From high school, I kept my sexuality a secret, but my family disowned me when I was found out.
I was born and raised in a conservative Christian African family, and my parents were strict.
Going to church each Sunday was the norm, and failure to do so would attract severe punishment from our parents.
Having been raised in a Christian family, everybody expected that I would lead a straight life.
I discovered my true self when I started high school at the age of 14 years.
I developed a liking for the male body more than I did for girls, and I felt more comfortable spending time with boys.
By the end of the first year in high school, I discovered that I was gay.
My attraction for men was getting stronger each day.
I attended a Christian school, which meant that I had to play safe lest I be expelled.
At the beginning of my second year in high school, I fell in love with a boy who was in a senior class.
I discovered he was gay when I bumped into him masturbating inside the school bathroom.
We could not resist each other, and we fell in love.
We always met in the evenings during game times – we both played for our school’s handball team.
One afternoon, the school principal caught us making out inside the school bathroom.
The principal agreed to sort out the issue without involving our parents, on the condition that we stopped being gay.
Out of fear, we agreed and even signed a written oath to that effect.
However, the secret leaked to some of the students in the school, one of them my neighbour.
Despite agreeing with him that he would keep it from my parents, my friend went ahead and broke the news to them.
They were furious at me, disowned me, and threw me out of their house.
Luckily, I had an understanding aunt who took me in and even paid for my high school and then college fees.
For five years, I struggled to convince my parents that it was normal to be the way I was and that they should accept me.
They were adamant that they did not give birth to gays.
It wasn’t until my third year of college that my parents gave in and accepted the reality that I was gay. Of course, my aunt played a great role in this.
They asked for forgiveness and welcomed me back home.
Years later, they would even approve of my relationship with my partner, who I later married.