A lot of people ask me how I managed to stay sane during all these years of living with my family even while I was dating other men. Each day they would question me, insult me, abuse me. I'm sure they knew this about me without me having to tell them, which I finally did four years ago.
The truth is I was miserable since my teenage years and on the verge of suicide until I decided to move out. I needed a quiet place away from all this, a place where I can build a new life, new relationships, but mostly to build my confidence in myself again and to teach myself the importance of being happy.
I distanced myself from my family for a few months before I was able to face them again. For almost a year every time I saw them it was very awkward until I confided in a few siblings that I was gay and in a relationship. It of course did not take them by surprise and some were actually supportive because they realize how hard my life has been living in a family that belittled and abused me each day because of who I am.
I wouldn't have been able to do this if I didn't take the necessary steps to create a new life for myself. Sometimes serious time alone is what a person needs to recover from these things.
I was lucky enough to have a stable job that allowed me to live by myself and sustain my own living but I know that most people in my position don't necessarily have this option or their culture wouldn't allow women to live by themselves for example.
The reason I am sharing this story is to let people know not to let the homophobia around us get the best of you. Turn it into positive energy somehow and find some space to really think about yourself and who you are. It's the only way you can really be happy with yourself and the only way you can recover from homophobic abuse especially from the people who are supposed to love you no matter what. It's hard but easier than walking around with suicidal depression or extreme unhappiness with your life and who you are. Only you can define yourself and only you can overcome these obstacles.