I’m From Stellenbosch, South Africa.

by Daniell

Google Earth Satellite Image of South Africa

I am a 28-year-old gay guy. I am a Christian and was raised in a smaller city near Cape Town, South Africa. My parents divorced when I was 2-and-a-half years old. In all the case studies, I would be a perfect match, because I grew up without a father. I don’t believe in this theory.

When I was a very young boy, I always played with girls – never with dolls, or dressing in gowns, but I just understood them. I had about two male friends between the ages of 5 and 9. One of the boys is now an out gay man, the other one I haven’t seen since my childhood.

Becuase my mother had no job when we moved to the south of my country, we had to go and live with my grandparents. Living there was like reading a novel. My sister and I were brought up without any knowledge of the world out there. Sundays we went to church and in the week we also went to Sunday school. In South Africa, the white population is mostly reformed (Protestant). The church follows the very strict teaching of Calvin.

I remebered hearing of homosexual people during my primary school years. My mother used to say, “These people are hurt and they chose a wrong lifestyle.” Being a happy young child I never understood this. At school I was called names like faggot, etc., but I thought those words were meant for men who dressed in women’s clothes or who were acting feminine.

I didn’t like football and I played the piano and many other musical instruments. Since a very young age I said to my mother I want to make music forever. She always tried to draw my interests in other directions. Because of all the scolding at school, I suppose she tried to protect me. I also liked dancing, and sometimes would put a record on and work on my own choreography. This would be a sign to let a child take dance lessons, but my mother stayed blind to that. I always saw in her eyes that she was almost sad seeing me so happy about all the artistic things in my life.

In grade 6 I noticed that I was looking at the boys. In the earlier years I would change in the toilets for school sports when the other boys changed, because I suppose like any hetero girl I knew that this was the “forbidden” territory. I was fascinated by male bodies and I wanted to see more.

Then in high school I realised what was happening and I was also in love with someone I never even spoke one word to. I had a female friend in grade 8, but after that I was more or less on my own with many classmates. No one ever thought of inviting me to parties, so I had no social life. I was also very sick in grade 8. The doctors thought I had blood cancer. That was not the case, but I missed a lot of school, and being alone so often made me go down that spiral of loneliness. In the end I sometimes played sick just to be on my own, because I could not face a world that would not accept me, or even notice me and maybe laugh at me. I composed and went into my own world where Tolkien and other wonderful creatures filled my days with dreams.

Then after school I attended University, and started studying piano performance. In the matric holidays I met a composer my own age. We played at a competition and stood for hours afterwards and talked. Being alone over the summer holidays (in December we have summer), I visited him. His family was completely liberal and his dad even told me, he wished his son would meet a wonderful guy! I don’t know if the fact that I had a sudden best friend or just being close to a guy, made me fall in love with him. But I was to him more of an interesting ship that passed by, so that did not go on long. Then I met a year later my real first love. The same story. We were friends for almost half a year, until one evening when he read to me and we were both lying down. I put my head against his shoulder, and everything became physical from then on. I was so much in love, and we were always together. But nobody was suppose to know of this, espescially not my family. My mother noticed something and kept asking me why I got home so late, and what we were talking about.

Then it came out because he was Austrian and wanted me to come to Austria with him. I told him it is over (against my feelings). He just didn’t want to accept it and fought against my family. It was a very dramatic experience and I was such a fool for not standing for him.

Anyway, then I decided to become straight, and went for a very long time to therapy. It was more of a religious therapy. Of course the person there was against me being gay, but the funny thing was that that was not the thing that came out in the therapy. It was more about my father, my mother, and most of all God’s great love for me. I had a really unexplainable meeting with God there, that changed my life until today.

When I got back, life started again, and I realised that this did not change my sexuality, but I could change my behaviour. I started delibrately not looking at guys, and being completely “pure” on this.

In 2003, aged 22 I came to Germany to further my studies in piano performance. This was a really big leap for me. I lived at home up till then and now I was in a country and continent where nobody knew me. I wanted to start a new life, maybe meet a girl and get married.

Of course it did not happen that way. Females mostly always see me as a brotherly friend and just want to hang out with me. On the other hand, I never find them attractive enough to get physical. With guys, that is completely different.

It was in this time that I met my husband. We had a very difficult start. I told him about my previous relationship, and that it was too difficult for me. I would just hurt him. But he kept coming back and we were always together. He became my new family here. He is a singer and I used to accompany him on the piano. We compose together (we even have a page on MySpace for our compositions).

We just got married in December, 2009. It was very difficult, because when I came out for the second time to my family and telling them that I want to pursue a life with a man, they were very shocked. My mother and sister still don’t approve. My mother never wants to see us together. Fortunately, my dad whom I started to know during my high school years for a short time, was very accepting and he even visited us a month ago and being an ex-pastor, wrote a bible message and phrase for our wedding.

It has taken me a long time to reconcile my faith and sexuality. Previously I was against gays and being gay, because of my beliefs as a “Christian”. My new motto is: I serve Christ and not Christianity.

Too many Christians unfortunately push individuals away from the church. This is because of cultural habits, I would rather say. God doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that two men are not allowed to love one another in a monogamous relationship.

I find we were put on earth to serve one another. I want to serve with my story, and with my music. I would be very glad to use my music and my story to reach others out there who are in need and pain. The film “Prayers for Bobby” made me weep for two whole days. I saw the movie about a year after my coming out. My life looked quite miserable at that stage. I am still working on standing up and being proud of myself and proud to be God’s child.


I’m From Herndon, VA. “To be honest with you, I don’t know what happened one night in February of 2006. I think I had what alcoholics call a “moment of clarity.” I just realized that in my attempt to be the good Christian boy I was raised to be, that I had become completely socially isolated, was wracked with guilt and shame, and was now planning my own suicide. I wasn’t worth it, I thought. I said to myself right then and there that I would come out and live as a gay man, and if that didn’t work, then I could kill myself. Then I looked in a mirror, and for the first time said, “I am Gay,” and cried for hours, alone, in my dorm room. But the next morning, for the first time in my life, I woke up calm and at peace.”

I’m From Jonesboro, GA – Video Story. “It actually took a movie to kind of made them see a different side of things. And once they saw the movie, they understood where I was coming from a little bit more. The words I kept trying to express, but I quite couldn’t. The name of the movie was “Prayers for Bobby.” Really great movie. Some of the conversations that the mother and the son had in the movie are very similar to the conversations that me and my mother have had. And there was one point in the movie where he actually does find a partner–this is before he actually commits suicide–and is wanting to bring that partner home, wanting to share his life with his family, and his mother is not allowing it.”

I’m From Tazewell, TN. “I was raised on a 600-acre farm with a strongly religious family (my father and grandfather were both preachers). Despite being from such a rigidly traditionalist background, I was always a “different” boy. I liked things that girls liked. Talking rather than playing sports. Pastel colors. Cats and ponies rather than dirt bikes and dump trucks. It was confusing to me as a child…I felt completely happy, and yet the environment I was in seemed to label me a freak. I remember first hearing the word “fag” and not being entirely sure what it meant, but that it apparently applied to me.”

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