“I am gay but not in the way you think. It’s pretty similar to a homosexual boy accepting his orientation but the meaning for me extends beyond just that.

My mom started her religious journey when I was 10 so she had to leave behind her only child and is now in pursuit of a lifetime retreat. Though I am beyond proud, I can’t deny the fact that I will miss her forever. She taught me to be brave. Dad did stick with me but things got messy when he remarried. I think he was too hurt by the disputes and the fights. So he left me to be on my own before college, now it has been a year and a half since we last spoke. The funny thing is I hadn’t even come out to him and it was already too much for him to love me. He taught me there were no bad guys in life, just people who wanted to be happy. Oh, we three are happy, just not together. I hope we will reconcile one day.

I knew I was different ever since I kissed a boy on concert night in my primary school. What followed was a series of hate names, sexual harassment, bullying, and horrible nightmares of what lay ahead in the future. Would my life get better or would I just get used to this? Would I be able to have a family, what would people think of me? Would anyone love me? I despised myself for the flaws that I got picked on, I was body shamed so I even tried starving myself. I tried to be everything they wanted me to but I was still just the gay kid on the block.

My recent poem called “So gay”, is actually a prayer for me, a hope that I will slowly learn to love myself. Even though I was gay, being happy was far away. Days were dark, most of the time. I went to many counselling sessions, most of them ended in tears and only then was breathing easier. I cried listening to songs that understood me and wrote down my emotions in the form of poetry to get through most days. I started to think maybe it was social media that was hurting me, so I deactivated my accounts. Still then the heaviness did not leave. So I thought maybe it was the physical baggage that I had and started exercising and tried a good diet this time.

I understand now that being sad is okay because it makes happiness more tasteful. Being Gay is only 10% of the person I am and I have been focussing on taking care of myself and letting myself love. The process has been easier with the friends I have and my aunt and uncle to support me. I have lost enough weight to feel comfortable, I haven’t weighed myself lately (I won’t) or posted any pictures of it. Losing weight has been for myself. It feels great to not have migraines, breathing problems and joint aches but what feels better is that I am finally focussed on the remaining 90% of me. Leaving out the wins, I am focussing on learning and growing.
Falling in love would be so special for me but I don’t want to go looking for it, I will just let it happen. I don’t know if I am happy but I know I am closer.

I have two facebook pages called ‘Yesheys hotel heart’, where I have posted all the things I wrote that helped me feel better and ‘So Gay’ that supports LGBTQ++. If there’s anyone facing similar hardships, I would love to be a friend to you. I am a Y-PEER member too and I believe that although we may not completely solve your problems, you wouldn’t have to go through it alone.
Now I finally know- being Gay is actually about loving yourself and being happy.”

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