Worldfocus partner World Pulse is a media enterprise covering global issues through the eyes of women. This post, written by Zimbabwean blogger Gertrude Pswarayi, is excerpted from their Action Blogging Campaign around LGBT Rights.
This story was written by a lesbian (name witheld for protection) living in Zimbabwe during a digital storytelling workshop. I have not edited the story because i wanted you, the reader to hear what she has to say. Here is her story:
My fears started when I was getting to know myself. My family and people around me said I acted like a boy. Although I was afraid I did what came naturally to me.
At school it was worse, I was afraid again because when the girls in my class were busy with the boys, I had feelings for some of the girls in my school. My fear grew, I could not control it since all the ladies around me were getting boyfriends and even my sisters were getting into troubles at home because of boys.
At that time I was not completely sure what was happening to me and why I was not interested in men, I was confused.
That made my fears grow stronger. I was afraid of what my family and friends would think or say if I told them what I was feeling. At that time I feared what the future would hold for me because I was told that I was a lady and that I have to get married to a man and have children and so on. Yet I knew that was not the life I wanted for myself.
Although my friends, my true friends are aware of my sexuality, I am still afraid that my family will find out one day and reject me. The fear is always there as I listen to comments made about homosexuality at home and in public places.
I listen hoping that no one will notice how silent I am or see the raw fear in my eyes.
Not being able to open up to my family about who I am, what I am, and the kind of feelings I carry inside me pushed me to join a group. It was in this group where I was able to share my story with other people. My fears disappeared as I got more answers for the question of my identity. I met people who seemed to hold a mirror in front of me, showing me who I was and letting me know that it was ok to be … who I am.