Help! I am a gay man and feel suicidal
I AM a 23-year-old gay man and I wish I wasn't because I feel so lonely and isolated. I am so sad that I feel like committing suicide or running away. I am just not interested in girls and I have been this way all my life.
I feel as if God is punishing me and that I am not a human being.
How can I meet gay friends and, above all, how can I even start to tell my family what is wrong with me. Sad and Lonely, Mabopane
First of all, there is nothing wrong with you. Gay people have exactly the same rights as anyone else in this country.
Gay people are found in every walk of life and they are respected for the people they are and not for their sexual preference.
Committing suicide is not the answer to the struggles you are dealing with.
You need to make a decision whether to tell your family. You must have some idea as to their attitude towards homosexuality. If they are fairly accepting you just have to find the right time and the courage to tell them. But if they are intolerant you should only tell them if you feel you really have to.
If you have decided that you must tell them, then I am sure you are worried that they will stop loving you and will not accept you.
Consider telling your mother first and then ask her for her support to tell the rest of your family. You don't have to tell everybody if you are not comfortable with it. They might be shocked and have feelings of disappointment, but hopefully they love you just as you are.
There are many places where you will be able to find friends and they don't necessarily have to be gay. For a start you should consider writing to Meet a Friend, PO Box 6663, Johannesburg, 2000.