March 15, 2022

Pedro Dorta shares his experience with his own social masks

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Guest, Pedro Dorta and I take a deep dive into social masks and how they completely block any chance of emotional intimacy.  We also discuss how delusional we are to think that others don't see through our masks.  Like attracts like, so when you show up wearing a mask, you will attract others that are wearing a mask. It you want hints into lowering the mask and experiencing more connectedness, stay tuned.

Pedro is a graphic artist, website creator, and a coach in training.

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Coach Maddox  0:04  
Hello, Pedro Dorta, this is my guest for today. I'm so glad you're here. Excited to have a great conversation with you. And welcome to The Authentic Gay Man Podcast.

Pedro Dorta  0:18  
Thank you. Likewise, I'm very excited to be here.

Coach Maddox  0:21  
Great, great. Glad to have you here. Well, I'm just gonna tell the audience a little bit about how we how we know each other. We have known each other for maybe eight or nine months now. We met in a large gay online group, a virtual group. And when I found out that Pedro lived in the same city I do, which is Dallas, Texas, I reached out to him via Facebook Messenger and said, Hey, we're in the same group, we live in Dallas. Let's get together and meet each other. And he agreed. And so we are the first time we met for a bite of dinner, and had great conversation. And it just went from there. I mean, we just realized we had some definite things in common. We've been riding bikes together, we've rollerbladed we've been to theater, we have done a variety of things. And over that period of time, we have had some absolutely amazing conversations and gotten to know a little bit more about each other. And we've supported each other when the other one needed support. And it's just been a beautiful thing. So Pedro agreed to come onto the podcast today and share his experience his life his stories. So here we go. Anything you'd like to Oh, I know what I want to say. So. So Pedro, you know, one of the things that I noticed was, we met, and there was like this pretty instant report. We didn't really do a lot of superficial conversation. Right off the bat, the conversation kind of went to a deeper level. And the conversations have had certainly an an an intimate quality to them. I mean, emotional intimacy, of course. Tell me, what's your experience? And and if you agree with that, what, what do you attribute that to?

Pedro Dorta  2:42  
Yeah, no, I definitely agree with that. I. I'm not sure I've just have always felt very comfortable with you. You've asked all the right questions, you've held space for me. And I have felt safe enough to open up and share more intimate vulnerable details about myself and my life and kind of saw that, you know, it was a safe space with you. And I've, I've thoroughly enjoyed our conversations and I just always look forward to chatting with you, I'll always get something out of it. Always.

Coach Maddox  3:28  
Well, in and I too, feel the same way I feel a very strong sense of safety with you as well. And it does make it very easy to open up and, and share more of myself. So I would say I feel blessed. I think we have a lovely friendship and I'm I feel gratitude for that. So Well, today's number one question, the question of the hour is, what is it? What does it mean? What do you think it means to be an authentic gay man? In your own words? What does it mean?

Pedro Dorta  4:03  
Yeah, for me, it's to be an authentic gay man is to be in touch with with yourself, your true self with that inner love to to really be able to show up in any situation as unashamedly as you as possible, you know, without so much fear and temper, excuse me, fear and anxiety around worrying what other person will think or worrying about being judged and you know, just kind of owning who you are and, and yeah, I think I think I think that would really be how I would describe being an authentic gay man is showing up as you and With love and really being in touch with your own self and being comfortable in your own skin, so that you can show up that way?

Coach Maddox  5:09  
Well, I gotta say, I love your, your explanation. It's beautiful. So where are you in that right now? Like, if you were gonna put a scale of one to 10 on it, one being I'm not even remotely there and 10 being I'm completely there. How would you rate yourself? In what you just described?

Pedro Dorta  5:32  
Yeah, I would have to say I'm probably at about a seven and a half to eight. I have done a lot of work. on myself. These past few years, I've learned a lot. I've dropped a lot of these ideas and notions that I had around who I had to be around certain people. And yeah, it's, it's, I'm always learning something new every day, you know, there's always some situation that comes up that shows me where I still have yet to let go and embrace my authenticity and, you know, show up as holy as me, as you know.

