This profile is part of Queerty’s 2021 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year, in celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11.
Name: Roberto Manrique, 42
Bio: Manrique grew up in Ecuador as the youngest of five children. From a young age, he showed an interest in the arts, creating small visual art projects to sell for charity funds with his friends. As an adult, he began his career as a publicist before transitioning into acting. His good looks and personality carried him forward from there, as he took stage roles in Ecuador and Colombia. He also found a thriving career in television, winning leading roles in the telenovelas Doña Bárbara, Victorinos and Marido en alquiler.
Coming Out: Manrique shocked his fans by coming out in an Instagram post August 28 to share his sexuality with the world.
“It had never seemed important to me to say that I am homosexual because I really considered that it is irrelevant, that there are other aspects of who I am and that is the priority,” Manrique explained in the post. “Robertito [Little Robert] grew up in a world that did not allow him to be who he was, when even crying was not of men, that vulnerability was not worthy, let alone the fact that I liked men and that I felt, since I can remember, that there was something in me that was wrong.”
Chosen Family: In his coming-out post, Manrique also acknowledged his boyfriend of seven years.
“I have a beautiful partner, I have a beautiful boyfriend,” he added in the post. “I have been in love for seven years, in an incredible relationship. They cannot imagine how we have grown, how we have driven ourselves. He is an amazing man who works in activism. It has been my support from a distance.”
Thanks to Manrique’s visibility and honesty, countless other queer children afraid to show vulnerability or to love authentically will never have to live in fear again. Now that’s a real leading man.