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I am a gay male teenager from tunisia, a muslim country where they throw gay men in jail for being gay. I personally am not religious but that’s not that relevant in my story.
My parents are a little bit weird compared to other parents even in my country, they don’t do the islamic practices but they say their muslims, they both used to be doctors but now my dad is a little more into politics and he and my mom got some better paying but more complicated jobs. I love my mom, she had her own dreams as a child but decided to be a doctor to satisfy her father. She met my dad and she says she is happy with him but i sometimes doubt she knows what happy means.
My dad on the other hand is a mess to say the least. It is a sin in islam to drink but everyone in this country does and i myslef am not against it, but with my father it is different. He drinks and smokes a but pretends he’s an angel to everyone, having regular conversations with him feels like i am being manipulated in some way, after all it is his job at this point to manipulate people into admiring him, and he’s surprisingly good at it. He claims “to be in the middle”, he pretends to completely agree with extremists to appease them, he finds his way to always look good then he acts like some kind of idol in front of us, he thinks we want to be like him.
I honestly don’t care about him, i know he probably has his own problems but i don’t feel safe near him. Of course my parents are homophobic even if they’re not that religious, they’re a bit old-fashioned and you can characterize them with most stero types you’d give to a muslim family, butwhat makes me hate my dad is that he pretends he’s not then stabs me in the back whenever i try to open up to him. And the worst part is that i know how tiring he is for my mom’s mentality as well as i saw her crying multiple times, she even screams about leaving us and killing herself when she can’t hold her pain back anymore.
Now if this situation wasn’t bad enough, i am gay. I have a route of escape: “la baccalaureate de la France”, it’s not easy but passing this test would make it possible for me to study at france, even my mom insists that she’s willing to help me pay the money i need to study abroad if my first plan doesnt work. What i am afraid of is what cones after i settle far away from home. There’s no way i could live openly without my parents knowing about my sexuality, but knowing this could destroy my mom.
When i first knew i was gay i couldnt keep it a secret, i ran to my parents and told them which lead to them taking me to a psychiatrist (which they were ashamed of because of the country we live in). My dad couldnt look me in the eye for a while although he saw how much pain i was in, and my mom assured me she would fix this.
Unsurprisingly, the psychiatrist couldnt help, he said it’s probably something temporary and that i would forget it in a few years, it’s been only 2 years but i am confident that i wont magically stop liking other men.
I cried a lot in my room, i screamed, i was suicidal, and at some point my mom became tired of it, she thought i was also watching gay porn so she confronted me and told me that she was tired of the situation, she said i need to stop and that this was something unacceptable in the society we live in.
Thankfully after, i found some amazing people who were very accepting, i found it surprising that teenagers who were more religious than my parents were also more open minded. I truly believe that in some years when our generation takes over, things might change. But back to my current problem.
I know this has been filled with unnecessary information but i wanted to vent because i dont know what else to do, I love my mom, even after the pain she put me through and i know that she’s the way she is because of the society she was born into. She always tells me that i am her perfect son, her only source of happiness. She’s happy how smart and polite i am, but every time she praises me i feel immense pain because i feel like i am lying to her by pretending to not be gay anymore, after all i pretended it was just a phase.
If you were in my shoes, what would you do? I know if i read a story like this i would encourage the person going through it to be free, but i want someone to try to put themselves in my place. Is my own happiness worth my mothers? She already has been through so much in her life and i don’t want her to feel betrayed by her own son, i sometimes think she might even kill herself if i told her about how i feel about religion and about being gay.
Thank you if you read all the way, and i would love to see how other people feel about this situation

Profile picture for Now&Me member @neerajadevireddy
Profile picture for Now&Me member @sxkurxchxn
Profile picture for Now&Me member @dorayaki
13 replies

Hi there,

I loved reading your story, if I may say so, partly because of the way you wrote as I felt a part of your story and your journey, if I may take the liberty to say so myself.

As I sense, you already know what to do, but there is an inner conflict and the concern for your mother that holds you back. You feel a certain level of guilt, if you leave or if you take her help to leave and then supposedly betray her by revealing your true self.

It’s easier said than done. I can understand how you feel.

However, you sound like an intelligent person, so I’m assuming you know what I’m going to say next. You can never be truly happy if you don’t do what you know to be best for you. If you continue your life like this, you will never know true freedom or true love from a partner. Your mom might come around, or she might not. But is it worth the suffocation of living the way you do?

Coming out to parents, who’re outrightly homophobic (because you know most of the people are) can be a process, a long one too.

It might cause upheavals in your relationship with your parents (mom, specifically) but you’re not going to be a child forever. You don’t have to abandon her. You have to build your own future and for that, you need to go someplace where that’s possible. When you tell your mom about your self, you’ll have to really work very hard with her perhaps to restore your relationship or get her to understand you.

Worst case scenario is, she might never speak to you. Best case scenario is, slowly but surely she’ll understand why it is important for you to be your true self and how anything else just hampers your growth as an individual and will only raise you to be more frustrated with life.

In your heart, you know that being gay doesn’t mean you love her any less. And with time, she needs to (and I’m assuming she will) realise that too.

Spread your wings and fly dear friend! The world awaits <3


Thank you for the response, it was very sweet and inspiring and it warmed my heart <3


Never be afraid to be what you are and what you want to be…Being parents is a tough thing in life but one good thing about being a parent is they understand their child and they love their child.