Coach Maddox  6:19  
Yeah. So you gave yourself a seven and a half or an eight? What is what specifically is that the aspects of that authenticity that are not present? Where you can score yourself at 10? In other words, what's what's lacking that you still see that you need? To put in place?

Pedro Dorta  6:47  
Yeah, that is a very good question I. It For Me, it's so easy to fall into those patterns of people pleasing, of kind of becoming a chameleon and molding myself to make everybody else comfortable, I've always been kind of the rescuer, so to speak, and kind of just blended into the background, I could turn into whoever I needed to be for that person. And I think certain situations will trigger that in me, especially with with people I don't know very well, for example, I'm going to be starting a new job, and I kind of have a feeling that I will be very cautious and withheld when I first meet, you know, the, the, the my other colleagues, other people in the department, as I kind of get a feel for how they are. But I think for me, it's to understand that that's normal, that, you know, everybody wants people to like them, but to not get so lost in that, that I kind of forget who I am. And I start trying to make sure that people like me by saying the right things or doing the right things for them. So I think that that would be an area where I kind of still need a little practice, I guess.

Coach Maddox  8:27  
Well, I think it's great that you have the awareness as you start this new job, you have an awareness of how you're wanting to show up. What do you think, I mean, I get that we're kind of feeling things out in our first day or two. But I also know that in every relationship, whether it's a relationship with coworkers, or a boss, whether it's a relationship with a new love, whether it's a new friend, it doesn't matter who it is, or what you're doing, the way we show up in those first few meetings, set a tone that oftentimes will carry through the whole rest of the relationship. And I can say from my own experience, one of the worst mistakes that I have ever made, and I have made it over and over again before I figured it out, is showing up in a new relationship and putting my best foot forward. And once again, it doesn't matter whether it's a love relationship or a co worker relationship. When we put our best foot forward and we only want people to see the good stuff. That's a performance and that's a production and that takes energy. And sooner or later. We can't keep that going you know all never forget my first relationship. About a year in. He said to me, you're not the man that I fell in love with? And I said, No, I'm not he doesn't exist. I mean, I realized that I had been showing up as Superman trying to do everything right and everything perfect and be every, you know, everything he needed. And wow, talk about exhausting. But it also set something up where he now expected that for me, and when I couldn't, couldn't keep that up any longer. He wasn't sure he wanted to, well, we didn't last, we didn't last. So in your awareness of this new job, and, you know, wanting to not sell out, that's not the word you used, but how can you show up in this new job and set that tone for the way the relationship will be? And still do what you need to do to take care of yourself? I mean, is that there's there's got to be some kind of happy medium in there.

Pedro Dorta  11:21  
Yeah. Well, that's a very wonderful question. I've, as you're saying that I was thinking about the reason for the kind of bending over backwards and molding myself to who they need to be. And

I think it's, it's feeling insecure, and myself feeling unsure that I'm actually good enough or that I should be there. And I think, knowing that I've earned my place in that department, knowing that I have the experience of skills, the know how to be there. That I said it, I'm kind of struggling to articulate this, but it's, you know, I've that I feel whole enough within myself, I don't feel like there's this part that's missing, and that I have to get approval or whatever from someone else in order to be okay, there. I think coming in, knowing that kind of feeling that in my heart, when I come in and meet these people, would probably be a good starting place to, to kind of show up authentically, even though, you know, it's, you know, still trying to gauge people and get along with them. I think knowing that I'm, I deserve to be there. I'm completely okay. And yeah, does that answer the question? I feel like I've kind of went round about,

Coach Maddox  13:12  
well, if I'm hearing you correctly, are you saying that

Pedro Dorta  13:16  

Coach Maddox  13:18  
And I'm not saying it to your words, and I'm kind of paraphrasing it in in a way that I can wrap my mind around it? Are you saying that you realize that you need to walk in owning it. You need to walk in on the first day and meet these people owning who you are doing your best to be comfortable in your skin?

