I’m From Turkey – Video Story

by zee

My name is Zee and I’m from Turkey.

My story is about my father. When I was a kid, I was very different than the other kids. I remember they got me–my parents got me–toy trucks and guns. I cried. I wanted to have a brunette doll. So I cried so loud and screamed, so then they had to buy me dolls. And then pretty much at that time, my father and I were okay.

I started elementary school and the whole thing, like, being a girly boy started and then all the kids started making fun of me. And I heard my father kept saying to my mother, “What is wrong with my son? Why is he acting like a girl?”

And I went to junior high and that’s where the drama started. The kids were so mean. It was the first time I had been called “faggot.” And I think in 8th grade, one of my teachers called my parents and set up a meeting or appointment at school. They told them something was wrong with me and they need to do something with me because I would play only with the girls and acting like a girl, behaving like a girl, and they need to take me to a doctor or something.

My father came home and he was so angry. He started screaming at me, “Why are you going to be a faggot?? You are embarrassing our family. You cannot act like that.” And he started slapping at me. One and another and then I collapsed. And then he started kicking me, but my mother stopped him. He left the room and I locked the door and I started crying, but I didn’t want him to hear it.

And I think my senior year, or maybe the previous year, another teacher called my parents, and pretty much the same story. He came home in a rage and I knew what was going to happen, so this time I was prepared. He slapped me but then I pushed him so hard he collapsed, and then he got so scared, and I told him that if he touched me again, that I would kill him. After that, nothing happened.

I went to college and after that my draft came which, in Turkey, is a common thing. Every guy goes to the military service. And 10 days before my draft, my father had a really big surgery–he had a bypass. So I took him to the hospital and I helped him and the day I was leaving for the draft for the military service, in the hospital he told me…he told me, “Don’t hate me.” I was like, I just didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t say anything. I told him, “Okay, I…I’m leaving now.”

And I thought about it and I never hated him but I never loved him either. It was just something in my heart that I wanted to be okay. And then 2 years ago, I got a phone call the morning of Christmas Eve and my uncle said my father died. He had a heart attack. I sat on my bed and started to cry. I just realized I loved him. I just wanted a real father, because I knew if we were in a different era or time, we would have been father and son.


  1. Zee–you are brave. This is a story that will inspire people.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, Zee.

  3. Zeren that is heartbreaking!!

  4. Zee! Your story made me cry!. So powerful. I’m in tears as I type.

  5. Very sad and painful when our parents don’t accept who we are…

  6. I know his blog. Humor & Fun! First time I saw his serious side. I’m bumped. I force myself not to cry. It is so moving.

  7. Very intense and sad. A little boy doesn’t decide to be girly. He doesn’t even know what that is or that there is another way to be. So unfair.

  8. What a beautiful and brave man!

  9. Very touching — it’s so important that we share our stories so that the next generation (and all the ones that follow) will feel less alone, no matter where they are growing up. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you are happy in your life today!

  10. OMG! I love Z’s blog. I always thought his life was fabulous. I could never guess this.
    So courageous! I just want to hug him and say “Everything is fine now”
    This video made me cry!!!!!!

  11. Hey Zee! I love you. So, there’s that. xox

  12. Boy! You made an old gay man cry this morning!…

  13. I can’t stop crying! Incredible story! Thank you for sharing.


  14. It’s important to forgive our loved ones because they really don’t understand…

  15. Thank you Guys for good words!
    I did forgive my father. He made so many mistakes but he wasn’t a terrible person. I did this video because it was like my closure. After I felt better. I recommend everyone to write their stories. It is really important other people to see what gay people go through.
    I think Nathan and his friends are doing an incredible job to keep this website going.
    I admire their work.


  16. Zee, that was a very touching story. I’m so glad that people are more accepting today than they were in the 60’s and 70’s. People aren’t totally accepting today but they are more accepting.

  17. I’m so sorry that such a precious little boy went through so much terrible pain and rejection. Hard stuff.

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  19. Zee, your life’s story moved me, such pain and yet you are incredibly brave. My father, in a very similar reaction, responded to my being “different”. The absence a father’s love can be difficult as I well know. Please find peace in who you are, it’s your life, live it for yourself. You are a beautiful person.

  20. Turkey…has full of stories like Zee’s story. Zee, we are the lucky ones who left Turkey from social pressure and thank you very much for sharing your story. I am coming from the same background as you have. Everything will be great in our lives. This webpage is amazing !

  21. Zee, I have some idea as to how you feel about your Dad. You did love him. But you are right. He was from a different era, just as mine is. Once my Dad said to me when he was in his 50’s that if he had his way he would line up those “queers” and shoot the lot of them. So you can understand why I hid my true identity for 50 years – during which time I had two nervous breakdowns and suffered from depression. Now I am free to be the person I was always meant to be, just as you are. I hope you find a partner soon who will love you and care for you, unless you already have. In any case, I wish you all the happiness and good fortune in the world.

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  23. Z: my heart is breaking. I hope you know that your father loved you, too. I don’t want any error in translating from English to Turkish. Your father must have loved you, too. Remember, he said so, in his own way. And he knew that you loved him, too. Your story is our story. Take care and remember your father would want you to love yourself.

  24. you cannot blame the parents for the shocking response. I know it’s not easy for the child but it’s just as difficult for the parents. I’m sorry he had to experience this as a young child, it does leave scars.

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