I have forgiven my past but I will never forget it, and I am still looking forward to healing properly. I am now able to share a part of my life that I was ashamed of, that I was running from, and that made me want to die. I am grateful that I am alive and will continue to use my strength to survive with the need to use substances to numb the pain.
I hate the word ‘lesbian’. Everyone knows that I dress mostly in men’s clothes, but it doesn’t mean that I want to me a man. I love my female body, and I’m also attracted to women. I dated a few boys when I was a teenager, but struggled with intimacy. My close friends and my mother knew this, but nobody said anything. I didn’t do anything until I was dating a guy called Luthando – probably the only guy I’ve ever had feelings for – who was handsome and clever. My mother told me to stop what I was doing because I’ll end up hurting him and he didn’t deserve it.
I have been struggling with guilt and feeling that I’m a fake in relationships, even with friends. So much of this has to do with my rape, and the feelings that I have towards my stepfather. I don’t hate him, but I still need to heal. I believe that I’ve always been gay, even though there have been people who have tried to make me suppress it or destroy my being who I am.