Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-11-14
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Boxer Orlando Cruz leading Chicago's Pride Parade
by Bronson Pettitt
2018-06-20

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Professional boxing's only openly gay star is coming to Chicago.

Orlando "El Fenonemo" , of Puerto Rico, was the grand marshal in the Puerto Rican People's Parade on June 16—and will fulfill the same role in the 49th Chicago Annual Pride Parade.

Cruz came out as gay in 2012—first to his family, then to the public a few weeks later—becoming the world's first professional boxer to do so. He currently lives with his boyfriend in Miami.

Windy City Times: How are you feeling? Are you ready for these parades?

Orlando Cruz: I'm as ready as I can be. I'm completely out. [Laughs]

WCT: Can you talk about your decision to come out when you did, in 2012?

OC: I felt that I was lying to myself at first. I had a girlfriend and I was also lying to her. I spoke to my mom—she's always supporting me through my life and my career—and I talked to her and she said, 'You do it and I'll back you up.' The whole family actually backed me up. My father and I had a little misunderstanding at first, but then he came onboard as everybody else and he still supports me to this day.

WCT: How was the reaction from other boxers when you came out?

OC: One of my best friends since I started, him and a lot of other guys, who came into this boxing career with me, I'll say 100 percent they backed me up. They supported me, and to this day we're best of friends.

WCT: Were you surprised by it? Did you expect that reaction, that they'd be supportive?

OC: I expected that reaction from maybe one or two, but the support was overwhelming. As everything else, you got supporters and you got haters, but everybody does. It's not just because I came out.

WCT: Did your fans react just the same? Were they supportive as well?

OC: You've always got haters here and there. But the majority—98 percent of my followers—are people that admire me.

WCT: Do you know of any other boxers who have come out?

OC: Honestly, no. I don't know of any that might or not be [gay]. I think there might be more, because we're humans.

WCT: What advice would you share with someone who's in the closet and a boxer or athlete, based on your own experience and perspective?

OC: No one has approached me directly on the subject, but what I do is just tell that person, whether a man or woman, struggling to come out, with family or whatever, that once they can accept themselves first, the rest is a lot easier.

WCT: Are you currently boxing?

OC: Yes, I'm still boxing. I had a fight with a younger guy last May, with Lamont Roach; I trained a lot for that fight, I knew it was going to be hard. It was a draw. But people can expect to see one or two more fights, probably by the end of this year.

WCT: How do you prepare yourself physically and mentally for a match?

OC: It's a marathon. I have to wake up at four in the morning, start running, come back and relax; then at midday I have to go to the gym and make another training, and then two hours later, go back and start again—it's hard. You have to keep your weight down; my weight is 130 lbs.—that's my fighting weight.

WCT: What's on your mind when you're in the ring?

OC: When I'm in the ring, I'm all boxing mode. Sometimes I can't even hear the crowd. I'm just focused on the fight. If you get distracted, that's it. That's the end of it.

WCT: Have you been back to Puerto Rico since September, when Hurricane Maria hit?

OC: The hurricane hit before the last fight. I was here in Miami when the hurricane hit. A few months after, I was there.

WCT: Can you talk about what you saw there?

OC: It is bad, but we are very proud people in Puerto Rico. Even when we struggle, we come back up. We fight and we stand up all together and we make it a better place regardless.

WCT: It was brought to our attention some Facebook posts from, I think it was 2014, mocking overweight people on your profile—have you gotten any negative reactions about those posts?

OC: Negative reactions about overweight people?

WCT: It would appear to be Xavier Rivera Rivera who was tagged in some memes with images of overweight people—

OC: Like I was saying a few minutes ago, overweight people are people; regardless of their physical appearance, they're people. There's no difference between overweight people or a skinny person—what's inside the person is what matters. What makes the person.

And as I said before, you're going to find haters, and even, you know, you see an actress with and without makeup on the web and then people start commenting right away. ... It's an actress, but she's also a human being, and she has the right—whoever she is, or he is, to post whatever they want. Haters will be haters—congratulations, live your life; we're living ours.

WCT: I mention that because I looked at your Facebook profile and that was the first thing that came up—they're older posts from four years ago, and they're tagged to a person called Xavier.

OC: I don't remember exactly how, but it could be an inside joke.

WCT: How did you get your nickname, "El Fenomeno?"

OC: My manager—he named me "the Phenomenon" because of my ability to punch people [laughs] and win battles. I started when I was seven, so I've been boxing for the past 30 years.

WCT: What drew you to boxing at such a young age?

OC: I was always fighting at school, and my mom was called by the teachers a lot of times, so she had me try boxing and see how it went ( laughs ) and I liked it so much that when I didn't want to do my homework or something, my mom used to tell me, 'if you don't do your homework, I won't take you to the gym today, and you won't box.' Just because of that, my grades improved tremendously, my behavior changed totally, and that's how I became a boxer.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles to honor Stonewall, LGBTQ history 2018-11-09 - It may be a difficult, shaky time for equality right now, but Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles continues to play on, promoting positivity and ...


Gay News

Milwaukee Pride plans Transgender Awareness Month events 2018-11-07 - Milwaukee Pride is proud to elevate transgender voices and visibility through our collaboration with key individuals, local organizations, national thought leaders and our ...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY San Francisco trans cultural district slowly moves forward 2018-10-31 - It's been a little over a year since San Francisco designated the nation's first transgender cultural district in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood. But ...


Gay News

Treasurer's office observes LGBT History Month 2018-10-24 - Illinois state Treasurer Mike Frerichs and his office paid tribute to LGBT History Month on Oct. 18 by honoring a number of longtime ...


Gay News

LGBT-friendly Lee Lumber closing 2018-10-24 - Lee Lumber—the largest family-owned lumberyard in Chicago that had a float that once won a prize in Chicago's Gay Pride Parade—is closing after ...


Gay News

DRAG IT UP Show Listings and Drag Profile of the Week, Discord 2018-10-24 - NAME Discord AGE "Discord has been around for centuries. Chaos is everywhere." HOMETOWN Akron, Ohio. "I began drag roughly 7 years ago! The ...


Gay News

50 Years On, Busting the Myths of Stonewall 2018-10-23 - Each of us who were at Stonewall has a different view of the event. They run the gamut from it being a rebellion, ...


Gay News

Monthly Pride Feil Fest returns on election night with LGBTQ independent short films 2018-10-23 - Pride Films and Plays' monthly festival of LGBTQ independent short films will return for its second season on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Ten ...


Gay News

Lakeside Pride celebrates love and marriage 2018-10-17 - Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles kicked off their season with the first of six themed performances honoring the legacy of the Stonewall Riots last ...


Gay News

First out gay male Chicago police officer on family, career, volunteering 2018-10-17 - Retired Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) officer Ronald Bogan saw it all during his three decades on the force. This includes a ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.