NewYorker Alfredo Solivan opens up about coming out and body image.

The gay community is made up of all sorts of men and we at GuysLikeU pride ourselves  on giving REAL gay men the chance to share their stories with other. Here, we meet New Yorker Alfredo Solivan, a 29 year old ballet dancer and club doorman.

When did you first understand that you were gay?

I probably first ‘realised’ I was gay late in high school. I had had many thoughts before that but didn’t know what they were.

When did you first come out?

I kept it to myself until about 20 years old. The first person I told out loud was an old high school friend.

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What was your first gay experience?

I was around 20 years old and it was with someone I had been dating for a very short while. But I like to think my actual first gay experience was masturbating to gay porn many years before that.

Did you go through the ‘girlfriend’ stage?

I had one official girlfriend in high school. It lasted a whole summer.

Did you ever struggle with the idea of being gay?

I never went through a period of not wanting to be gay. For a long time I was confused about my own feelings but once I realised what they were I accepted it.

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When you were growing up, did you have any gay role models?

I can’t say that I had any gay role models. Just role models. People who were wholly themselves and weren’t sorry for it. My mother and my best friend at the time, Chantelle, come to mind.

Aw that’s sweet. How was it telling mum?

I was most worried to tell my mother. I was afraid she would see me differently, but it was basically confirming everything she thought. But no one rejected me. I was 20 when I came out so by that time I had already surrounded myself with people who loved me for everything I was.

Was it an exciting time when you threw yourself into the gay scene?

When I first came out I didn’t throw myself into the scene because I was too busy dancing full-time. It wasn’t until a few years later when I got a second job at a gay bar that I even started paying attention to the gay scene. And my experiences were exactly as I had expected. Lots of parties, drag queens, and drinking… No drugs for me, but I saw them happening. I realise that my experiences were very limited at the time because I worked in a gay bar. I loved it nonetheless.

Have you had any terrible experiences along the way?

Any terrible experiences I’ve had worth remembering have actually been with other gay men. We treat each other so terribly some times. In terms of outside of my community, I don’t believe I’ve faced any serious homophobia. Random guys shout ‘faggot’ on the street, but that doesn’t phase me. Not to say that its okay, of course, but their issues are more with themselves and less about you.

You’re a handsome guy, have you always been comfortable with the way you look?

I’m 6’2 actually. But thanks for calling me handsome! My looks have been a constant struggle for me. I don’t blame anyone but myself for that. I do tend to attract a lot of men (insert eye roll) but I clock that up to standing at the door of a gay bar for that past six years.  I’m weird about my looks. I wouldn’t call it insecure. You see handsome but I just see me. I’ve been staring at myself for 29 years so sometimes I just get bored with the way I look and want to change it; but being a ballet dancer really limits that. Ultimately I don’t define myself by the way I look but by my actions.

So you must meet a lot of guys that way…

I actually meet guys on apps like Scruff. Although, ironically, I met my last boyfriend at the bar I work at. Because I’m at work I tend to pay those guys no attention. I assume they’re drunk and their words/actions don’t mean anything. Casey, being the very very rare exception.

Have you had many dating disasters?

I’ve had a billion. There was a whole year where I was going on one first date a week. I wasn’t desperate for a boyfriend; I was just bored and my social life wasn’t very big.

Are you an advocate for safe sex?

I’ll admit that I AM NOT the poster boy for safe sex. I kick myself in the butt all the time for not being better about it. But what I am is honest and open with all my partners. Getting tested regularly and sharing that with whomever it may concern.

What kind of guys do you go for?

I go for all kinds of guys. I love tall guys and so tend to lean that way but I don’t rule out the shorties. Funny is a must.

Are you fussy when it comes to finding Mr Right?

I think its important to be a little fussy as long as you really know what you want. Never settle for anything in life. Whether its love, work, or friendship. I’ve definitely had my heart broken but its worth it in the end. Just gotta get to the end.

Is it important to maintain a healthy and good body?

Having a good body is and isn’t important to me. Its more of a product of what I do. I don’t have a diet regime at all. I don’t exactly eat whatever I want either. I just try to stay aware I’ve what I’m putting in my body. Eating healthy when I can but not denying myself that slice of pizza when I want it.

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On Instagram you are no stranger to whipping off your top… What buzz do you get from that? You must be really comfortable with you bod!

I AM really comfortable showing off my body on Instagram because its just an extension of who I am. I don’t get anything real from it. I use Instagram as a hobby to fill my time (I’ve got a lot of it). I HAVE always been body confident. Another product of being a ballet dancer.

What kind of comments have you had from you followers?

I’ve been lucky. There have been very few negative comments. But when there are I ignore them. I delete the hateful ones, however. I’ve received many a dick pic on Instagram and a few propositions. I ignore all of them. Every single follower that’s ever come up to me in real life has always been kind. I really appreciate those guys.

What do your mates think about your pics on Instagram?

My friends and family just laugh it all off or take quick jabs about it. They all know I don’t take it seriously and neither should they.

Do you feel a pressure to look a certain way?

I do feel pressure to look a certain way but its all pressure I put on myself. When I was a teenager I thought I was too skinny and had literally no ass. I owed ass. I had ass debt. My favorite body part are my legs but I’m not happy with my stomach area. It’s where I hold all my weight.

What body part do you think men like in you?

They like my butt. I paid back my debt and then some.

Are you a believer in chess hair?

I embrace my chest hair. I wish there were more. I do not manscape.

Do you fee a pressure to fit into categories?

If you’re with a guy that only likes one type then he’s really limiting himself. And if you only try to be one type then you’re limiting yourself.

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Have you ever worried about the size of you manhood?

I have never once worried about it, thank you very much ! ha!

Boxers, briefs or nothing?

Briefs, every time. Its just a better line.

What product can you not live without?

My Lusti Professional Pomade Hair Grease with Kiwi and Aloe Oil that I get from the 99 cent store.