I left home when I was 18 when I started university and stayed in a share house near my university. I knew it was going to be hard, very hard actually. I had the best parents for they supported me by paying my tuition fees and my bond and rent (for the first few months). I was also instructed to get a part time job to cover my living expenses should I go ahead and continue to live outside the family home.
Part of the reason as to why I wanted to live away from my family was so that I could explore more about my sexuality. I always knew I was gay but growing up in an era of pre-apps but had access to internet (dial ups), it was easy to get around the gay world but it was still hard to meet anyone as your parents always want to know your whereabouts.
Living on my own gave me my “wings”. I have to add that I was never in. I always behaved and talked just the way I am. I first told my sister that I was gay when I was about 23 years old. The response that I got was that – “Oh you aren’t gay, its just because you don’t have a girlfriend”, “You should do some yoga to balance your hormones”. I scolded her stating that I was gay and not confused or looking for solutions and hang up the phone. She called me the next day and apologised for her behaviour. We had a lengthy chat about our lives and other random things (noting that being gay was just a normal thing between us).
A few months later, I came out to my mother in person. I treated her to a dinner and got her a bottle of wine before telling her that if I’m going to marry, I’ll marry a guy. Her response was that “Oh boy or girl aren’t they the same thing?” We clinked our wine glasses and carried on wining and dining. I remember that place – it was on smith street. My mum told my dad about me. Life is just as normal in our house.
One day my friend came to my graduation and my dad thought he was my boyfriend and started talking about my wedding with him. It was a bit embarrassing but cute at the same time. I haven’t brought any guys home to meet my parents but I’m sure when I do, he will be welcomed with open arms (and food!!). My parents are big on food too and he will be leaving with a doggie bag too.