‘I had been living in fear’: Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic comes out as gay

Kim Kardashian West’s longtime makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic has come out as a gay man onstage at the American Influencer Awards show.

Dedivanovic, 37, is best known by his Instagram handle @makeupbymario. He was presented with an Artist Achievement Award by Kim Kardashian in recognition of his 19-year career.

“He is honestly one of my best friends and is so deserving of this award,” she said.

“He really has respectfully worked his way up the makeup artist ladder. Just, we’ve been through so much together. We’ve worked together for 11 years. 11 years of fights – you guys, we fight like you don’t even understand. We fight like brother and sister. But he’s created some of my most magical memories and, really, I believe [he] made me who I am today.”

Dedivanovic became visibly emotional as he accepted the award. After giving thanks for the honour, he addressed the audience: “[I have] to be honest with you guys and tell you all something.”

He went on to explain how his Albanian family background had prevented him from being open about his sexuality.

“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,” he said.

“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.


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“I knew that I was born different. I was traumatised to be me. I had been living in fear my entire life. I had been ashamed. She said, ‘Mario, from this day forward you are never again to live in shame or fear.'”

Dedivanovic had been rumoured to be gay for several years, but had never acknowledged it publicly until the end of his speech.

I stand here for the first time in my life a proud 37-year-old gay man

With tears in his eyes, he continued: “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.

“I stand here for the first time in my life a proud 37-year-old gay man… I finally feel that bright light that I’ve been dreaming of my whole life is pouring from my soul around my body and it’s mine. I can now live the life that I deserve and right now I feel true happiness.”