Bradley / South Africa
I really want to share my story in the hopes that someone somewhere will read it and be inspired for change. Being a 🇿🇦 South African male and slightly feminine I grew up most of my life sitting at school alone. I was labelled a girl and gay. Yes I am gay but why does that make me a girl? Why am I ostracised and called female just because I am not an overly masculine individual? I constantly questioned my own personal being because I was made to feel like there was something wrong with me. I do not want to be female, I want to be gay and Still seen as a man.
My father is the male embodiment of a stereotypical mans man. Put a unrelenting religious mentality into the mix and we have a dictator who is not afraid to use his religious beliefs to trap you in a constant state of unrest and shame. He constantly ridiculed gay people and other ethnicities. Out of sheer fear I did not say anything as he would get verbally abuse or even physical. I suffered in silence as to not challenge his authority and views for my life. I lied about bruises on my face where boys punched me for being gay. I lied about having a girlfriend and girls in general. I eventually even entered into a marriage to intimately hide my gay. I began to actually think that if I get married and have a baby then I will change. Enough prayer will change me. God will save me!
One day someone passed comment and I snapped. Years of abuse and shame came flooding out. I can not begin to describe the relief and elation to be free. Reality then hit my like a ton of bricks and I realised that the hard work was not over. How does one tell a spouse they are leaving? How does one tell an overbearing father he is gay? I plucked up otherworldly courage to make a choice for ME, for once in my life. My father responded to a way that would disgust every parent. He labelled me unnatural and disgusting, he will never accept my lifestyle, he has never felt so shameful of his own son. I responded with courage and dignity and said: to be so old and to have so much to learn is heartbreaking. If you can not accept me for whom I love then you are not welcome to be in my life. My ex wife told me that all I want is a dick in my ass, although partly true lol why is the sexual Side of being gay always the thing people go to first? I want to be free to love who I want. Despite these disappointing outcomes I have made it out the other end beaming from cheek to cheek, so excited for my future. I am dating and Indian man and we both care for our son. He has accepted me with all my baggage because that is what it means to have unconditional love. His family have welcome me with open arms. I hope that when my father looks at me he sees every individual he ever mocked and abused for being gay or racially different. If I can leave anything for the reader if this message. Being in the closet my be comforting, but in that closet is also fear, Shame and ridicule. Speak your truth no matter the consequences. Be free to be you. Be free to love who you want
Lots of love
Thank you for listening/reading my story
Bradley-Douglas Preston Lewis”