Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Consequences of being gay

Published:Thursday | July 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

There are personal and social consequences of being gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), which tend to impact negatively on one's interpersonal relationships. There is a general understanding that homophobia affects only those who are a part of the LGBT community, too often ignoring the effect it has on those who are friends, family and intimate partners.

Families are sometimes separated because a member is LGBT. Negative social understandings of homosexuality increase the chances of this. Far too many young persons have been rendered homeless and displaced because their families disown them.

My friend Bianca*, whose parents adored and loved her and were extremely proud of her academic achievements, humility and her humanity, decided it was time for her parents to know about a secret she had been keeping. She told them that she was a lesbian.

Their reaction surprised her. She was no longer their prized possession. They treated her as if everything she had done before she came out to them was a lie. They disowned her, but allowed her to continue living with them. She left her parents' house when she turned 19. All her efforts for reconciliation have failed.

A person's sexual orientation does not dictate the person they are. Regardless of what you've been taught, they are not evil, they are not diseased, and they are not the devil's advocate. They are human beings, deserving of love and respect.

* - not her real name

Dervin Osbourne