Thanks, I’ll keep your words in mind <3


Before u read mine comments
I aware you that I’m :
Realistic person, sometimes not sensitive and a quite a frank person.
U said if it’s me in ur shoes
If i love my mom I would probably remain single until if i really found someone that worth dying for not to be extreme but someone not just because i love him but someone can walk the burn path with me and grow with me(so not just a lover?)
Since I dont really bother about religion and better i hava a white lie, stilk try to discipline do my 5times prayers(like the most basic muslim people does) if i fo so my mother probably not thinking im neglecting my religion 'Im born with it and its not a bad things just try corporate and it not bring me harm +point my mom not gonna over thinking with me.
Im gonna also learn to forgiving my mom dad and my self and learn to be gratefull for what Im today seems simple but it bring lot of change like more peaceful in mindset and so on it will bring harmony to my self. People make mistakes and have their own flaw we cannot change people 100% still we try to give advice to whom we love right, but sometimes try to let it be and more focusing to build yourself(studying, etc) There’s lot of wonders in these world and I said to me its okay to stay with my principle and my own weirdest as long its not super damaging (its if about others i just white lies with them and its they really budge me then I m goona ask my self if this what i really want and my feedback will depends with it, this is my life but i really quite a family person so… I really try to clear my mind and listen first and try with their way if i really super can’t stand it i will try to bring my thoughts to them little by little or just go in right way.

Omg its super long I hope u the best and who know people can change right maybe ur parents mindset can change :) have a nice day btw


Thank you for your opinion on the situation, I appreciate it <3


Hi, all I mean is that the mind likes to stay safe all the time. Probably what you are missing is a man who will keep safe hold your hand and be true to you. Someone you can rely on and trust with all your life.
No Offense I am not saying you are not Gay. But, read the description of that man. Does that not match a father. I just want you to stay true to yourself. Why, because you say you hate your father because he acts innocent.
Right now your mind and emotions are confused it is fine.
Just take some time to think about it.
I really like your honesty, but don’t go to sea when there is a storm. Wait for it to calm down.
keep at it

Profile picture for Now&amp;Me member @neerajadevireddy

I’d say, it’s your life. You should be the one to decide whom to love and whom to marry. And you decide
whom to live with, ideally, shouldn’t affect your parents or relatives or anyone else in the world.
I’d suggest, you can first become financially independent and move to a less homophobic country. You can try to convince your parents later (maybe after you have found your sweetheart😉). They’d understand. Live your life as you want. All the best and don’t forget you have an entire community with you ✌🏾🌈

Profile picture for Now&amp;Me member @sxkurxchxn

Mx Shay @sxkurxchxn

Hi… I’m Indian… And My country too is not very accepting about the LGBTQ club… I think you should open up to your mom… about how being gay isn’t a bad thing… Their just feelings and you can’t stop them… etc. If she’s not accepting just ask her to pretend like you never had this conversation or at least rethink on what you told her… and try to understand it… And If studying in France is something you really want, I say go for it! Other than that… Have a nice day!

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Profile picture for Now&amp;Me member @dorayaki

Hello! I want to say that none of this is your fault. Being gay is NOT a choice and it’s going to be alright, okay? I, myself am in a part of it Lgbtq+ community and have Muslim homophobic parents that I haven’t come out to yet. I know how hard it is to not be supported by your own family but you see, no one can control your mind, emotions, or life, and it is not your job to put other people in front of your happiness, and not even your family’s. You are not betraying anyone and I really do understand how you want your mother to be happy too but she is being toxic for not accepting the way you are. Being gay is not something that can be cured and there is nothing wrong with it. If I was in your shoes, I would tell my mother,

“Why do you think being gay is wrong and why can’t you accept me the way I am. Living like this is what makes me happy and pretending to be someone I am not caused me pain. I know it is hard for you to understand but all I want is your respect towards me.”

Maybe you should try expressing to your mother and father your true feelings about how you feel about them not being supportive to you and the pain you are in because I don’t think they exactly know how you feel throughout all this. If they don’t accept you the way you are like I said please don’t pretend to be something you are not. You are amazing the way you are and don’t let other people tell you otherwise. I know you feel guilty about how your mom is feeling but think about the way you feel. How do you feel when your mom feels betrayed by you? Why do you think she thinks in a certain way? Your mom might be through a lot in her life but so have you, and you are the main character in your story right now so you need to think about your own feelings first. I hope you have a fantastic life and everything works out for you… Sending lots of love.


I am sorry I just joined this now and I came across your story. I am all the way in your place. I am very late, assuming that you have already found your way out of this. I would still give my insight.
Being gay is who you are, it is not some kind of persona that you have imbibed because of your choice. So, it comes down to your freedom of life. Even if they are your parents, Ultimately you are breathing for yourself and your body, they have right on you but you don’ belong to them as much as you don’t belong to your future partner. You are a human being, you have your life, your personality and most importantly your authenticity. Just because they are not able to grasp this supremely important part of your life, then they are missing out not you. What you will miss a person you love keeping themselves away from the joy of your life. It would be their loss. They need to be educated but as you mentioned that the country is against LGBTQ, then it really should not be your prime goal to make things right with your mom. You should not burden yourself with something you can’t have control on at the moment. Now is the time you focus on yourself and put your energy into yourself. Time will help in mending the relationship and things will smoothen out on its own and if they don’t, give yourself the time to figure things out and handle them wisely. Don’t let anybody take away your peace. Your mother will understand, what other choice would she have? I am in your shoes and it is so painful, I can feel the weight of the whole situation on my shoulder and it is not easy. More power to you.

Only thing I don’t like is - why is one’s sexual orientation such a major topic to worry about by other people?
Don’t lose hope and do great.

Love ya


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