Being truly a lesbian in Burundi wasn’t simply culturally frowned upon – it had been dangerous.

Being truly a lesbian in Burundi wasn’t simply culturally frowned upon – it had been dangerous.

Leila ended up being 17 when she realised that she was at love having a friend that is female.

Leila seriously considered her on a regular basis. She fantasised about her. it may simply be love.

“At first we thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m in love with a lady. What exactly is occurring?’”

Leila had developed in a loving, supportive middle-class family members in Bujumbura town. She had been popular. A boyfriend was had by her.

And today right right here she had been, in deep love with a pal.

After months of thinking she needed to share her feelings about her continuously. Leila texted the buddy.

“Hey, i do believe I’m in deep love with you.”

There is silence all night. Then your close buddy responded.

“I’m sorry Leila. But no. We don’t like girls.”

Leila had been mortified.

“What have we done?” she asked by by by herself.

But she needn’t have worried. Leila didn’t lose her relationship. The two consented to draw a line underneath the episode that is embarrassing.

Relieved, Leila put her months of infatuation right down to a stage. It absolutely was a crush that is one-off with one girl.

“I thought, ‘When I have over her, I’ll be ‘normal’ once more,’” she claims.

Then one thing occurred that she didn’t anticipate. Leila’s sibling had her phone and discovered the writing she had delivered to her buddy.

He revealed their mother as well as a showdown that is emotional.

“Mum cried. I cried. We convinced ourselves it absolutely was a period. She asked us to make an attempt to be become ‘normal’. I stated I Might.”

Leila began dating a person. But one thing had been incorrect.

“I ended up beingn’t involved with it,” she says, “ we thought perhaps it absolutely was as the guy wasn’t pretty. And so I dumped him and began dating a lovely man.”

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