You know, I think you're onto something, Pedro, I really do. You know, when people smell our fear, or they smell our insecurities, they see us differently. And they will respond differently. You know, as a career hairdresser for many, many, many years, you know, I would have a client and I would do some radical new haircut on the client and and as they started to walk out the door, I would say, Okay, you need to walk out that door, you need to own that haircut. I mean, we've just done something completely different on you. And if you walk out and you own that haircut, all will be good in the world. If you walk out and you're insecure about your haircut, you're uncertain, you're insecure. Your world is gonna crucify you. You're gonna be hit with Oh my God, what did you do to your hair? Oh, you're gonna be hit with all kinds of crazy stuff. But if you own it, none of that will happen. And I think this applies to just about anything it doesn't. It had nothing to do with with the haircut. I mean, it. It did, but it applies to everything. Yeah. If you if you walk in and they smell the fear, yes, you suddenly can find yourself in a victim role really fast.

Unknown Speaker  15:16  
But if you walk in

Coach Maddox  15:18  
owning your worth, owning your skills, owning your vibrant personality, and letting him say, I mean, I guess my question would be, and you're talking about doing something different than the way you've done it in the past, I take it. So if you walked in on day one, and you showed all these new co workers and boss and everybody in that place, the same person that you show me when we're hanging out together, what is the worst thing that you think could happen?

Pedro Dorta  15:49  
Yeah, truthfully, the worst thing that can happen is they may give me the side eye or, or ignore me or make some snarky comment, but I think I would live.

Coach Maddox  16:06  
Could you? Could you deal with that? If they did?

Pedro Dorta  16:08  
Oh, absolutely.

Coach Maddox  16:10  
But, you know, what do you suspect will happen? If you go in, and you show up being comfortable in your skin? You show up being the same you that you let me see? What do you suspect will happen? We've defined what the worst thing could happen, but what do you suspect will happen?

Pedro Dorta  16:33  
I suspect that I will, I'll be well received. I, I mean, I am not to toot my own horn, but I'm a very happy person. You know, I'm very loving and I think that radiates from me, and I think people will be drawn to me, I think people will like to be around me and enjoy my my presence, because it's loving, it's accepting, it's fun, light hearted.

Coach Maddox  17:05  
So what do you think you're going to need to do in order to put that in place

Pedro Dorta  17:14  
I wouldn't need to make sure that I go in with with you know, just owning everything that I have and have no masks on. I you know, there's I don't think I need to come in as anyone else other than me. Because I mean, I I enjoy myself and I know if I enjoy myself and I let others see that. That don't join me and being around me too. So I don't know just having having that competence in myself bringing that with me that first day

Coach Maddox  17:57  
so what do you got to give up in order to be able to do that because there's something that's held you back from doing that in the past, right? Yes.

Pedro Dorta  18:10  
It's a lot of old fears it's experiences old fears kind of that old programming in my head that's still there kind of operating under underneath that all that that's just trying to keep me safe and

Yeah. I think I have to let go believing that I'm not good enough to be there.

Coach Maddox  18:52  
Okay, that's a big one. It

Pedro Dorta  18:53  
was very big.

Coach Maddox  18:56  
And how will you do that?

asking the hard questions. Did they really

Pedro Dorta  19:06  
did you are and I enjoy because you always make me think and go deeper? That's a wonderful question.

Coach Maddox  19:35  
Hi, it's understanding correctly, you're saying that you've got to let go of any thoughts or beliefs that you're not good enough.

Pedro Dorta  19:47  
And believe that the opposite is true. Having confidence and this knowledge that the opposite is true, regardless of the thoughts that may come

Coach Maddox  19:59  
up So what can you do that will will make that come to pass or enable you to do that?

Pedro Dorta  20:15  
I mean, I really have to believe it, I have to refuse to go back to those old ways of thinking and talking to myself and yeah, very good question. I'm not quite sure how to answer it actually.

Coach Maddox  20:49  
Well, you said a magic word a minute ago that we'll we'll kind of do a little, little segue into you. You talked about a mask, you made a reference to a mask? Tell me a little bit more, please.

