My mum’s Christianity is very important to her. She has tried to bring me up living as closely to it’s values as possible.
When I was 9, we were watching the television and a girl kissed another girl. At the time I saw it I didn’t really think much of it; I found it a bit unusual but that was simply because I had never seen two people of the same sex kiss before. However my mum was disgusted. A year or so later I was watching a reality series and two guys embarked in a relationship. Mum walked in and was once again disgusted. This and similar occurrences made me believe homosexuality was of the devil.
A few years later I realized I had a massive crush on a guy. I kept on looking at pictures of men on the Internet, although I was also gaining an interest in women. I hated myself for the feelings towards guys. I spent a while believing these thoughts would vanish and that me feelings toward women would outgrow them but after a few months I recalled moments in my childhood where I fancied male celebrities, and there were more of them than women. I finally admitted to myself that really liked that guy at school. I came out to myself. I’m bi.
I was 13. A few weeks later, and after informing my closest friends, I couldn’t keep it from my mum any longer. She didn’t take it too well. She told me it was just a phase and then prayed that it would go away. It never will, of course. She kept on hassling me about it so I told her that I was straight so it would end. She preferred her beliefs to me.
I’ve since abandoned organized religion. Too much of it makes no sense. And I can’t be fully out until I’ve left home. I’m 15; in my country I will be allowed to leave legally next year. I’ll have to stay for a while though. I can’t just up and leave.
I’m now 20, at University and living near London, England. I’d consider myself lucky to have a loving family and whilst not out to everyone in it, although I am to all my friends, it’s a reasonably good life, but that isn’t the point.
Much like in the US, homophobic bullying is rife in our schools and my best friend in Secondary School was both outed and bullied for 2 years before he left. His Catholic mother wanted him out the house, Social Security neglected his case and even tried to put him back with her after he’d found security and was content staying with his aunt. At school he got nothing but grief and he relied on our LGBT youth worker, my mum and his friends to help him get by.
At the time I was confused and in the closet, unsure as he was what being gay even meant… did gay people follow a particular lifestyle? Were you confined to particular jobs? Some of the questions going through our heads sound ridiculous now, but we were very naive. Neither of us considered the gay role models we saw on TV to be anything like us.
There’s many people like me and him out there, many probably on this site. Homophobia and human rights are two of the reasons I got into the dirty world of politics and running my own charity fundraising bar crawl. I still go back to my old youth group and talk to people there, relate my own experiences to theirs.
Realizing who you are and telling people something they may not like to hear is both difficult but also very liberating. The ‘gay’ world can be very terrifying for young people, it shouldn’t be that way. I wish that everyone in the world could feel the way I do about being free to be yourself, we should never take anything for granted.
You have one life, don’t let it be a lie. Live free.
I live in a country where it is illegal to be gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender. I go to school everyday, and everyone who knows me knows I’m bisexual. Some of my friends made fun of me initially, and poked fun about it on occasion, as they did not actually believe me in the beginning. I’m 17, and I’ve been out of the closet since I was 14, having realized it a couple of years prior to then.
Over the last few years, however, those who did not believe me have come to accept it as a fact, and I am proud to say that I have not lost a single friend, or been rejected by anyone, yet. My mother knows, as well as my brothers, sisters and cousins, and I’m waiting for the right moment to tell my dad and the rest of the older generation. But I can honestly say that I am content, and sure, I may have things that make me unhappy occasionally, and even make me question why god made me the way I am, but I have never been bullied for my sexual orientation in or out of school.
I came out of the closet when I was 20 years old. My parents where a little shocked at first, but after a while they got over it and realized that they just wanted me to be happy. Last year I got married to my lovely wife in the garden at my parent’s home. Our families were gathered to witness it all and a city hall politician married us. It was a beautiful day and in the evening we had a big party with our friends and even my boss participated.
I work with cultural development and film financing for short films in the county of Vastmanland. All my colleagues know about my sexual orientation and that’s ok. In Sweden it is against the law to discriminate against a person for his or her sexual orientation. In 2009, it became legal for gay people to get married with the same rights straight people have.
We have come a long way in Sweden and that makes me happy. It worries me that the US, the country of freedom, is so intolerant against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons. I really love this campaign but I am sorry that it is even needed in 2011. I support you fully and I wish you all the best. It is time for a change!
I live in a narrow-minded country, Costa Rica. Day by day I listen where ever I go that being gay is bad, something to be ashamed, a sin, the worst thing someone can become.
I came out 1 year and half ago, it was so difficult because my parents weren’t expecting something like that. I think they are trying to get over it now, to understand it and accept it, and I’m very happy about it.
Nevertheless, when we talk about work, does exist like a social silent rule that everybody applies, you should say something against gay people to be accepted. It’s depressing, the fact of getting once again into a closet but now in a different place.
I became a very close friend of a coworker, she has been the escape to the feeling of constraint. Then when I felt pushed or sad I said my problems and that was a relief process.
Now I feel free, I deleted my own demons, the fear has gone. I will be part of the change that I want to see my country.
The fight for equality begins with me.
Growing up I was taught that being gay was wrong, that it was a sin and that I wouldn’t be accepted no matter what. I grew up knowing that no matter how hard I tried I wouldn’t fit in to the “normal” Muslim family. I had thoughts of suicide, even attempted it once or twice, but thankfully I didn’t succeed.
