Growing Up Gay

Ever since I was a little kid I’ve had attractions towards both boys and girls. I suppose, I just simply admire beauty in every person regardless their gender. Although, it’s always been clear to me that I do prefer to admire and spend time with girls rather than boys. I don’t believe there’s a perfect formula to calculate the law of attraction when it comes to sexual orientation and I don’t really like it when “past traumas” get involved to support this sexual orientation result. It is what it is and I believe in what makes people happy. I am pro-choice. Which brings me to how I decided to stay true to myself as well as not hurt others around me. I asked myself the big questions like “can I imagine a life without a guy?” And vice versa. It was easier for me to realise that as much as I’m attracted to both genders, being in a relationship with a guy will never be enough for me. I stayed true to myself and therefore identified myself as gay. So no, it wasn’t a traumatic experience of getting my heart broken by a boy or having lack of love and attention from either my mother or father because honestly, both of them weren’t there. It was just me sitting down and asking myself the real and hard questions. 

Every one around me is against this lifestyle. I don’t believe being gay is a choice. Although, I believe the “lifestyle choice” refers to whether or not one decides to accept themselves and let everyone around them know of this matter. I chose not to lie to myself and to others. It was honestly difficult. All I received from my friends and family were rejection and judgement. Suddenly my mother and my older sister were talking about our religion and that it is wrong even though they are doing so many “haram” things in their daily lives like drinking alcohol or sleeping with men who they’re not married to. Suddenly being religious is only when it is convenient for them or to the society. I was punished by them in many ways including physically. I was also betrayed by my friends who talked behind my back about who I choose to flirt, date or have a relationship with. I felt really lonely and alone and as if I was a freak to these people. My mom literally admitted that what I have is a sickness and that she’s visited many “islamic doctors” trying to cure me.

I still stayed true to myself and tried to keep my life an open book where I don’t have anything to hide because if I hide it then it means its wrong. I was honest to the people around me and tried very hard to avoid drama around friends. Being gay and unaccepted just made me work harder to prove to everyone that I’m a really good person despite my lifestyle choices. Thinking back on this makes me feel sad. Just because I wanted to fit in I was willing to be the most reliable friend even though it meant being used by them most times. After many years, some of my friends actually evolved and started to accept the fact that I’m gay and in fact tried to show their support. I truly appreciated this especially after all these years being treated differently. Like I said, I’m pro-choice which means if any of my girl friends decide to get married to her boyfriend and start a family and have children I will support it even though I think couples should focus on getting to know each other first before they start having kids and suddenly their whole lives revolve around taking care of their kids. I don’t make them feel bad for making a choice like that. In fact, I celebrate their love union at their weddings knowing that possibly I would never be able to get the same support or celebration for the love that I’ve found. 

Even though being gay is hard, I really think that lying to myself would have been harder. I don’t regret coming out to my family and friends. I still somehow fear homophobia since you never know who is suffering from it. Work can be scary if people tend to judge you for who you are in a relationship with. It is scary and it is sad but I have hope that our newer generation would evolve and understand that two people in love and who are willing to commit to each other is still as beautiful and deserves to be recognised no matter the gender pairing besides the classic heterosexual couple. If the people around you are not willing to accept you, acknowledge your sexual orientation and your relationship, then I suggest to move away from these people. Family and friends are supposed to love you unconditionally and that also means to love and support you no matter who you decide to spend your life with. Trust me, there are good people out there who will love and support you for who you are. It might take a while for me since I believe I’m still suffering from PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) after going through so much trauma growing up being gay around my family and community but most of that is in the past now and I’ve gone so far. There are still battles ahead but I aim to win this war. We are people too and we deserve to love who we choose to love.

Photo taken from the city streets of Wellington, New Zealand.

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