Dump­ing my

As a young queer, you don’t have an obli­ga­tion to come out, but if you do, Thabiso Bhengu has some ad­vice based on his per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence

CityPress - - The Good Guide -

My vir­gin­ity was over­whelm­ing and I had to get rid of it. This was my rea­son for leav­ing Pi­eter­mar­itzburg to go study in Jo­han­nes­burg. I had to fi­nally dump it some­where. I had imag­ined, at the time, that I would be al­lo­cated a room with a clos­eted gay and we would bonk like rab­bits.

My mother, us­ing her third eye, knew that Jo­han­nes­burg was go­ing to change me. She had seen me wres­tle with my vir­gin­ity.

She sent me a What­sApp when I ar­rived at Park Sta­tion: “Al­ways use a con­dom.”

I came back home in De­cem­ber and I had done it. How­ever, some­thing had shifted com­pletely. The clothes in my bags had changed and the books I kept were dif­fer­ent. My heart was no longer the same, ei­ther. I had gulped down the elu­sive flavour of free­dom – but I was an out gay man in Jo­han­nes­burg and a clos­eted man in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg.

Just as my bor­ing vir­gin­ity had made me sick, so did my fake straight life. The first se­mes­ter of se­cond year ended and it was time to go home again. This time, the truth of who I am sat in my throat like a cough, wait­ing to be ex­pelled at any mo­ment.

A week passed and I re­alised how much I re­sented my mother. I re­alised why I did not an­swer text mes­sages or call home fre­quently.

Since I could not speak with my fam­ily

STEP­PING OUT

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