Rainbow Counsellor Lisa Michelle is here to help with your problems.
I am feeling stuck and don’t know what to do. I am in NZ under a student visa, and have another year before I have to leave. My dilemma is that I have not told my family I am gay, and where I come from homosexuality is still against the law. I am nearly 30 and my parents have been hounding me since I was 18 to marry. I have made excuse after excuse, but they are increasing their pressure and I am tired. I could just give in and get married, but that would be dishonouring my wife, and any children we may have. If I come out to my family I’m scared I will be rejected, by them and my country. I just want to find somewhere safe to live as my true self.
I do feel for your situation. I am sorry to hear you have faced this battle since you were young in a country that does not accept you for who you are. I must commend you on your honesty, both with yourself and with any future wife. My first thought was to marry a lesbian from your home country, to take said pressure off you both, however that would just be continuing the lie. I would suggest a visit home to see them before making any decision to come out, in case the worst happens and they do reject you. I would then research NZ’s policy on asylum seekers. Being discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation is against our Humanitarian Act. You deserve to live the rest of your life authentically and in peace.
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Lisa Michelle is a Chaplain and Counsellor for the GLBT Community, working with both Rainbow Youth and OUTLine NZ as an independent consultant and also on the board of OUTLine. If you have an issue you would like Lisa to talk about in express, email and let her know at email@example.com