I came out to my mother 3 years ago not knowing what to expect, all I knew was that I just couldn’t keep living this double life and lying to the people I care about. I told my mom everything about how I knew that I was gay and about the suicide attempts all because of my self doubt and self hatred. She burst into tears, she grabbed me and took me in her arms and all she managed to say between the sobs and tears was that no matter what and who I love, I am her son and she loves me no matter what and that she will always be there for me.
A lot has changed since then, my mom’s attitude towards homosexuality has completely changed, she asks questions and I answer as truthfully as I can, she accepts who I am and she stands up for me to the family, she told them that if they can’t accept me for who I am then they can’t accept her for being my mother.
I’m writing this because I just want people reading this to know that being gay does not make you less of a person nor does it make you some evil creature born from the pits of hell. Being gay is not a choice that one makes, you are born gay!
This is a letter of hope for the LGBT community out there, there is hope, there are people who care and there are people fighting the battle for EQUALITY. It really does get better…
Take it from me, a young Muslim guy from South Africa who gives a DAMN
I’m a French gay guy and let just say that France is kind of a cool place to live when you’re gay! Even if government has not allowed gay marriage nor adoption yet, recent studies show that an important majority of French people is in favor! Mentalities change and people start to give a damn.
Well, this is not what I was aiming to talk about.
I’m a student and during summer break, I work at a “center of mail distribution of the Post” ( sorry, I don’t really know how you call it in the US) of some town near my home. I’ve worked there for two summers now and I’m starting to know everybody who work there and I’ve learned to really like some of my coworkers whom some of them became friends.
Even though I find it pleasant to work there, there’s only two colleagues of mine which are aware of my sexual orientation. I’m out to all of my college friends, to most of my family, but when it comes to workplace, it gets harder to just say “ok, I’m gay”. Indeed, workplace is where I’ve heard most of the sexually offensive “jokes” so far. “Come on, don’t be a fag”, or “this client’s just a queer” are two in many sentences I have to ear and endure everyday.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if I’m cool with my sexuality, I can’t help but fear to let slip a sentence like “I met someone this weekend, HE is…” I know I won’t be beaten up or anything, but I fear and I know that the look of most of my colleagues will change and I just don’t want that. Having to go to work everyday knowing that only two persons will talk to you and the rest will stare at you and give you the “don’t touch me AIDS carrier” look, is simply unbearable.
I know that I haven’t suffered any great discrimination but I wanted to share this story anyhow, just to prove that we need people to give a damn, it’s so important not to feel alone at work, it’s where you spend most of your day and it can’t be a place to be feared.
Thank you for reading my story and I hope my English wasn’t to confused
It is worth mentioning that I’m heterosexual and raised in the Catholic faith, but now I consider myself agnostic. It is also necessary to say that I’m proud of what my country is doing for all gays and lesbians who live here.
The new law on “Equal Marriage”, passed in July 2010, allows couples to legally marry (as well as the possibility of adoption – one of the most contentious issues-, inheritance and other rights of inheritance, death pension payments and other provisions relating to social security), which is a considerably important step because it made Argentina the first country in Latin America that makes this possible.
Unfortunately, as this country is predominantly Catholic, it was inevitable to find on almost all walls of buildings in major cities signs saying “We want Daddy and Mommy” and the image of children as well as countless crowds protesting against the issue, all powered by the Catholic Church and conservative groups.
However, many people are learning to live with this. Keep in mind that our upbringing and religion are definitely factors that make us who we are and our tolerance for certain issues, but everything is changing slowly but in a good way.
I’m very happy that this is happening. It is a step towards the eradication of sexual discrimination.
After developing a long-term relationship on the internet, I decided I wanted to meet my Romanian friend, in real life, to make sure that he was who he said he was. I traveled all the way to Bucharest, Romania and met him for the first time in 2008. He was all that I thought he was and more. Cristi was the most sincere, interesting and beautiful man I had ever met. Love at first site? Well, for me yes, but I’m sure he was influenced by his own country’s oppressive atmosphere toward gay persons. Yes, my own society is not so warm towards gay people either, but his is worse. At a gay pride parade, allowed by law there, but not really encouraged at all, one of my gay Romanian friends was hit over the head with a bottle, and sent to the emergency room of an unnamed hospital. He never saw the bottle coming, and police were standing by, and did nothing about the incident, other than to help the man get to the hospital, after the fact. Police there have been known to “look the other way” when discrimination and violence is perpetrated against the gay victim.
Would that my courage outweighed my cowardice, but I guess it does not.
I work in a school in England and hear the word gay in a negative context on an hourly basis. Boys are bullied by the label, and by other name calling, but I feel unable to do anything beyond the ‘Mind your language, please,’ request.
Yet I am a gay man, and I suppose most of the kids “know” which side of the fence I am on – I bleach my hair, have huge earrings and love dancing. An open secret can still be denied, still brushed aside with a flippant, ‘That’s none of your business!’ however.
I have begun to paint memorial pieces for the students who took their lives in the US last year, but it seems a million miles away and the efforts of a substitute teacher in another country may never get to raise the issue much higher on the agenda of the people in charge. There has been no gay bashing in my school yet, so it is less of a priority.
Most institutions react after an event, not before. It makes me sad that many nice young people can be so vehement in their opposition to gays, despite loads and loads of PSHE to stop it arising in the first place (that’s Personal, Social and Health Education, by the way).
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The following is an excerpt from a story by AFP: "The government has drawn up plans to introduce same-sex civil marriages before the ...Author: Admin
According to AFP: "The vast majority of countries around the world have become more accepting of homosexuality, with the exception of ...Author: Admin