Pedro Dorta  21:04  
Yeah. Well have when I go into certain situations, feeling fearful, then I whip out a mask that I've constructed in my head, that

kind of dictates how I behave and respond to to other people. And depending on the person or the circumstances, it's usually something that I wear when I'm fearful and kind of unsure how to proceed. It's kind of like

washing on a chair. I've completely drawn a blank, I'm so sorry. Okay. Yeah, it's it's kind of it's almost like a, you know, just acting in a way kind of redetermine wave acting that I know will work in certain circumstances and situations, like if, you know, there's a, for me, I've struggled with authority figures, for example, and, you know, around like, people, directors or, you know, people that are in a position of higher power than I am or, or police officers, you know, I have this fear immediately within me and I automatically default to you know, kind of behaving and being on my best behavior or trying to impress, say the right things you know, kind of almost like kiss ass in a way just to make sure that I am on their good side and and it really comes from from a place of fear, because it's kind of worried that if I don't if I if I get on their bad side, then something bad may happen. And it's my oftentimes it is completely irrational. But it's just from from past experience. I'm sorry, I hope.

Coach Maddox  23:40  
No, you're doing fine. Take a deep breath. You're good. It's all good. You know, I should talk about mask I think about a mask that I wore for many years. And I still have to be aware of it. But I my personal favorite was, Oh, I've got all my shit together mask.

Pedro Dorta  23:59  
Yeah, they're, you know, that's one of my favorite ones too.

Coach Maddox  24:03  
And so in that I wouldn't let people see you know, the warts on my ass. I wouldn't let them see the cracks in the dam. I wouldn't talk about anything that made me look like I didn't have my my shit together. Now. You know, granted, I've done a lot of work in my life over a period of several decades. So do I think I have a significant amount of my shit together? Yes. But I don't have it all together. And that was it wasn't. Having the mask doesn't necessarily mean that you're covering for something you don't have. You know, I can look back and say yes, I had a lot of my ducks in a row. But the mask was about not letting anybody see the few little ducks that weren't in a row. Yeah. And there were ducks that weren't in a row. But I wouldn't you know, Our social mask, a beautiful way to really metaphor explain that is just look at what's going on on social media. You know, everybody's posting what looks like this perfect life, you don't see their problems, you don't see their struggles, you just only see the beautiful things you see their perfect relationship and their perfect job and their perfect vacation. And, and they're only letting you see what they want you to see. And, and this is our, the way our social masks show up in social media. But they show up in our real life as well in in in just about every relationship if we're not real conscious of it. And, you know, making a conscious choice of how we, we show up. I think there's value in identifying your your masks, you know, like, like there's there's an endless number of masks. There's the i i never make a mistake mask there is the I was do the right thing mask. There's just like a whole bunch of, of masks, I'm always the there's the teacher's pet mask, there's, you know, that just go on and on and on with these masks that we wear that you know what I realized in my own journey at one point was when when you're wearing masks, it eliminates any possibility of real intimacy doesn't matter whether we're talking to a family member, a friend, a lover, masks. They're mutually exclusive. You can't wear masks and have intimacy. And the other thing I realized was like attracts like so when I'm wearing my masks, I'm just attracting other people that are wearing masks. And when it's hard enough when one person has a mask on to see who they are, but when you both have masks on trying to see out of your mask, and then behind their mask. It's impossible. So wearing a mask sets us up and I can speak from experience to be rather alone and isolated. It's a lonely place to be the more masks you have the the more hidden you are and the less less you're seen and the less you're heard. Let's face it as game in. We had to be invisible growing up, in order to feel safe. We had to hide who we were we had to wear masks, we had to be invisible to stay safe. And so we don't have a lot of experience feeling truly seen and heard most of us, in my experience, are starved to feel seen and heard. I have just recently had a pretty big epiphany in my own life and that I have for many years done all kinds of crazy things to get attention. Where outlandish clothes that ledge hairstyles, dance on the tables, tell crazy outlandish jokes be funny. I did all kinds of things to get attention, thinking that was the same thing as being seen and heard. And it is not the same thing as seeing being seen and being heard. They're not even remotely, there's no amount of attention that can fill the void. The need to be truly seen and heard.

