I’m From Bucharest, Ilfov, Romania.

by radu bradu

I woke up one day realizing that I was different from other kids. I didn’t know exactly how at first, but soon it became pretty clear. I still remember seeing a gay pride parade on TV when I was about 12 and then going to my father and asking what “homosexual” means. He said it is a filthy thing and we should never speak of it again. But speak we did eventually.

I came out to my parents when I was about 21 years old and I was really expecting them to understand. I am still surprised they didn’t and still don’t. I mean, it is such a natural thing for me. Love is such a natural thing for everyone, why is it so hard to accept love between two men or two women?

My father went on with the usual anti-gay rant, I really didn’t pay much attention, we’ve never been that close. But my mother told me I was the person whom she loved the most, how could I do this to her? What do I answer to this? I love her very much too and don’t want to lose her. So I’ve kind of postponed my coming out, I told them I’ll try and straighten up for their sake. I’ve lied to them my whole life, what was one more lie. I’m not proud of what I did.

Now i’m just trying to open them up to the idea of homosexuality as a normal aspect of human life, trying to use logic and arguments, but without much success. My mother I think is beginning to open up, but my father is also somewhat religious, and you can imagine how good that does me. My brother is as wonderful as my mother and has accepted me for who I am a long time ago. It wasn’t easy at first, I still remember one day when I was going on a date, he yelled as I was getting out the door: “That’s it, go and suck cock you fag!” Is this what straight people think we do on first dates? Anyway, he’s become really accepting gradually, He gives me hope that people do change and understand. But coming out and the acceptance of one’s family is just one side of the story. It seems clear to me that I must find my other half, or in less romantic terms, a life partner and start a family. But it seems pretty hard to do. Straight people take it for granted that they will find someone and get married and have children. For gays that is like an ideal we have to strive for, we have to work two times harder.

Im really frustrated I haven’t been able to have a relationship until now. I’m 26 and I feel I should be sharing my best years with somebody. But maybe that’s not a strictly gay related problem. I used to find refuge in sex but I realized that is not a very good idea. It’s just empty pleasure that makes you forget for a while what you really need. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to love and trust and intimacy.
I’m grateful for having wonderful supporting friends. Not all of them are gay but most of them are. I’ve always thought we gays should stick together. As accepting as a straight person would be, he can still never understand what gay people have to go through. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but we do have to put up with a lot, I’m just happy to see people or read stories of people who were able to lead wonderful fulfilling lives.
I hope that will also be my story someday.

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