Cape Town Pride: 'My parents prayed for me, told me it's wrong'
As part of Cape Town Pride Week, the Cape Argus will be carrying stories from members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share insights and talk about the challenges they face:
#MyQueerLife: 'My parents prayed for me, told me it's wrong'
I am Roman Johannes, 26-year-old from Cape Town and I'm a proud queer individual.
I came from a family who is very religious and who put their beliefs first, so it was very hard for me to come out and live my truth as a queer person because I never wanted to disappoint my family.
Then as the years went by, it started to get harder for me to not be honest with myself and not be myself, because I always had to think about my family and what they were going to think.
I came to a point where I would dress a bit fem (feminine) and my parents started noticing that and asked me the big question - are you gay?
At first, I denied it, because I was afraid of what might happen, but then they asked me again after an incident occurred and I told them I'm gay.
My parents prayed for me. Told me it's wrong, and I am a sinner, and that God doesn't make people like me.
That just broke me as a person but I told myself, I am going to be true to myself.
A few months later I got kicked out, and moved in with my sister - stayed with her for a year and a half - before she then kicked me out because my parents told her to.
However, I was so thankful that I had my friend and his family that gave me a home to stay. They became my new family and showed me that it's perfectly fine to be yourself.
What I have learned in this process is - you are strong enough to get through anything, and you can choose not only your family but also the people you want in your life.