And the mask plays a big role in that. You can't be seen when you're hiding behind a mask can't be heard when you're hiding behind a mask. Absolutely. What's your experience with that?

Pedro Dorta  29:21  
Yeah. I mean that that really touched close to home about you know, as a gay man you especially early on having to hide yourself and you learn how to act and behave in ways that are safer ways that people around you would approve of

Coach Maddox  29:49  
Pedro. I'd like for you to use I statements and share your own experience in your your story here because I think our listeners are going to want to hear it Instead of speculation, they're gonna want to hear your story. So tell me tell me as you talk about that growing up and, and being invisible. Tell me your experience, please, if you're willing, yeah,

Pedro Dorta  30:13  
yeah, of course. Thank you for the reframe. I, I grew up being very unsure of who I was, I knew deep down that I was different. And I experienced very early on that it was not okay for me to be gay. I, my father made it very clear. When I was five, I think I've told you this story before I've, I got home and it was around Easter time, they had given us a little basket, and I was in the living room, and I was just skipping. And my dad just whack hits me and tells me that his son is not a faggot. And I turned to my mom confused, and I asked her, like, what is that I have no idea. And I quickly learned that it was not okay. It was not well received, to be to be gay. And so I hid that part from people for years and years. And I denied it to myself, you know, I, I remember making a decision. Well, if it's not okay to be that way, I don't want to be that way, then I'm not going to be that way. I'm not going to be gay. And that just caused me to shut down. I never felt like it was safe to express who I truly was. Because if people knew who I really was, they were not going to like me, or at least I thought. And so I, I learned how to, to be a chameleon for people, I learned to behave in accordance to the circumstances, or the people and always, always, always people pleasing, always trying to bend over backwards for people to make sure that I'm accepted. Because, deep down, I felt like I was not accepted that I was not lovable, because there was this deep dark secret that I was hiding from the world. And it felt like a very, very dark place, it was very lonely. And I just went about that way for probably two and a half decades. Always, never really being able to feel like I could be myself with people always trying to, you know, impress other people with, with being moving. Not being myself. I remember there was this guy that I was kind of head over heels for and I remember trying to change who I was for this person. And it makes me laugh now, but back then it was a very serious thing. Like I I was trying to learn new things about like, the fashion industry because they were very into like fashion and artsy stuff. And, you know, trying to learn about architectural designers and learning who built the Margaret hump bridge and Dallas, and, you know, like, all these things that I, you know, don't, I'm not normally interested in I was trying to learn and become knowledgeable of these things for this person, because I didn't think that me as myself was sufficient enough for them. And so I had to really try to build this whole other person for them just build this person who I thought that they would like. And I mean, obviously it didn't work. Because like, like how you mentioned before there. I was not that person that I was trying to build and show to them. I just wasn't that person. And if I did succeed and becoming creating that person and kind of putting that mask on for them. It was not going to last long because it just so inauthentic to who I was I could care less about drag shows or designer labels or things like that.

And it it just it was it was a very unhappy place for

me. But I think there was a time recently where I, I just had this realization that if I'm going to attract the right people into my life, friends, romance, whatever, that I had to be who I was, otherwise I was going to attract the people who were resonating with the persona or the mask that I that I created, which wasn't me. And so they weren't really attracted to who I was, they were attracted to who I was pretending to be. And,

Coach Maddox  35:40  
or maybe another way of wording that they were attracted to who you weren't,

Pedro Dorta  35:45  
who I wasn't Yes. And there was always this fear of, of, if I say something wrong, then they're gonna find out who I am. And they're just gonna not really like me. And it's just so much easier to not even start any kind of relationship that way. It's, it's such a, like you said, it's so draining to keep up the facade and trying to be someone who I'm not. And I just got, I got tired of it after a while. And I don't know, one day, it did click for me that if I could be who I was, and people were drawn to it, then those were the people that I wanted. Around, those were people that would stick around. Because they saw me they knew who I was, they liked me. They stuck around.

