What is the main reason for SA gay men staying closeted?
And are you, despite your good intentions, one of the reasons they cannot live openly?
For years, Andile Mkhize kept his sexual orientation a secret because of the fear of being discriminated against by his community. But it was the anxiety of being rejected by his parents, devout Christians, that made him stay in the closet even longer.
While he felt relieved after he finally came out as a gay man at the age of 21 and his parents eventually eased up about his “new identity”, the 28-year-old Durban accountant admits his struggle to freely discuss his sexuality – including his sexual health – with his family were some of the issues that contributed to his two-year struggle with depression.
“My parents eventually came around, and that was great as it gave me some form of liberty. But strangely, I continued to live in isolation. I longed to discuss my sexuality with my family and get advice where necessary, but part of me felt like I would be pushing boundaries if I involved them in that. ..