Although the two work in LGBT advocacy, there's are a number of ways they don't see eye-to-eye. Steven, a Bronx-native, loves wilderness and hiking. Pedro Julio doesn't. But part of working on their relationship means that Pedro Julio has agreed to take more camping expeditions.
"I just need access to a bathroom, a shower, and a place to charge my phone, and to be connected with what's going on in the world," Pedro Julio said. They also have vastly different dietary habits. Pedro Julio describes Toledo as "almost vegan" and Toledo says Pedro Julio "runs away from anything green." The couple is getting married in New York in the next year and planning to have a child through a surrogate. If it's a boy, he'd be named Gianmarco, but the girl's name remains subject for debate.
I met up with Pedro Julio in his neighborhood in Jackson Heights, where the couple lives with their mean little dog Coqui, named after Puerto Rico's national frog, and their kind golden retriever puppy named Ralph. Pedro Julio took me to a Uruguayan restaurant where, true to form, we ate nearly a dozen varieties of grilled meat. He interrupted the meal only to respond to tweets from a handful of Puerto Rican politicians and conduct a quick radio interview.
After finishing our parillada, he told me he is planning to move back to Puerto Rico with his new family next year, and "won't rule out" a 2016 run for political office of some sort. "Actually, I'm considering it," Pedro Julio said, with a flash of his white smile. He declined to go into further detail.
A Politician, An Activist, A Teacher
Above all, Pedro Julio is a teacher, his closest friend, Karlo Karlo said. Nearly every Facebook post, blog, and tweet that Pedro Julio shares has a moral to it. His favorite phrases repeat messages of peace and harmony: "Human dignity is inalienable," "Equality is inevitable," "With solidarity and respect for all."
"He teaches us all so much," Karlo Karlo said. When he told Pedro Julio's father that his son was a teacher, Karlo Karlo says he'll never forget how he was corrected.
"Pedro Julio is not teaching people," Mujica told him. "He's unteaching them and that is much harder."