• Larry’s Blog – December 2016

Scores of People leave their homeland, fleeing prosecution and persecution, and come to the Netherlands every year. They all come from far and wide, and have so many stories—some too graphic to tell, while others are what most will be described as the perfect fairy-tale ending…no pun intended.

I am one of those asylum seekers who had made the journey seeking a safer and more comfortable life and being the true person I am. I remember a young man sitting and watching movies and having a dream of having the “free life” where you can be yourself and no one would look at you in any way.

I come from a society where gay men are forced to have wives as a distraction to cover who they truly are. Many years ago I wrote an article, “Marriage the new Gay Way,” for the local newspapers in my country.

The article explores a growing number of families that ended being broken, a number of marriages that ended in divorce all because men who were gay using marriage and kids as a mask for their true selves. The article also looks at the effect those fake marriages exert on the gay men who were comfortable in their own skin when the wives found out their husbands, and their babies’ daddies were gay or bi-sexual. Needless to say that these fake marriages never work out. I have experienced it myself by having two very long relationships, one for 4 years and the other for 3 years, with men who were married to women and had kids. It was always a doomed situation from the start, but you ended up doing it anyway because it is not accepted for two men being in love with each other and having a relationship. In fact it will land you in jail or getting attacked by the public. This also has psychological impacts on an individual. The first time I went to New York and saw two guys holding hands—it was a “wow” moment for me.
For many asylum seekers, having a free life has been only a dream at least until they came here. In so many countries people who belong to LGBT community live lives that force them to hide who they really are. Moreover, they are also forced in so many instances to face the ensued hardships.

It is against this backdrop that we here at COC over the next few months will tell you some of those stories from the mouths of those very people who now seek asylums here in the Netherland. I was moved to hear some of situations people are forced to go through in their home countries in this modern world.

In 2015, a young man who was sexually involved with another guy was beaten and stabbed to death by a group of guys who caught them having sex, while in another country a transgender was locked up by police because they felt he was gay and it was against the law of the land and the law of God. Without the rights of a free trial, he was beaten really badly, and was even gang-raped by some of the officers. Those are just some of the stories we hear on a daily basis. What about the woman who was raped by two men who set up the plan for her being a lesbian.

However, LGBT community is not all about those sad stories, this blog will also explore the new life that those refugees now live. You will hear how differently they now live with a sense of purpose and moving forward. In my own case, after being here in just over 5 months I have been exposed to so much that really amazed me. We would like to invite you to send us your own personal stories and comments. You can reach us by sending an e-mail to asiel@cocgd.nl.