Let’s Talk: Jonathan Barrio and Reynaldo Mireles
In honor of SAGE’s 40th anniversary, we paired LGBT trailblazers and influencers of varied generations to reflect on our collective past and discuss our future. These interviews reflect life experiences that span several decades and geographical divides. All illustrate burning passions for a better tomorrow.
JONATHAN BARRIO is the Founder of the Gay Vista Social Club.
REYNALDO MIRELES is Program Manager for SAGE of the Rockies.
What keeps you going on a day-to-day basis?
Reynaldo: I have the opportunity to work with older adults on a daily basis. I get to meet them in person or over the phone, and it gives them the opportunity to share their story. They have an amazing history. As I’m listening to their voices, I am inspired by what they have done to protect our rights. That is what gives me the strength to not give up. I can’t. I mean, they did so much for us to have the rights that we have now. I want to make sure that those rights are protected for them, and me and my community, and for the generations to come. What about you, Jonathan?
Jonathan: It’s interesting that you mention working with older LGBT people, because I started on the younger side of the spectrum. I was executive director of an organization that I founded three years ago called “Gay Vista Social Club” (GVSC). The whole mission behind the org was taking young gay men outside of the nightlife scene—away from drugs and alcohol— putting them in safe spaces and scenarios where they could build intentional and lasting friendships. Having that safe space, and hearing the stories from people—it has just turned into something magical in Miami. I hear from people who tell me that it’s so refreshing to be in a space where they are not judged. It empowers people to really interact with one another in a way that we never would have if GVSC wasn’t around. This makes me push daily to make sure that I am doing all I can to give all the resources that I benefit from, to all of the other young folks in our community—who are our emerging leaders.