Coach Maddox  36:40  
So so I'm being prompted, and for the audience sake, you'll hear me to say this frequently. So you'll understand when I say I'm being prompted, I operate very intuitively. And so I just get these intuitive messages to ask certain questions. And I'm wondering, God, I lost my train of thought.

Pedro Dorta  37:09  
hate when that happens. Okay, it's gone.

Coach Maddox  37:18  
It was good, too. Oh, it'll come back. It was good. It'll either come back or it won't. But alright, keep keep keep going. Maybe it'll come back what you weren't whatever you were saying keep going. Yeah.

Pedro Dorta  37:30  
But it just after a certain amount of time, I just

Coach Maddox  37:36  
came back. Yes. So when you're out and about and you're around people?

Pedro Dorta  37:43  

Coach Maddox  37:45  
obvious would you say it is for you to spot people that are not being themselves? In other words, they're they're being they're wearing social masks, they're trying too hard. There's a lot of different words two ways to word that, how easy is that spot?

Pedro Dorta  38:04  
For me, I, I think it's becoming a lot easier. Just based on how people carry themselves. And, for example, I've noticed people who tend to judge a lot,

are very insecure within themselves and people who kind of like are, are have all these outwardly flashy things, trying to impress people and you know, kind of looking down at others, they have this mask on of I am someone here's proof of it. And so, you know, like, it's their way of, of getting some sort of validation or something. But I think it's very easy to spot because there's there you can tell when someone is being like being authentic and speaking from their heart, and you can see them and when you speak with them. You can kind of feel it. I don't know really how to articulate it. But there's something about the authenticity that's just inherently obvious, versus someone who has this guard up who's kind of trying very hard to show something outwardly for the world to see. I don't know if that answers your question.

Coach Maddox  39:41  
Oh, no, it did completely great job. I mean, I asked this question because I want to drive home the point that when we're wearing our social masks, we think that nobody knows that but us. And the truth is everybody It knows it was everybody knows it when you're being a fake or a phony. Everybody knows that in sometimes they know it when maybe you're you don't even know it. I'm trying to drive home the point that the whole purpose that we're doing the mask to begin with is in an effort to be liked. And if it's easily spotted by the mat, vast majority of the population, which it is we're shooting ourselves in the foot, we're sabotaging ourselves. Like we would be, yes, it's scary to be vulnerable. Yes, it's scary to put yourself out there. But when you stop and think about it, if you really stop and think about it, and look at it for what it is, it should actually be scarier to show up with the mask on. Because truthfully, and this is not a way that we naturally see it truthfully, your likelihood to get rejected is much greater when you're wearing a mask. We fear that we're going to be rejected when we show up and show who we are when we let people see all of who we are the good, the bad, the ugly, the warts, whatever, that they're not going to like us. But that's not the way it works. In reality, that's not the way it works. When I dropped the masks and started just showing up me, it was a massive game changer for me. People just wanted to hang out with me, that had never been the case in my life. Like it was always trying to do things to just get people to want to hang out with me. And they didn't. Until I dropped the masks. Now, yes. Is there a little bit of risk in there? Is it possible that someone could turn around and use your vulnerability against you? Yes, yes, I've had that happen. I can recall a friend one time that I very vulnerably shared kind of a secret with him something that was kind of a dark thing inside of me. And at the next social gathering and a big party in front of everybody. He said it in front of the whole room. It was not a fun experience. So can it go wrong? Yes, there's always that possibility. But I think if there's any one thing I've learned, it's that I'm responsible to keep me safe. So when something like that comes about, I have to step up, when somebody does something like that, this huge, humiliating, I have to step up and protect me and take care of me because that's not anybody else's job or responsibility. It's my responsibility. And I've learned I can do that. And it's amazing what happens when you know that you have the means to protect yourself. I'm not talking physical protection. I'm not talking about any kind of violence, I'm talking about emotional, you know, when somebody either rejects you or makes fun of you or ridicules you or humiliates you, I now know that I have the Hertzberg to handle that. But it came from me choosing to really do whatever it took to protect myself and to believe in myself. But there's far less risk, I think, truthfully, we get poked more fun of may not be to our face. But we've all been in a circle where we've talked about the fake person over there on the other side of the room. You know, we've all scrolled through Instagram and said oh my god, you know there's a lot of people trying way too hard and some of that stuff. And yeah, that's what I got.

