Polaroid 8

Salah /

“To be different is not easy.
To be black, Arab and gay is still very difficult.
My name is Salah Barka, I was born black, from a black family, from southern Tunisia. A  very modest family but full of effervescency.
I became gay … it was not my choice, at such a young age.
Before the death of my father, a respectful man with a hard character, I had a very ordinary and boring life…
And around the age of 15 -16, things changed. The first death that I faced, was my father’s and at the same time, I gained freedom and responsibility.
Until then, I knew that I was different and I dreamed of having a man who loved me … but it was almost impossible to realize that dream or that wish…
16 was the year of my coming out. I came out to my mother and my older brother. Poor him… he suffered from the pressure of the people of the neighbourhood… My mother only worried about not having the cops home. Then, I understood that I will carry this responsibility throughout my entire life.
Being responsible for being gay and different at 16 is worse than doing your military service. The most important thing is to respect yourself so that others respect you. With age and years, I got enough hindsight to understand the extent of my homosexuality: thanks to it, I was able to move forward and learn my values.
It is because I am gay that I understood that life is beautiful and that I shouldn’t miss any moment of it.
I faced many obstacles : racism, jealousy, disappointment, depression … but when I think about the chance to have such a family support, then I say to myself: ‘consider yourself lucky Salah : you are gay, black and Arab. 3 in 1′”

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