Some time in June 1997 a dear friend shared with me a letter he was going to send to his mom. In this letter he tells her among other things that he experienced child trauma and that he was gay. My heart went our for him. He didn’t know that at that time he was one of the few saving me from starving. I was an undergraduate student with a budget that only allowed transportation to the university but it was too little for food. I used to have one meal a day. So, the times I was invited to his place I had an extra meal. I don’t think any of my friends really knew about my situation, for me was just normal.
He was the first person to tell me that he was gay. Soon after another friend told me a similar story. He was alone and he didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. How could I help a person coming out? It only occurred to me introducing them to each other. The rest is another story. I love them both, I consider them my brothers. One of them died recently from an unknown cause. I wish I was there to hold his hand in his final days. I am still grieving, a piece of my childhood died with him.
Over the years I have met other people who told me in confidence that they are gay. Why in confidence? Because I come from a country where been from the LGBTQ+ community is still stigmatised. I love them as brothers and sisters, I admire their courage, strength and vulnerability.
Today I write to the brothers and sisters who trusted me and supported me during some of my darkest hours.
P.s. Love is love and I love you.
-by Irina Jovel-Dalmau