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A happy family story from Suriname

People consider me lucky I guess.
I have very loving and supporting parents and brothers, I have a nice career as the managing director of our family business, I travel, I have a bicycle (by choice ), I’m a athlete, I’m the chairman of Parea (Organization of Gay professionals in Suriname), I was chairman of the Surinamese Tennis Association and I was elected on the regional board of COTECC (Tennis Federation for Caribbean and Central America).

Yes, I guess I can call my self lucky and happy.

Was I always this happy?

Let me take you back exactly 20 years.

It was June 1997.
“E-mail” had just been around and I just send my parents an email with my biggest secret and was waiting for their response. I was in university and I just told my fraternity brothers that I was gay.
I guess in liberal Amsterdam their reaction was “we already knew but were waiting for you to be ready to tell us”.
My Surinamese friends were loving and supportive.
Last hurdle was telling my family

It was maybe the longest wait….
Finally the phone call….
My parents…. their reaction:
Not happy, angry, hurt, disappointed, crying, accusing, swearing
My reaction:
not happy, angry, hurt, disappointed, crying, accusing, swearing
After that phone call I hated every aspect of my live, the disappointment, I anger, the hatred, the sadness, the confusion…..
Wasn’t family after all the corner stone of society, of our lives…?
Even suicide became an option

Eventually we pulled through.
respect, acceptance, tolerance, inclusion, forgiveness, information, education and above all unconditional love.
Thats what helped us. It made us stronger as persons, it made us stronger as a whole family.

Yes I’m actually a very happy and lucky man. Not because of all those things the outside world sees, but because of what my family means to me.

Love wins everything; Time will do the rest.

Happy May 17th; Happy IDAHOT

Family holiday picture: My parents with their kids and their families