There’s a story behind every person, a reason why they’re the way they are. Think about that before you pass judgement on someone. What I hate most is when people judge you for been yourself, and what pains me the most is when someone suffers judgement from their own parents. Being raised by parents who love you unconditionally, support you wholeheartedly, and accept you truly is a blessing. But having to be raised by parents who judge you, harass you and make you feel bad about yourself because of your sexuality is a painful thing to bear.

I remember crystal clear like it was yesterday, meeting up with my best friend, Kagiso, for lunch. We were chilling at Noord Park, just talking about lot of things when he turned to me and said:

“Jay I was on my phone chatting on WhatsApp with a certain guy that I like and my mom became curious about what seemed to be a very interesting conversation. I was not giving her my time, so she demanded that I give her my phone, obviously I refused. But somehow, after a long fight my phone landed in my mother’s hands.

With teary eyes Kagiso went on to say, “Buddy mom went straight to my WhatsApp and read all my chats with that guy. She was so furious that I was flirting with a guy instead of flirting with a girl. She asked me if I was gay. When I told her I was, she was furious.”

His mother had beaten him to a pulp and yelled at him telling him how pathetic and disgusting he was for being gay. His dad even came to the bedroom and joined his mother. He also beat him up and called him names. He told him he was ‘uncultural’ ‘demonic’ and ‘shameful’ it was for him to be gay. They told him they didn’t raise a gay son but a true, proud Tswana man who was supposed to have a wife and children. They told him to stop his nonsense or he would find himself on the streets, having no one to turn to.

I expected much better from his parents. They are both educated and aware of things. Plus his father is a psychologist, who experiences young people struggling with their sexuality. It broke my heart to the core. Because of their hatred and judgement for my friend being gay, he is no more. He suffered post traumatic stress trauma which led him to depression and an early grave.

His death was a wake-up call to his parents even if it was too late. As we speak his parents are regretting not accepting their gay son who is no more because of their selfish beliefs. They are still playing a blame game between themselves and are not coping well with the passing of the son they once rejected.

Instead of hating, bullying, judging and abusing your child and causing them stress which may lead to depression, something that would send them to their early grave, why as parents are you failing to accept and embrace your gay sons? Why don’t you find yourself help to accept your homosexual child or why don’t you sit down with your homosexual child to try to understand their way of living?

Homophobia is real and it is one of the causes of death of homosexual people. Homophobia is like a wild fire if it’s not contained it can spread within communities very fast. Homophobia is like a human killer disease it affects anyone whether they are rich or poor, educated or uneducated. Homophobia is something that needs to be fully addressed before we lose more and more of our homosexual friends and family members.

It’s easy to look at people and make quick judgements about them, their present and their past, but you’d be amazed by the pain and tears a single smile they show hides. What a person shows to the world is only one tiny facet of the iceberg hidden from sight, and more often than not, it’s lined with foundation of their souls. Never judge learn to respect and acknowledge the feelings of one another.