Jerick Mediavilla: Educator and Central Florida LGBTQ Activist

By : Ida Vishkaee Eskamani
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Ida Vishkaee Eskamani

It’s fall 2017 and we are somewhere in Tallahassee. Legislative committee weeks had commenced and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida’s first LGBTQ Latinx lawmaker, was telling me about a new man in his life.

He was both giddy and bewildered by how well they were vibing. This guy was handsome (I immediately verified this with some light social media lurking), kind, funny, attentive, smart, successful and, most importantly, emotionally available and into Carlos. His name is Jerick Mediavilla and my friends—This man is remarkable!I love Carlos like a brother. We’ve been through hell and back together, working in the political trenches alongside one another for nearly eight years. When Jerick came into his life, my long-term partner had just left mine. I was an emotional wreck, but I also knew how good love could be, and wanted that love for Carlos. I gave him the best advice I could—follow your heart.

For me and countless others, meeting Jerick is love at first sight. I am still confused by where this utterly remarkable man came from. He lights up the room with warmth and genuine kindness and makes you feel like the most important person there. Jerick has lived an extraordinary life, born in Puerto Rico and spending years in Mexico City. He makes amazing hummus from scratch and, without question, will order you vegan vitamins when he notices you’re clearly not taking care of yourself. He also knows how to hustle, taking dozens of his coworkers to the polls, empowering them with the knowledge to exercise their fundamental right.

In June, Jerick told me he wanted to propose to Carlos at Orlando’s Come Out With Pride. The first question he asked me was “Do you think he’ll say yes?” Carlos tells me how much he loves Jerick all the time, but my immediate response was one I think we can all appreciate: “Well if he doesn’t, I will!”

We then proceeded to plan the most extra secret proposal ever, in front of thousands at Pride. When Jerick took the mic, he shined. Seeing Carlos and Jerick so happy fills my heart with infinite joy. I am so grateful he chose to share such an intimate moment with our sweet town. I am also so grateful to have another brother in Jerick Mediavilla, one of Orlando’s most remarkable people.

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