My brother is gay
Testimony of Ronald (East part of Africa)
I am Ronald, I come from the East part of Africa. My brother is gay, and I don’t see anything strange about him. I personally don’t think brotherhood should be affected by sexual orientations. Gay or straight I don’t mind, we are brothers that’s what matters to me. I believe the rest should not have a place in a family. Though outside it could be challenging.
Especially when someone asks me “who is your brother’s girlfriend?” Or ” is your brother gay?” Well, we come from a society that is not yet ready to face certain realities and some topics are still taboo. I would not know how to explain it to him or her. Not because I am ashamed of my brother but because I want him or her to understand without prejudices.
That would be such a difficult time for me. What I am sure of, is that I will stand for my brother, I would not be ashamed to say he is gay. I know it is not his choice he is naturally that way, so I will confidently stand for him as my brother the way I would do the same to any another brother or sister for something I know, is not wrong for him or her.
I know it could be a problem for many, but their negative views won’t affect me. I will never judge him or turn my back to him. Whenever he will need me, I will be there always for him as his brother. What comes before in a family or between brothers is friendship and brotherhood, not the sexual orientation. I don’t think his sexuality can destroy our relationship and unity as a family.
When he told us that he is gay, it was a surprise to me. I was like “WOW!!”It was like a joke; I couldn’t believe it. I kept thinking that he was joking, so in my head, I kept wondering if it was true. It made me laugh because it sounded funny to me. We live in a society where who is gay don’t say anything and hides it. We all pretend that it doesn’t exist.
People who are gay want to live their sexuality in the dark. It looks like they want to live their life with a mask. Therefore, him telling us his sexual orientation, it was like opening up to us and making us discover another part of him we did not know, revealing to us his true side. He wasn’t telling us that he is changing something to embrace another thing. I understood it that and that’s why It never changed anything to me, I couldn’t see him differently, he was the same brother I always knew.
I perceived it as if he needs us to be there for him, he needs our support and our love because he was aware that we are not familiar with this unusual world, which is true, but he trusted us to live it with him. Maybe with a lot of misunderstandings or pending questions. We couldn’t understand everything, it was very new to us and so was it for me. But still, he wanted us to be part of his full life and if we have something to contribute or add, such as advice to do it as brothers and sisters.
Nothing has changed for me since that, I look at him the way I looked at him before, I am not ashamed to be with him or feel uncomfortable when we are together. I would say that I have much respect for him because I don’t know much about his sexuality and sometimes, I am curious to know more but I don’t want to over ask. When I am confused about something, I ask him and he knows when he needs to talk to someone, I am there.
One day we went together to a gay club with his friends. I would not lie that it was easy for me. It was a big challenge to me but at the same time, I was curious. One positive thing about curiosity is that it helps you to open your mind.
You need to know who you are and not be confused with your identity then curiosity leads you to the level of seeing things with a new eye. Though I was not so comfortable with the idea of going to a gay club I knew he needed it.
He also needed to be in a place where he could feel comfortable, so I was doing it for him. Once inside, I was uncomfortable with the people around but seeing my brother happy made me happier and I was having fun with him and his friends. It was such a magic moment we had together. I didn’t see any strange thing in the club it was like a normal club.
In many African countries’ homosexuality is a taboo, something shameful but people need to know that it also depends on us straight people. We have a big role to play in reducing discrimination. We might not understand everything, but they need our support, we need to give them the respect they deserve and respect their sexual orientation.
If we open up, they cannot live fighting all their life for rights, they can live like everyone. They are human-like others; they are the way they are.
Telling them to change is so wrong. It is like telling a straight guy to stop loving girls and starts loving boys, how does it feel? Would it even be possible? Can it happen?