Feature Friday with Nick Perez

Happy Friday! It's the first weekend of the new year and 2018 is already shaping up to be a good year, but man is it freezing. Seriously, this bomb cyclone is absolutely no joke. Please stay as safe and warm as you can this weekend. We plan to stay in and work on our rental house. The finish line is in sight!

This week's FF shares his inspiring coming out story and how his parents took it. Nick talks about how surprised he was by his family's reaction, what he wished he would have known when he was younger, and his favorite artist at the moment (she's on of PJ's favorites too!). We think you'll enjoy learning about Nick as much as we have. Take a look below to see what we mean...


Where are you from? Pembroke Pines, Florida. I am Cuban American. 

Where do you live? Orlando, Florida

What’s your Instagram handle? @nickperez18

Age: 24 (but I turn 25 on Saturday) *Happy Birthday Nick!*  

Relationship Status: Single 


What is your favorite place you have ever travelled to and why? My favorite place I have ever traveled to is probably St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. I am fortunate enough to have visited most of the Caribbean do to where I live, and my families love for going on cruises. So this island is particularly special. I vividly remember the beach we found called Trunk Bay and it had the most pristine snorkeling site that I have ever been to, it was truly a hidden paradise. We spend the whole day exploring the reef and the beach and the edges for the forest, it was a great adventure. It was always an adventure to get to these more hidden places and I remember the great family memories we had on the island whenever we would visit. 


Who is your favorite artist at the moment? Favorite song? At the moment my favorite artist is Dua Lipa. And favorite song of her's is New Rules, I will always jam out to it whenever I hear it come on. 

What is your proudest accomplishment? My proudest accomplishment has to be graduating from nursing school and passing my nursing boards and getting my dream job in the PICU all within 5 months. 2017 was crazy for those reasons but it was truly amazing seeing all my hard work pay off. 


How would you describe your home décor style? I would say my decor style would be Modern Rustic style. I like clean lines, brightly lit rooms, whites, grays, and blues, and all accompanied with older or cozy accent pieces that can bring a home or space together. Basically anything Joanna Gaines designs I love. 


What is something you wish you would’ve known when you were younger? I wish I would've known not to be scared to be who I was. That your true friends and family will love and accept you no matter what. 


What is one thing still left on your bucket list? Travel and backpack on my own throughout Europe. I have still yet to travel across the ocean so I would love to spend time in my home land of Spain and experience what my ancestors once have in those ancient countries. And to do it alone and just take it all in on my own time and meet new people along the way seems like a great adventure. 


How old were you when you came out and what was your experience like? I came out to friends when I was at college when I was about 20, and they were extremely positive and supportive and I honestly had a great support system. I came out to my family when I was 23. That was much harder for me. I never really came out to them at first because I was truly scared of what their reactions to having a gay son would be. Growing up in a Cuban-Catholic family, being gay was never really an option and never talked about. But one day I was talking to guy for a few months and something deep down told me that I needed to just come out clean to my parents. And so on October 20th, 2015 I came out to my mom and dad. And it was the best decision I have ever made. They were extremely accepting and loving and I was truly shocked by their reaction. They even apologized to me for making me feel scared to talk to them about that or anything, and that I can always come to them and talk to them about anything. They told me all that mattered was my happiness and they would stand by me no matter what. It was truly the greatest feeling in the world. 


What have you learned about yourself in your coming out process? I have learned that I have truly the greatest family and friends who support and love me in all that I do. I learned that I can express myself more and communicate ideas more freely because I am no longer scared of being judged. Yes being gay is very important to me and is part of my identity but it doesn't define me as a person because there is so much more to me that just that, and I think that more people need to understand that, but I am lucky to be surrounded by people who do. 

Have you faced any backlash or criticism since coming out? Honestly I am blessed to say that I have not faced any backlash or criticism in the coming out process. Everyone has been so loving and kind and supportive. And frankly we live in a time where many people just see me for being me and that is what is truly amazing. It was great to see people I meet or friends not even care about it cause that isn't what defines me and as long as I am the happy go lucky guy that I am nothing else really matters. And for that I am blessed


Who is your biggest inspiration and why? My parents. I can't just pick one of them. My dad because he has taught me so much, I am the man today because of him. His drive and determination to support his family is something I have never seen before and I want to be like that when I am a father. My mom because she is such a fun and loving person. She has a passion for everything she does or wants to do. She also never gives up, no matter what obstacle is thrown her way she always preservers. They are my rocks and together I want to be like them.