"My parents prayed for me. Told me it's wrong, and I am a sinner, and that God doesn't make people like me," writes Roman Johannes. Picture: Supplied

June is now globally seen as International Pride Month. As part of International Pride Month, the Cape Argus will be carrying stories from members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share insights and 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.

"My parents prayed for me. Told me it's wrong, and I am a sinner, and that God doesn't make people like me," writes Roman Johannes.