‘Makeup by Mario’ Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian’s longtime makeup artist, broke down in tears after coming out as gay in an emotional speech after Kardashian presented him with the Artist Achievement Award at the American Influencer Awards at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Tuesday night.
Said Dedivanovic: “I’ve been having an internal struggle, recently, and my entire life, to find that light I knew I deserved. This is my 19th years as an artist and I am a 37-year-old man. … As I began to let go and to give all of the cushion and security that I’ve built over the years, I realized that I was starting to feel more confident, less insecure, more willing to show my true self, less afraid to speak and to share, and more comfortable in my own skin.”
“I don’t care as much about what I look like, and what I wear, and what I own,” he continued. “I don’t feel a need to be validated any more. I’m starting to see my true value and purpose in life. And it isn’t about social media, likes, subscribers, fame, fortune, and accolades, and all of those surface things. It isn’t about any of that stuff, because that stuff is just that. It’s stuff. And that stuff clouds your vision and your true purpose here on Earth as a human.”
Dedivanovic then spoke about his family: “A couple of days ago, on my mother’s 73rd birthday, I walked home after a day of stressful meetings at work and she was there doing my laundry and I broke down to her crying. I told her, finally, that I had spent my entire life and childhood suppressing my thoughts, suppressing my dreams, my feelings, my creativity and trying to be invisible so that no one would know how I’m feeling inside. And so that no one would see how I walk or how I talk, protecting myself so no one would make fun of me because I knew that I was born different. I was traumatized to be me. I had been living in fear my entire life. I had been ashamed. Ashamed of the way that I was born, a human with a good pure heart. She said, ‘Mario, from this day forward you are never again to live in shame or fear and to be afraid of who you are.'”
Dedivanovic said he woke up the next morning feeling lighter. He then addressed his father, and the Albanians in his home country directly.
“I’m asking you to open your hearts and open your souls,” said Dedivanovic. “Because so many little boys and girls around the world are growing up with pain and fear like I did, thinking of killing themselves every single day like I did. Because they are different and they are scared to be themselves, because their culture or their family judged them and shamed them. Little kids are scared that their … family will not accept them because they were born different. We are not different. We all bleed the same and we are all deserving of the right to feel happiness and be loved.”
He concluded: “Right now I stand here for the first time in my life a proud, 37-year-old gay man. And right now, I finally feel that bright light I’ve been dreaming of my whole life. … I’m finally happy to be me.”
Dedivanovic later wrote to his 7 million Instagram followers: “Finally free 🙏🏻♥️ thank you all. I love you.”