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Point of View: Supporting a family member who identifies as queer

Kaya 959 Reporter

When a family member comes out and makes an official announcement that they are queer, there are many factors at play.

As a family member, you may be unclear as to how to react or how to feel when someone you know comes out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

The world has come a long way when it comes to the acceptance of the LGBTQI community.

Even if you don’t comprehend everything right immediately, it’s crucial to let the person know that you still care about them.

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Point of View with Phemelo Motene spoke to Thabo Tshabalala who’s siblings were very helpful in his journey after coming out, Nthabiseng Rashikopa a Clinical Psychologist as well Nolwazi Tusini – IRANTI’s communications and media manager, a lesbian, trans, intersex and gender non-conforming (LTIGNC) movement.

LISTEN TO THE FULL CONVERSATION HERE:

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Tshabalala shared his journey of coming out as gay and spoke about how he realised he was gay at the age of 9.

He said he used to love Netball and remembers wearing the skirt and feeling comfortable in it. He detailed his childhood and some of the experiences that he had gone through.

“In high school, I was so masculine and was playing rugby. I was so afraid to even utter the word gay, it was a fear of mine. I was even scared when someone would say it, I would walk away.”

“I then finished school in 2013, then I moved to Johannesburg when I moved here I was now alone for the first time in my life and was trying to be an adult without my parents.”

Tshabalala says after some time he started seeing a different world with boys that looked like him.

Nthabiseng Rashikopa a Clinical Psychologist suggested that one key thing to put into consideration is to remember that just because someone identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender it doesn’t change who they are or were.

It is also important to note that it doesn’t make them any less of a friend or family member, regardless of your initial ideas or feelings.

The panel gave Kaya 959 listeners insight into how to effectively support family members who identify as queer.

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Written by: Zuko



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