Andile Langa decided to come out to his father at the age of 15 – and his reaction wasn’t what he anticipated.
In celebration of Pride month, we spoke to members of the LGBTQ+ community about their sexuality and coming out journey to those closest to them.
According to Bustle, sexual fluidity refers to one who’s attracted to others regardless of their sexual orientation, whether bisexual, transgender or heterosexual, to name a few.
This is Andile’s story:
“I am a 27-year-old that hails from the windy city of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and I am sexually fluid.
This simply means being able to explore my sexuality not based on societal gender roles, societal roles, or what’s expected because of my gender. I date who I want, when I want to while taking into consideration my partner’s wellbeing.
I’m the firstborn of three boys and the early years of my life were glorious. My dad would wake me up with a kiss to prepare for school, while my mom would get my lunch ready and fill the water basin with warm water to bathe.
When my dad went to work my siblings and I were the happiest because we knew he’d return home with tasty treats – and being the firstborn I would call first dibs on what I liked.
I had a really beautiful upbringing that was filled with lots of love and laughter – fast forward to when I finally realised that I liked boys more than girls.
For some reason and somehow, my dad always knew. I know this for sure because I never came out to him prior to the day I will recount below and the same applies to my mother.
So, one day we were just chilling. I was 15 and the year was 2008, I remember it very well. It was on a Saturday and I had made my father tea just the way he liked it. I guess this was the trigger.
We were talking about life, what I want to be in the future and he asked me, ‘With the way your life is going do you think you will marry and have a wife?’ I laughed.
I think this is when he knew. He continued
to say, ‘I'm asking because I see the way you are when you play with boys. Your
eyes even sparkle.’ That’s when I
knew it was time to tell him the truth about my sexuality.
This was the opening I've always prayed for to come out to my father. I sat quietly for a minute trying to find the confidence and the right words to tell him.
I found them and I told him ‘I'm not going to have a wife. I like boys more than girls.’
He didn’t even look surprised or anything for that matter. Instead he said, ‘Oh okay. So you’re telling me you want to get married to a man?’ And I said, ‘Yes. I want to get married to a man.’
While the chat turned to what my sexuality meant, cringeworthy encounters I’d had with other boys and divulging explicit details any 15-year-old would’ve rather kept from their father – it was the most defining moment for me and the person I was becoming.
In fact, it was one of the best talks we’ve had. I felt his love, the kindness in his voice. It was overwhelming as this was all coming from a man of few words.
I'm really grateful to have a dad like him.
I hope my story inspires fathers and encourages them to love their children in all their glory. I pray it gives hope to young and old queer kings and queens who are yet to come out to their parents.
May you find the strength and the right words when you are ready to share your honest truth.”
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