“No Soy Tu Chiste ( I Am Not Your Joke).”


© Daniel Arzola.

Out: What prompted you to create the “No Soy Tu Chiste” campaign?

Daniel Arzola: Since I was a teenager I had been creating art with a purpose, with a social voice, a cry in a universal language. I started with poems, then photography, and finally illustration. For me art has always been a social expression. I called it “Artivism.” But, my story is not very different than the stories of so many gay and trans Venezuelan people. I had a difficult adolescence where I was constantly chased and bothered. When I was about 15 years old, neighbors tied me to an electrical post, took off my shoes and tried to burn me alive. They destroyed all my drawings.

I escaped. But, so many people don’t have the chance to escape from something like that. There was one guy who couldn’t run away—he was gay—his name was Angelo Prado. I saw it on the news. What struck me was that, even in this century, when you turn on the TV in Venezuela, if they talk about LGBT people, there is mockery. They are laughing about the pain of others. Making us a joke.

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