I am gay and I come from an extremely strict, LDS family based in South East-Asia. I was planning to go to London for University after secondary graduation, but unfortunately things didn’t go as planned when my family found out I was gay.
My life turned upside down and I nearly lost my life because of my sexual orientation. You see, being gay is forbidden where I come from and until this day am still trying to leave the country as it is the only way to live honorably and authentically.
Even though my story is heartbreaking, for the first time in my life I know what I want and who I want to be. Most importantly, I can finally be myself without fear anymore.
Growing up I’ve always been attracted to boys ever since I was 14 but I had to hide who I am. I wasn’t sure what it was until I turned 17 and that is when I started to realize the challenge that’s ahead of me and it was a terrifying experience. Just the idea or thinking about telling my sister scared me to death…let alone my family.
My family comes from a strong LDS community that is traditionally against the LGBT people and anything to do with it. What makes the matter worse is that my father served in bishoprics and temple duties and he has significant political influence among a lot of people in my hometown. So coming out as a gay is not an option at all. I never wanted to break my parents’ hearts that’s why I thought keeping it secret was the best idea to at least prepare myself to be independent and hopefully, move out of the country.
Keeping that secret bottled up inside of me nearly destroyed my life. I was depressed beyond belief even though I was surrounded by a generally loving family, I felt like the loneliest human in the world.
Eventually, my sister found out that I was gay I don’t want to say how because only 2 people know about it, anyhow, things went out of control quickly and she told my mum. Luckily my dad was on a business trip overseas otherwise the story would’ve ended up differently. I tried to escape two times before my father came back home, but I couldn’t get away. I had to face both my mum and dad and tell them that I was gay. I knew I had to decide how my life will be heading because I wasn’t completely sure what would my dad do when he came back as he’s kind of unpredictable, but one thing I did know is that he would not say he still loves me or he accepts what I am.
Prior to this, I came across a lot of coming out stories, including the many of them here at Latter Gay stories and heard what some people had to go through sometimes before they get accepted into their surroundings. I read about how many people can live a normal life after they came out. But for me living in my country, this is not the case. For many other LGBT people in my part of the world (and speaking from experience in my community) there’s zero chance my family would ever accept me the way I am.
My mum and dad sat me down and I told them that I was gay. They told me all about the gospel plan and that I was not honorable to God or worthy of the celestial kingdom. I felt so little and broken after they talked to me. They told me that didn’t pay enough attention in Church, that I was unworthy of the priesthood and that I was the reason that Jesus bled so much for sins.
So, with the help of someone I trusted, that night I packed my belongings and escaped to a shelter. Life is hard, but it is getting better. I read an american statistic that 40% of homeless youth are LGBT. I understand that, sometimes its better to be homeless, than unloved and unaccepted by those who are your own family.
I will be turning 22 next month and I know I still have a long way to go but I am optimistic what tomorrow holds. It feels really good to be able to share my story with people who could understand.
I think I am finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.
We want to hear your story–here’s how to share it with us!
Each Sunday we feature a new Coming Out Story on the Latter Gay Stories blog. Coming out is an important process that is different for everyone; some experiences are difficult; while others are heart-warming and inspiring. Coming out is rarely easy–but your story will help others draw inspiration from your own experience. We rely on weekly submissions to keep the Coming Out Stories alive and invite you to share your story now.