Jacks is a lgbt activist, rainbow family mother, member and a volunteer at Together with Pride.
Growing up as an LGBT person can suck the life out of you.
When your parents turn to exorcism because they think you have the devil possessing you. When you face violence and are forced to marriage, to save your family’s face. You feel like you can’t go on but then realise that you have to, because of your children. Your choices are not just about you anymore.
Then, by luck, you find others like you but they are younger and are looking up to you for guidance. Suddenly you are overwhelmed with compassion, because you have been in their position and you happen to know the consequences of trying to come out to family or friends. You know how it feels when the very closest people to you abuse you instead of protecting you. You make your home a sanctuary where these youngsters can come and relax and just talk, but the enemy is always lurking in the shadows.
The police are knocking your door demanding bribes so that you and your friends don’t get arrested. You pay because you promised these youngsters that your home was a safe place. The corrupt police keeps demanding more and you are drained, but there is no way out.
You get introduced to a politician with an upcoming party and the politician promises to help you, because he needs votes. He promises a new dawn for LGBT people in your country should he win a parliamentary seat. When trouble comes again knocking at your door, you call your politician friend and he tells you that he cannot risk his career over a small fish in a big pond. In fact, you should stop any contact with him. Wow, saved you the right for trusting politicians.
Then your group, the youngsters, get scared of the police attention and abandon you as well. You thought you promised to stick together, you cry but everyone is just now looking out for themselves. Your reality is too much for them to deal with and suddenly you are alone again.
It feels like your life has been sucked out of you again, and you thought that now you had hope. You are like a walking zombie. You get down yourself again but the look on your babies face soothes you again.
You decide enough is enough and you leave your country, for your safety, for hope. For what good are you to your babies if you die. On your journey, you are stopped and detained for a month in a cell. You wonder if this is ever going to end. You traveled all these miles only to die in a small cell in the middle of nowhere!