I am at PEACE: I believe the peace i feel deep in heart is only given by God
Last night I took my sister’s nail color and joke about painting it to my nails, mum saw it and said “please stop don’t make me vomit, so disgusting for a boy to wear nail colors, make his hair or other creepy behaviors”
My mother, she’s the most humble, generous human being on earth she raised 6 children on her own when dad was the meanest person ever “the Devil” we call him. She’s my superhero, she’s so Christian, she can’t tolerate homosexuality and it hurts me a lot seeing her like that because despite the love and respect I have for her, I know she will not or may never understand me.
I was born in 1997 in Kigali Rwanda, my mum was a stay home mother and dad had to work any job he gets to feed us, I’m the third born among six children and my elder siblings were mostly not around which makes me in one way or another the firstborn.
My big sister says that I grew up loving dancing traditional dances, specifically the women’s moves. Other boys liked football while I was interested in girls’ games, I looked like a girl, talking like girls walking like a girl… when you don’t know me you could have thought I was a girl. I loved cleaning, planting flowers, creating beautiful things to put in our house which I later stopped because people even those who appreciated it, told me it’s for girls and I should be ashamed of doing so.
I grew up convinced that in life a boy must grow up work hard for life to get rich, get a girl and marry her. At 8 years, I met a beautiful girl and convinced myself that she is the one till the end of my life.
I had friends, my agemates who loved hanging out and playing with me, they knew I was different from them since they loved things I don’t like but they loved me anyway, people use to ask them: why do u walk with that girlish boy? they had no answer. They tried to teach me how to be a boy, I learned to walk like boys my entire life till now I haven’t succeeded, I tried to like boy’s games in vain, there was no passion for those games.
The attraction for boys grew strong when I was 11 or 12 but I never paid attention to it, I remember by then I was sleeping with my cousin in the same bed and sometimes I would wake up and touch his body at night. I touched every part of his body and burn inside not even knowing what I wanted from him because I never heard anything about gays before.
I was young and religious being gay was a nightmare to me. When my friend started asking me if I’m gay that they are rumors saying that I am one, I was traumatized, far filled my mind and didn’t know what to say or what to expect in case it is known. I went into a deep depression and started praying God to change me. I didn’t know if it is a sin or no but what I wanted was God changing me nothing else. After days, weeks, months not saying years without any result, I questioned my faith and started asking myself if I prayed enough or if there must be another default in my prayers. Surprisingly, in the meantime, other prayers I would ask God’s intervention would be answered and I would recognize that they are fruits of my prayers through my prayers of changing were still pending. I wasn’t understanding why He would not answer this prayer. I asked myself” why doesn’t God answer me? Why can’t He answer me the same way He does with other prayers?” I felt Him being so distant as if He doesn’t know what I am struggling with, as if He is ignoring what I am dealing with in my society and my daily fear of being gay. I found myself loosing the enthusiasm of praying. Prayers were no longer something exciting and started feeling alone, not understood by no one and even by God himself.
On April’s fool day of 2017, I gathered my strength and decided to tell my best friend with the idea that if it backfires, I was going to say I’m fooling him. I was 20 years old by then. It turned out better than I imagined, he took it well though he is straight, he understood what I was going through and said ”every time you need to talk about it, I will be here, you deserve someone even close physically to help you fight that shit” but after one month while I was sharing to him about my sexual orientation and what I was passing through as he suggested…, all over sadden he became another person and told me: “Man I don’t even want to hear anything concerning that shit” shocked, I replied quickly: “I won’t say it again”. I was broken in that moment, my best friend was turning against me because of a feeling I didn’t chose, He was one close friend who would stand for me no matter what but now things were changing colors. I went into depression; I was losing the meaning of life I even wished to die.
A few months later, I had created a fake account on Facebook where I was opening about my sexuality. With that account, I managed to get to know other gays in Kigali and other countries, though most of them were much interested in sex which I considered such a disgusting sin for me who was Christian. I was fighting my feelings but at the same time, I wanted to be at peace with myself. One day while chatting with my virtual friend on Facebook, I came out to him, he is straight, but it didn’t stop him to be a source of true light to me. He led me to accept myself, he guided me to appreciate myself fully even the part I hated the most (my gay side). He was like an angel to me. After some good time, I embraced myself and found peace. I understood that God knows me the way I am and still treasure me that way. There is nothing wrong about me, I am like any God’s child who deserves his love, mercy graces and blessings. This revelation broke all chains of unhappiness that were holding my life on guilty and shame. Now I feel peace and joy. Not accepting myself was the only obstacle that had turned my life in a mess. I believe that the Peace I hold deep into my heart is only given by God.
I am not so involved in church activities, but I remember that after accepting myself, I prayed to God and asked him forgiveness for all the bad things I did to myself, by not accepting and hating myself. I truly think that was the biggest sin than the fact of me being attracted by men. I am grateful for who I am and of God in my life. I also believe that African church leaders need to be delicate while interpreting the Gospel because some sermons instead of helping people, in this case, homosexuals, turn to be homophobic speeches, and kill souls that are seeking God’s salvation. God need us the way we are not to go to Him when we are already perfect. Gay or straight, it matters less when we stand to Him with a heart full of the desire of walking and living with Him. The huge mistake many people do is attributing being gay mainly if not only to the sexual act. They leave out the affection part unseen. I am gay but still treasure Christian values. I chose wisely which line to stand and live my homosexuality aiming for relationships that build me up, spiritually and humanly.