Meet BeLo, the Transgender Model Breaking Barriers in Nicaragua
BeLo is fighting machismo and paving the way for others in the LGBTQ community. This is her story.
A stunning model with a unique story has become a star on the runways in Nicaragua. BeLo is one of the first openly transgender models in the country, and she is taking the fashion industry by storm. Born Brandon López, BeLo was designated male at birth discovered her true identity at age 14. Daisy Báez — a disabled Nicaraguan journalist who has broken barriers of her own — presented BeLo's inspirational story on Al Rojo Vivo.
“In Nicaragua we live in such a closed-minded country, one that is so machista, that it was weird for people to see me on the runways even though they didn't know about me at first,” BeLo says.
Now 24, BeLo has become very successful in her native country, shining on the runway in everything from bridal dresses to lingerie. Her mom is her biggest supporter, but admits she feared that BeLo would experience rejection and discrimination. “It's basically my mom and me against the world,” the model admits. “Like any mother, you are afraid of her being mistreated, because in this society there are people who accept them and people who don't,” BeLo's mother, Gloria López, says in Báez's interview.
BeLo's dream now is to conquer runways all over the world and to do the catwalk in Paris. BeLo and her mom also opened their own makeup studio in Nicaragua, and the model hopes to be an inspiration to others like her. “I can be a voice for other girls like me who now won't be so afraid to come out,” she concludes. “We are changing Nicaragua's mentality about the [LGBTQ] community.”