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At the end of my first year in college, just when I began to come out to my family and friends, I read about a young man in the United States, Matthew Shepard, who had been brutally murdered for being gay. This shocked me for many reasons -- first, because I identified with a few of Matthew's traits.
I found myself running through the stone streets of Santiago, faltering at every 800-peso deep-fried cheese-jammed empanada stand, hair frizzing from the sweat bursting through previously uncharted scalp pores, and cursing the heels my friend had insisted I buy because "no one wears flip-flops in the winter here; you look like a tourist."