Patricia Velasquez knows what it’s like to be the world’s first Latina supermodel. She knows what it’s like to be featured in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, to walk down the runway at major fashion shows around the world, and to appear in a big box office movie (The Mummy) and its sequel.
What the Venezuelan beauty did not know until earlier this year was how the world would react once it found that she is a lesbian.
‘The reaction and support has been phenomenal,’ Velasquez tells Gay Star News. ‘There’s never really been a Hispanic woman from my side say, “Yes, I am gay.”‘
Velásquez, 44, made this revelation in her memoir, Straight Walk, in which she shares with readers how her relationship with Sandra Bernhard made her realize she was a lesbian.
‘I’ve had a great career and I fight for so many causes but somebody wrote after the book came out that probably my biggest contribution to humankind has been this book and my coming out,’ she says.
‘It definitely has been a source of inspiration for a lot of people. When I wrote the book I felt like if I could help one person, then that’s it I’ve done the job and it seems that there has been hundreds of people. It’s been a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful life.’
In writing the book, Velasquez admits she ‘of course’ had worries that coming out would be harmful to her career.
‘I used to model before for many, many years for the likes of Victoria Secret and Sports Illustrated and it’s almost like I felt like I was going to betray the men who had been so supportive throughout the years,’ she says.
‘But finally, we have to lead by example. This is the best contribution I can give to the world and that’s why I decided to do it.’
Velasquez’s coming out comes at a time that she is enjoying acclaim on the film festival circuit for her lead performance as a former model dying of cancer in Liz in September.
The film is based on the classic lesbian play, Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, and directed by Venezuelan director Fina Torres (Woman on Top).
It was released on DVD by Wolfe Video in the US this month and screen’s twice this weekend at Cinema Diverse, the Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival.
This has been reposted from Gay Star News.