Living with homosexuality in the Middle East
I’ve known I’m different since i was 10. I had different attractions and interests than any of my peers. I wanted to draw, color, read and listen to music when others wanted to play, run and get into fights. I was sensitive and was a bomb that would burst out crying at anytime. Also, I was obese growing up which made things even worse. My parents were never supportive of anything I loved. They saw my interest in coloring and growing “girly” and used to beat me for that because I’m not “man” enough, also they disregarded my will to join a basketball club just because I was fat. Criticizing my body and how I looked was my mother’s only job, she gave me nicknames such as bear and huge that made me uncomfortable and insecure about my shape for a long time. I didn’t think about love for a long time but I was feeling it. I had a crush on my best friend, a guy that made me feel special when my own parents didn’t, he was my safe place and I really admired him since 1st grade until he dumped me to seek a popular group of friends in the 8th grade which made me miserable and lonely and crying all the time. At that time, I didn’t know I’m gay. I just knew that I’m different, that I was broken-hearted, that I was a worthless piece of fat that nobody would ever love or like, that I was and will never be good enough. Guilt was always present whether it resulted from overeating or watching porn, gay porn which I enjoyed since my early teenage years and I used to deny the fact of my homosexuality even though I clearly was attracted to guys. In my country, homosexuality is punished by prison according to law, and in my religion, homosexuals should be stoned to death. Struggling to satisfy both, I denied my sexuality and tried dating this girl who seemed nice and lovable in the 9th grade, and I thought there was something wrong with me, that I was abnormal. My guy friends used to talk about girls’ chests and bottoms all the time, and I joined back then when I believed all the things they’re talking about are ridiculous and immature. There I was struggling between what I felt and what the middle eastern society wanted me to feel, and I entered a state of severe depression that started a a year ago and I’m stuck there now. In October 2021 I came out to my best friend as bisexual even though I wasn’t attracted to girls, but that hope that I still had for me to be normal and be like everybody else, loving a girl and wanting to marry her and reproduce, made me stick to being a bisexual until January of 2022 when I came out as gay to the same best friend and a couple others, and I’m regretful of coming out to some people when I felt lonely. Some people can accept who you are, others say that they accept you when they show the opposite and majority of people show absolute repulsion from the the word “homosexual”. Now, I’m living with it at the age of 17, everyday is a struggle, hiding who I really am from the people surrounding me, afraid of being rejected and disowned from my own parents and friends. I’m lonely and severely depressed, and I’m trying hard to accept myself, that I’m normal and what I’m feeling is normal. Sometimes I just want someone to offer the love and support my parents failed to give, to hug me and embrace me assuring that I’m normal and I’ll always matter and be worthy of all love.
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