While he was studying theology, Roberto González was told by his principal: “I’ve heard that you are gay! Sorry but you will never become a pastor! But Roberto didn’t loose his faith in God and, in 1998, he created a church for LGBT community in his humble department in Buenos Aires’ heart. Each Sunday, with Norberto, the man of his life, he gives mass for those who are not allowed to get to traditional church, and he never forgets to start it with his favorite saying: « God gives you wings and religion locks you in cages ».
Making a photo story about pastor Roberto González has not been as easy as it sounded. I worked with him for six months in his department in Buenos Aires situated near the famous Corrientes Avenue.
It’s when I heard the last Pope Benedict XVI critizing gays that I decided to make a photo documentary on a religious personality who affirmed his homosexuality.
The first time I met pastor Roberto González he was shy and a bit cold. Maybe he found that someone interested in his life was weird and I am pretty sure that he might have thought that I was gay! It was a kind of classical cliché. A photoreporter working on a pastor’s gay life must be gay.
He found out that it was not the case and that I wanted to carry out a deep documentary about both homosexuality and Church. I knew that the theme was fascinating but difficult to realize. I really did not expect that the pastor was going to restrict my work. It is true that when we realize a photo story you don’t have to be afraid of entering people’s lives. It is what I like the most. I explained to him before starting it: « I will have to spend a lot of time with you! » He nodded his head to say that he agreed to my request with a cigarette in his mouth listening to Astor Piazzolla. But as I already said, it did not occur as expected. For months I only could go to his department on Sundays (mass day in his home) and the only time he went to bless a lesbian couple for a wedding he stood me up! I remember that I had to wait for him in his street on a Sunday afternoon a couple of hours. He didn’t show up. At night, I phoned him a bit angry at him and few days later we met. I showed him the photographs that I had already made of his life and I asked him what he felt about them. I deeply emphasized on my will to keep on working with him. Once again he agreed and he told me that he was ready to show me a little more of his daily life. On the Gay Pride weekend it was my third opportunity to make photos of the pastor outside (when I was with him he used to spend a lot of time in his home). When I saw him between gay dancers and transgenders wearing his clerical white collar around his neck I knew that it was going to be a huge day. Every step and every move he made I was starring at him looking for the photo. I have to admit that I was a bit over-possessive. I was so possessive that several photographers and journalists patted my back to ask me if they also could photograph the gay pastor.