1987. The year my swimming career began as I represented my country at various International swim meets—impressive for a nine-year-old wouldn’t you say? I spent most of my childhood in and out of the water leading up to my last appearance (my retirement) at the Indian Ocean Games in La Reunion of 2015. But, this story isn’t about my competitive aquatic venture as that’s just the subtext—rather my disinterested attraction I had for the girls while living in a predominantly Christian country of Seychelles.
My sexual curiosity ignited while in the pools with other boys and in the locker room showering off the chlorine. Transitioning from kid to teen, it all started to become inevitable to disregard and challenging as I would secretly check them out consistently fantasizing while trying to hide my hard-on under my towel hoping they would never find out in fear they would see and become either offended or flattered. To make matters worse, I had a huge crush on one of my male teammates though nothing came of it. So, I lived in my little fantasy world instead. Desperately though, I truly wanted the guys on my team to know who I was craving the humiliation up to having them punish me by taking turns using me.
You don’t know how many times I wanted any of my male teammates in our shared room (during overseas competition) to just crawl into my bed at night and make out. It wasn’t easy for me to deal with all of that—torture really. I tried to be interested in girls by going on dates thinking that my guy crush was just a phase—it didn’t. In denial, I figured going on those dates would be good for keeping appearances. It didn’t last long as my attraction to men was fueled at 15 when I lost my virginity—my fantasy became my reality.
At the end of the 1993 Indian Ocean games, this was the time that any or all of the athletes partied…hard. After a few drinks myself becoming tipsy, my attention was on a much older guy (twice my age) who I had been eyeing throughout the competition. He wasn’t the best looking guy, but after giving me reciprocated stares and gulping
The waves crashed on the moonlit shore as we talked about the competition until we came upon a rock that he decided to sit on dangling his feet. I was feeling utterly wonderful with him—it felt right, felt normal, and not sinful. A part of me loved the romantic side of this and yet severe arousing sexual thoughts flooded everything else and I could no longer think “straight.” This became a do or die situation unraveling my sexuality.
Not thinking about rejection, I bent down to kiss him…
He moved away leaving me embarrassed, thinking I read him wrong this entire time. Maybe he wasn’t into guys. Apologizing, I turned walking away until I felt his hand grab mine. Pulling me in, his lips deeply connected with mine. Acting out my deepest fantasies (him looking determined to have a good time), I became possessed—consumed by the desirable pain I was experiencing for the first time. Never in my adolescent life did I ever think this would bring such vulnerable pleasure—helplessness really as he had full control over me, and I loved that feeling.
When it was over, I wondered if the man I just had sex with was as satisified or disappointed. Walking back to the party and letting my mind ponder on what just happened, I was still on cloud nine. If this is what sex with a guy is like, definitely wanted more. My first disappeared into the night, along with my virginity, never seeing him again. But I was thankful for it.
Reality took over and my fantasy world crumbled after the games. Although my first time was simply amazing, and I, a now changed person, Seychelles stayed the same—unaccepting and treated homosexuality as a capital crime, a sin. So, I kept quiet. Not confiding in anyone, including close friends (that’s how scared I was.)
University was a life changer for me and I needed that freedom. It provided me with the opportunity to explore and embrace my sexuality. Although, it was short-lived, for the first time I felt free to express myself with any fear to be different, normal, gay, and actually be me. But I had to tame it back into the closet under lock and key after graduation when I was back home in Seychelles—which didn’t last long as I found the strength in a close girlfriend to share my secret with. To my amazement, she was not as surprised as I thought which opened the door to share my feelings and fantasies without it making feel disgusted and sinful. One by one, everyone who close to me just knew, somehow. My brother, being one of them, acted as normal and my mother (a sweetheart as all mothers are) came over and gave me a big hug when I told her.
The weight I carried lightened. I am very grateful for their presence in my life as they never passed judgment and without them, I would certainly never be as happy as I am now. But the judgment from others varies quite a lot. You will get people still calling names as they pass by in the supermarkets or simply walking down the street. “There goes cucumber man!”, some would say. To be honest, I can’t help but like that comment as it echoed interesting times.
I am who I am; I have dealt with it and accepted it. Being gay is not a disease or something I should be ashamed of. I have sacrificed so much hiding that it still hurts to even think about it. I am not the first or the last. Changes will happen gradually and naturally. There is no point to force anything. I mean people from all over are mingling and interacting more frequently and humankind is evolving to a more accepting society—I have hope for this and remember to be yourself.
Coming out story was provided by Anonymous