“I am not my crime”

All my life, I have heard about those criminal, those sinner and those freak of nature. By listening to my father at the dinner table or my religion teacher at school, these ideas got rooted into my mind and there was nothing I could do to get rid of them. It wasn’t until I was 15 that I realised that these statements applied to me, that I was going to jail – and to hell – for being attracted to men.
I hated myself for being who I was and as much as people tried to make me understand that it was okay, changing the way you were educated for 18 years of you life is not an easy thing to do.
I went to look for validation by sleeping around with men. It would make me feel better for a while, but then, I would look at myself in the mirror and realise how disgusting I really was.

You cannot change the way you were educated for so long but you can make sure that others do not feel what you feel. Helping others accept who they are by being active in my community is the most validating thing I can do. At the end of the day, I can only bear to look at myself in the mirror because I have helped others transcend the challenges that I couldn’t face.