increasingly hostile to the community, we compel support from all walks of life: civil society, international groups, religious figures, and all the way up to the country’s leaders.

Last year the Prime Minister of the country gave a message of support. This year, we had people from different walks of life come out to march and give their message of support.

To me personally, it was amazing to see changes take place over the past year. Last year, my brother who was previously not accepting of my sexual orientation, came to march with me. This year, my mother, who was also not accepting of my sexual orientation last year, came to Pride this year.

What do you do when you are not organizing Timor-Leste Pride? I work as a development consultant. I also volunteer at Hatutan (a youth organization promoting social inclusion) and Fundasaun CODIVA (Timor-Leste’s first LGBTI organization).

What do you like to do in your free time? I like spending my free time being useful by volunteering. As a matter of fact, organizing Pride is something I do in my free time and I do it as a volunteer.
I also like reading with children and hanging out with my brothers and cousins.

Is there something you would like to say to the rest of LGBTIQ+ communities? Never give up fighting for your right. And please know that you are not alone. I never have thought we would come this far by holding a Pride parade in Timor-Leste.

Follow Timor-Leste Pride:
Facebook

DOWNLOAD FREE PRIDE ZINE

Not different, just love - Two pairs of feet, entangled with each other, on a bed

Not different, just love

How do you feel when it comes to dealing with our emotions, expectations and responsibilities, around coming out, living as a LGBTIQ+ person and when it comes to our families and love in general?

Begin Your Self-Actualization Journey today

Coaching-sessions

Sessions take place online via zoom, no matter where you are. All you need is a computer or mobile device with internet connection.

safe &confidential

Before the sessions start, you'll sign a coaching contract so that responsibilities and boundaries are clearly defined.

Recordings & Materials

Sessions can be recorded for review at a later point. If relevant, I will provide PDFs and other resources to support you on your self-actualization journey.

BE FREE. Live your life with love.

A Magical Year invites you to a twelve-month journey full of exploration, love and liberation.

„I had a virtual meeting with Verena, and I felt really safe and comfortable opening up about my struggles with Verena.
She is such a good listener and she shared with me a list of practical and efficient tools/solutions to change my mindset and the way I talk to myself. It was eye-opening. I totally recommend talking to her - her expertise can be a precious resource for everyone!“ - Francesco

I am at a stage in my life where I can (and want to) make a shift, but struggle envisioning the right direction to take and the action needed. Verena helped me to focus on my desires and what is keeping me stuck. Her approach is sympathetic, calm and down-to earth. It felt like she truly wanted to work with me towards my goals and my wellbeing, through small, concrete steps and kindness. She made me feel more confident, and now the change seems more approachable. – Elena

Verena holds compassion for herself and for me, listens and allows space and treats me as an equal.
She shows up with curiosity & presence, reminds me to listen to what's important to me, suggests simple, manageable practices, giving me concrete things to work with, all in one 60-minute call. Thank you again for this gift! – em

I always admired Verena's ability to bring together people of very diverse backgrounds and give others the space and the freedom to be who they are and to express themselves. It was amazing to watch her transform her life and herself and become much happier in the process. – Corinna

I’m so thankful for the email you sent yesterday about being a conscious digital citizen. 🙂 It really sparked my day and I must have agreed with every word you said […] maybe even more as I am opening up to start presenting my thoughts and work online to wider audiences, it is so important to be concise about adequate behaviour in the digital world and lead by example 😉 Thank you for reminding me of that! 🙂 😉 – Luisa

Find out how you can Start to Live your Best Life

with Self-Actualization Coaching

The three Elements of well-being:

Physical Well-being // Body

To fulfil our physiological needs, we need enough sleep, good food and enough exercise.

We also need a safe place to live and be.

I always think of Virginia Woolf's quote: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

learn more

Woman standing looking over landscape and sunset- this is what it can look like to live your best life

Mental Well-being // Mind

Our mental well-being is usually linked to our physical well-being and vice versa.

Once we know how to take care of ourselves in terms of food, sleep and exercise, we can learn to develop a strong and positive relationship with ourselves mentally as well.

We can start to change and train the way we think of ourselves, ...

learn more

Relational Well-being // Soul

The work always starts with ourselves, but ends with being able to be fully present in community.

But once our inner work is (mostly) done, we can safely, lovingly and joyfully be with others and inspire and uplift.

We can learn to live in the freedom ...

learn more

This might also be interesting for you