Juan, Carlos, and Mauricio. Otherwise known as Skillz, Kid Sight, and Cro. No matter what you cal them, these are the guys that raised me into what i am today. They gave me an identity, “Ronka” which sounds like a kids breakfast cereal. I remember walking into rehearsal one day and everyone started calling me Ronka. I thought the worst, but then noticed that became one of them. One of the elites, the coolest of the cool. At YES prep, the basketball players usually stood out, but if you danced; you were like fire to a caveman. When rehearsal ended they explained the reason for my awkward name, they said I looked like a blend of Ronald Weasley from Harry Potter and Willy Wonka; I didn’t see it.
My age did not compare to theirs, neither did my skill. Then suddenly realized i just became a new addition to the crew, the crazy kid that ran around trying to figure this new world they had opened up and let me loose in. It started off pretty rough, I cracked weird jokes that nobody thought were funny, I craved their approval and listened to every word that was spoken. Eager to listen to the new perspectives they introduced to my still young mind. Even though they still lived in their teen years, they had a veteran feel to their taste, perspective, and ideas they told me about. I learned so much about life with the things they showed me. I learned how to deal with my parents, who at the time found themselves in a constant back and forth with me. Things started looking up whenever i would ask my new found brothers for advice.
My parents soon trusted me more after seeing the type of friends I had. They figured it would probably rub off; it did. Over the next few years they actually wanted to keep hanging out with me. Even after they had already finished high school and moved on to college. They became a huge part of my life, they guide me when I stray off the unconventional path we so carefully laid out in front of us, they gave me advice with anything that I might have been struggling with, they took me out to see the world to places i would never imagine to find in a city that i thought was so plain. They re-defined art in a way that made me have so much respect for the culture, our culture. They showed me how to be a better person using my own gifts and attributes.
They alone made me see what i had inside me all along, they saw me struggling with what and who i was and helped me find myself. They showed me how passionate i am with the things i love to do, and showed me that curiosity is a beautiful thing. They showed me just how un-complicated life really is rather than showing me all the struggles we all know are already there. All I can say is thanks guys, you are the brothers my parents and I wished I would always have.
Call it “gay,” but i love my brothers…