John / Philippines
“I’m John, since I was a child I already knew that I am different from the other kids and because of this I was often bullied at school and some kids at the neighborhood. At the age of 7 I was sexually abused by 3 men until I reach 5th grade. On my childhood I only have few friends who knows nothing about my sexuality. On the 6th grade I transferred to other school in the city in order to escape those men who abused me. I had friends, few good friends but then I have to hide my sexual orientation from them until I finished high school. Time came that I need to tell the truth to them, I was so scared of what might be the consequences of my confession. Before I went to college I confessed to them about who I really am but I was beaten by some of them, they were disgusted and even cursed me and since that day they started avoiding me. I did told to my family as well about my sexuality but they were ashamed of me at first. My father even slapped me and told me that I am not supposed to live a very sinful life such as being gay. Only my 2 brothers understood about my situation, I even tried to commit suicide but shake the morbid act off and started hoping that I will be able to find the way to my happiness someday. My parents didn’t spoke to me for a couple of months but soon, little by little they accepted me but not as close as before and somehow I felt a sting of pain in my heart. When some of my relatives heard about the news, they were worse than my parents reaction and even told their son’s and daughter’s that they need to stay away from me as I am sinful.
I did not went to college as my maternal grandfather was full of anguish due to my sexual orientation. I am the eldest grandson and he is willing to support my college if I would go to a military school. He forced me and brought me to a military school but I escaped. I started to work and live alone from 2008 up to 2013 in my country and during that period I often visited my family. I supported my 2 brothers educations, the second one is a licensed police now and the youngest is still in college and they are also proud of me.
I realized that if you want to be happy you should set yourself free, don’t hide of what you are, who you are and follow what makes you happy. Don’t mind what others would say about you. Be proud because life is meaningful. Pained and my experienced taught me on how to be strong, my hurtful past made me a better person today. Currently I am working here in the middle east now.”