Marcello RieraMarcello “Mikey” Riera has a passion for dance, and it hasn’t always gone over well with his mother. She had different expectations for Mikey, the only boy in a family of five girls. As a teenager, when he practiced karate and played hockey, soccer, and volleyball, she approved. But dance was different. “That’s so gay,” she told him when she found out about his interest. Dance, as well as his affinity for cross dressing and wearing makeup, led to family tension while Mikey was in high school. But, when she saw him perform on stage for the first time, she noticed how radiant and talented he is, and began to accept him for who he is. "She's never seen me this way,” he reflected on the moment of his performance, “and this is how I express myself.”

Marcello Riera Photo Credit: Anthony Daley