Honestly, some families do not deserve the blessings of LGBT family members. A friend who I used to shag years ago suddenly resurfaced recently; called me and wanted us to see. I was home so I asked him over, surprised by his call. This was somebody who all of sudden vanished from my radar years ago; BBM and WhatsApp messages weren’t going through to him, and calls always ended in a switched-off connection.

He came around and we talked, before he began telling me about what had kept him away all this time. He lives with his parents and five older siblings; actually four, one, a female, had gotten married. And for some time, one of his older brothers had been suspecting him of being into guys and, unknown to him, was marking him, watching him closely.

Then one night, he’d invited a hookup to the house to spend the night, and they had retired into his room and were making out, when his brother started banging on the door, demanding for him to open it. He hurried the hookup, naked as he was, into the wardrobe before opening the door to his enraged brother, who began searching the room – under the bed, in the adjoining toilet, then the wardrobe – to see the poor naked lad. He turned and pounced on my friend; my friend resisted him. And then angrily, he turned on the hookup, bundling him out of the house and into the night.

Things escalated from there. Family meetings were called where every single member of the family were categorically against him, stating that he would be disowned and thrown out if they learned that he was carrying on with guys. Typically, he was taken from church to prayer house for the promise of a cure. His brother also began to mark his phone; they figured out his password and whenever he went to sleep at night, they’d take his phone, open it to go through his chats as part of their detective work on his sex life, after which they’d use what they’d learned to pound him. When he caught on to the fact that they were getting their information from his phone, he had to buy another one that required a fingerprint lock.

He told me that his life in the past few years has been hell. But through all this, I was happy about one thing: his frame of mind wasn’t to slip back into denial or start lying to himself that he should change to suit his family’s needs. No. He stayed defiant in his heart, instead determining to leave the house someday soon so he can live his life. This is someone who has already accepted himself and was quietly willing his spirit not to be broken by his family’s antagonism. In fact, the reason he sprung back into my life was because he recently stumbled upon the resist campaign and saw the photos, and he was interested in adding his voice – and photo – to the cause.

His story made me feel a sense of guilt when he asked me about my family and how I was coping with them and I had to tell him that I had secured the freedom to live my life free of whatever expectations my family had of me.

His story also made me realize yet again the importance of the world seeing us and knowing about us and really seeing us. For this to happen, we need to be more authentic with our lives, less pliable to pressure, less obedient of expectations, more invested in changing the world’s view by starting from the units around us like family and friends. When we talk about society, we imply that society is some large abstract entity out there, whereas it is the very people around us.

And when we are a true testament of our existence, that is when they will see us.

Written by Pink Panther


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  1. phony
    March 16, 11:09 Reply

    This, plus my current situation has made me realize, family is no exception, abuse is abuse.

  2. Mandy
    March 16, 11:47 Reply

    That last paragraph, such powerful words. ????
    As your friend has continued to endure, I wish him much light at the end of the tunnel.

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