I’m bisexual and have always been known in my family as “the troubled child” and “the disappointment”. At 11 years old I asked my mother what she’d do if I liked boys and girls. Her and our extended family had an intervention for me. After 3 days of psychology abuse and no food, I told them that I was heterosexual. My mother took me to countless psychologists to cure me of my oddities (liking science, questioning things, wanting to learn about my body, etc…) at 16 I tried again to tell her that I was bisexual. She called me a whore and said that I was just with women for the attention. Word got around our community and soon I was being sexually harassed by the boys in my school and even grown men. I was no longer a human being to people, I was an object. I’d come home crying and my mother would tell me that it was my fault; that because I liked both genders I liked the attention. I was raped later that year and everyone blamed me. In the eyes of my family and community I was a sexual deviant who had no voice. If I said no, it couldn’t be taken as a “real no”. At 18 years old I was kicked out because my mother didn’t want to risk me influencing my little sister any longer. I moved across the country and now I am surrounded by people who treat me like a human being. Some of my family members have since begun to talk to me and reestablish a connection, but to many of them I’m dead. My first girlfriend moved to America from Africa. We were best friends for 2 years, then she told me that she was only attracted to women and when I asked her to be my girlfriend she accepted but only under certain terms. We couldn’t show any type of affection in public because she was scared of what her family would do if they found out. We continued our friendship and kept our relationship secret for a year before we were caught by her father. We had spent a perfect day together and when I was leaving we forgot that we were in public and started kissing. Her father had arrived to pick her up early and saw us. He began yelling at her and dragged her into his car. I tried to explain things to him but he kept pushing me away. I didn’t see her at school for 2 months and whenever I tried calling, her phone line was disconnected. When she finally came back to school she walked with a limp, had lost a dreadful amount of weight and her body was covered in marks and lacerations. She told me that her family members had beaten and whipped her. But I tried getting her to report it but she refused and when I reported it I was told that unless she came forward then they couldn’t do anything. She broke up with me and kept telling me to forget what had happened because worse things happen where she’s from.