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“I am a BBC (British Born Chinese) gay guy living in the UK.

I was 12 when I broke down in tears to my sister telling her, ‘I think I’m gay,’ and I felt like she saved me by saying, ‘it’s okay, and you don’t need to think about this until you’re older.’ It was though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and that I could go through high school knowing that it’ll be okay when I’m older. I found parts of my high schools years to be unpleasant. I had friends, but I also had bullies. I went to an all boys grammar school, where the words ‘gay’ and ‘faggot’ were often thrown around. I felt the need to hide and ‘stay in the closest’ because being openly gay was not socially acceptable there. I didn’t want to give the bullies another reason to harass me, because they already bullied me for the colour of my skin, my demeanour and my feminine voice. I was never physically attacked, but I was verbally abused on a regular basis. This partly drove me to do some stupid things, but what kept me going in life were the friends I made outside of school. They helped me by accepting who I was, and never criticised how I acted. I came out to my parents at the age of 22. They responded with: ‘it’s not normal, it’s psychological, God didn’t make you this way, I’m sure it’s fashionable to come out, and it’s illegal in some countries.’ I was devastated by their comments until my sister explained that it’s not completely their fault because that generation was brought up in a very traditional sense. The next day my mum told me that she and my dad still loved me, and that they still hoped that one day I would settle down with a girl, get married and have kids. She also wanted me to hide my identity, because she feared that I would be discriminated for my sexuality. I told her that I didn’t care and that I was happy with who I am.

Together, we can fight against discrimination that exists across the world. It’s good to share your own story to let people reading this know you’re not alone.”

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