That's what I got. There's a there's a strong case here to lower the mask is the point I'm trying to make. Because people know when we're wearing masks, people know when we're being a fake or a phony. It is absolutely delusional for us to think that we are pulling that off. We are not pulling that off. They're all talking about us behind our backs. Would you agree with that?

Pedro Dorta  44:51  
Yes, I would.

Coach Maddox  44:54  
Yeah, yeah. This is great. So anything else that you would like to add anything else coming up for you around this topic?

Pedro Dorta  45:12  
No, no, not really. I, I don't think so. Having masks are there. There are so that can be challenging to deal with. Because, for me, I know, oftentimes I just put one on, kind of like, habitually without even thinking about it second guessing and kind of just going with the momentum of the situation. And I think it, it's just about maintaining that awareness and that presence, to be honest with myself, about what's happening, what's going on and what I'm doing. So that I can actually take it off, take off that mask and, and just continue to be my lovely self. You know, because I think that when I wear a mask, I can do a disservice to people when I don't show up as myself. I know there's a lot of love within me that I have to give. And if I put on a mask, I'm kind of cheating the world. Wow.

Coach Maddox  46:36  
I want to I want to come back and say that. So again, that's a really powerful point. So you are telling me that when you are wearing a mask, you're cheating those around you. Because they're not getting to really experience the love, the compassion, the kindness, the things that you have to share with the world and those around you that you care about. That's beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Sorry up for some rapid fire questions.

Pedro Dorta  47:15  
Let me take a few deep breaths. Yes, I am

Coach Maddox  47:18  
with with some rapid fire answers. Yes. When was the last time you cried?

Pedro Dorta  47:28  
It's been too long. I want to say it's been a few weeks now.

Coach Maddox  47:34  
And when was the last time you cried in front of another gay man?

Pedro Dorta  47:39  
Oh, wow. Let's see carry the two I think it has to be with you. And I don't know if I will qualify that as fully letting myself go. i I remember being very withheld. But that was last time as

Coach Maddox  47:59  
well. And being an empath I'm aware. You know, even though you may not be crying outwardly, I can tell that you're crying on the inside. Because I feel that so good answers though. You are 60 years from now. You are a ghost at your own funeral. And there are a group of your your gay friends at your funeral came in side from other people. There's of course lots of other people but we're going to focus on the gay friends that show up at your funeral. What do you hope that they will say about you? I

Pedro Dorta  48:49  
I hope they will say that I was very courageous. I hope that they say that I was an inspiration that I lived authentically and I helped show other men and kind of let other gay men know that it was okay to be themselves. That I've had a very that my existence was meaningful for these people that they have gotten something out of just merely being a friend of mine or whatever i i want them to really say that they

that I was a very loving, caring person and unconditionally loving and caring and that I could see past that The superficial things and see deeply inside and inside other people and give them permission to experience themselves and share the love with the world as well. So

Coach Maddox  50:20  
yeah. So given all that you've just stated, what is one tangible action, and preferably a tangible action that will really challenge you that you can take in the direction of fulfilling that legacy, that prophecy that you put forth

Pedro Dorta  50:51  
I want to say that I always I challenge myself to brighten people's day, I want to make it my mission to always bring some sort of love and light to my interactions with people. And that would mean that I would have to be very aware of when I'm making judgments and those kinds of things. I really want to every person that I interact with, I want to interact with them in a very loving way. And I want them to feel that authentic love coming from me. Yeah. Beautiful.

Coach Maddox  51:42  
Beautiful. Pedro. Wow. It's, it's been a great conversation and it's been a complete pleasure to have you on the podcast. I think we're about to wrap it up. The last thing I want to say is you are an authentic gay man.

Unknown Speaker  52:01