The day after Tankiso and Xavier kissed, it was the beginning of a new journey of self-discovery and self-understanding. Tankiso realised that it was not bad not to be attracted to women. He was happy that he had met someone like Xavier, who understood him, saw him, and accepted him as he was.
“What? I am gay? Hmm,” he said, after reading an article online about the LGBTQIA+ community. Of course, he knew about gays, but he’d never identified as one because he did not have the stereotypical attributes associated with being gay. Understanding this gave him peace of mind, but he began to worry about what his parents would say when they he told them. He was filled with fear, seeing clearly that his parents were going to reject him.
The thoughts depressed him because he appreciated their love and support, and the thought that his new identity could cost him his parents’ love was overwhelming. Tankiso began to lose sleep and his desire and interest in Xavier as he fought with the fear of disappointing his family. However, he felt encouraged by the stories of other LGBTQIA+ people who had gone on journeys of self-acceptance.
With Xavier’s support and advice, Tankiso decided to talk to his parents freely. He remembered that his father, Mr Matanka, used to encourage him to talk to him about issues like this. So, he mustered up the courage, picked up the phone and called home via video.
“Ma…Papa, there is something I want you to know about me,” said Tankiso.
“OK…” answered his mother.
After that there was silence for a while, but then Tankiso continued to speak from the bottom of his heart, explaining his journey of self-discovery and acceptance. He also informed his parents about the incident that happened at the boarding school years ago.
His parents were surprised, confused, and worried. It was clear that this revelation challenged their beliefs and expectations. At the same time, Tankiso was struck by fear, fearing that his relationship with his parents could be irreparably damaged.
“Tankiso…my child,” said his mother. Her voice trembling. She started to weep. She was sad that her child had been attacked before. “I love you, my child, no matter who you love, what kind of person, or where they come from.”
“Yes, that’s right, son. We are your parents, and we understand exactly what you are,” his father added. Although his father was surprised at first, he assured him that his happiness and well-being were the most important.
The love and acceptance Tankiso received from his parents, despite their initial confusion, filled him with gratitude. He realised that the fear was unnecessary. This was the beginning of a new journey, a new chapter of his life, full of love and self-discovery. He was aware that there would still be challenges here and there but it was promising that he would live in complete satisfaction.
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