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For M'sian gays, hope for a better tomorrow

For 12 years of my life, I stopped myself from falling in love with men. From the age of 14 till I was 26, I tried to go straight. I took an active part in church, I led fellowships, I wrote church musicals. I prayed and fasted and went for church camps. I sang the loudest during worship - I was so annoying! - and desperate for God to hear me! Nothing worked.

Now, all of us recall bouts of depression during our teenage years. For LGBTs, (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders) our teen years appear like one long nightmarish bout from which we never wake. Statistically, we are six times more likely to kill ourselves than our straight peers.

Trust me, it is that bad, and then some. Most gays realise we are attracted to the same sex even before puberty and in our teens, we soon discover we are unlike our peers. We are also told we are ‘freaks', ‘criminals', ‘monsters', ‘sinners', ‘abominations' and deserve to be punished, rejected and beaten up.

We are confused - we didn't choose to feel this way, and we certainly don't want to be so freakish, but the feelings won't go away. We believe something might be fundamentally wrong with us. Frightened of being an outcast, we conform to social demands. We learn to hide our sexuality, resigned to a life pretending to be what we are not...

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