"I’ve heard it said that being Queer teaches you acceptance. I think that’s a beautiful thing - as Queer people, we’re forced to examine ourselves in a way heterosexual people aren’t." 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: Queer is just another word for love

I’ve heard it said that being queer teaches you acceptance. I think that’s a beautiful thing - as Queer people, we’re forced to examine ourselves in a way heterosexual people aren’t. 

As a little boy, I knew I was different. There was something in the way the other boys were that sat differently in me, and because of it, I had to ask myself some very serious questions - and give honest, hard-to-hear answers. 

Hours of therapy, writing, crying, repressing, until finally - accepting. 

That process teaches us a deep level of emotional intelligence. As you become aware of your own suffering, your awareness of the suffering of others grows too. And in that, you become compassionate to others. 

I’m still not sure why I’m gay. Perhaps there’s no reason at all. I watched a video once that suggested our purpose is to teach others that same compassion and tolerance, and that it starts with the self. It takes a great deal of love to be honest with yourself, and a great deal more to accept it as truth. 

After that, strength to move forward, reborn. 

I believe my gay identity exists as a billboard to show others that it’s okay to question yourself. Your life, truly, is yours to live. Sometimes you just need to see it to believe it, and I promise that once you shed what you thought you knew, a whole world of glitter, dancing, and love is waiting to be explored. 

We’re one big family, and you can call me mother.