Javier / El Salvador
“Eight years ago I took the risk of holding hands with the man who back then, I liked. I was 21 years old and we were in my parents’ house. At some point during the night, my younger brother and his friends arrived. After his friends mocked us for being gay, and mocked my brother for having a gay brother, the guy who I was holding hands with stood up to defend us and received a beating in exchange. It was five guys who beat us up, including my own brother.
When I realized things had gotten out of control, I kneeled before my brother and begged him to stop. Upon his refusal, I decided to run to the car I used to go to the university and flee. When I finally had the courage to return to my parent’s home, two days later, I confronted my parents by telling them what happened and hoping that they would do what was right. To my surprise, they told me that it was my fault for being gay and for making a public display of it in their house and in front of my brother’s friends. The relationship I had with my brother and parents has never been the same, and I can’t say I have fully forgiven them for what happened.
Now, with a little more maturity, I can see that my biological family will never understand what it means to be gay and to feel comfortable being so. Initially, this breach between us caused me a lot of suffering. Now I understand that I have the power to choose my own family and surround myself with people who love me and accept me as I am. I have a special group of friends whom I love and who love me in return, and, I’m fortunate to have fallen in love recently and to feel, everyday closer, to ending the search and construction of my very own family.”