This post was written anonymously by a fan of the show, MTV Shuga:
“I am a 21 year old male, studying engineering in one of the top universities in Nairobi, Kenya.
Reggie’s character (played by Given Stuurman in MTV Shuga) really touched me as it is a duplicate of the life I live.
I am born and bred in a Christian family that always expects a lot from me and my two siblings. From my earliest childhood memories, as far as I can remember, I have always had an attraction towards other boys.
Growing up, I struggled with my emotions and at 12 years old, when I finally realised I was gay, I wanted to kill myself.
Countless nights I would cry in bed to God as it was the only thing I could do to drive away the pain.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t behave in a stereotypical manner. All my friends think that I am straight. In fact, I have hooked up with a number of girls, in order to convince the world, and maybe even myself, that I am straight.
It always hurts that I never have anyone to talk to about my feelings. My best friend believes I am straight and is always talking about girls, and is one of the biggest homophobic people around. If he knew I was gay, he would probably tell the whole school to come beat me up.
My parents, well, they are typical traditional Africans. They can’t even understand the concept of being gay. And my siblings are too caught up in their own lives to even realize what I am.
As a result, I have struggled with depression. At times, I just want to be me; to discover myself. Unfortunately, there are not many places that you can do that in Nairobi.
Seeing Reggie in MTV Shuga and realizing that I am not alone is such a relief. There is so much about this life to share!
I wish there were more platforms like MTV Shuga to highlight these issues, in order to help other guys like me who struggle with the same thing everyday.
There’s so much I would like to write to you about. By sharing my experiences, I hope that they will make the struggles of someone else lighter.”
If you have any personal stories that you want to share with the MTV Shuga Team, then write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on some of the issues we discuss throughout the series, including sexual identity, check out our knowledge page for help and advice.
Author: Anonymous, Kenya
This post first appeared on the MTV Shuga website.