Posted by: Vivi | 2005/07/27

Lesbian Cousin

Guys I need you advice on this one. My cousin now 20yrs old has been chased out of her home by her parents because she's lesbian. Ever since I've known her she has always been into guys clothing, but now her parents what her to change and wear ladies clothing for them to accept her back into their home, she currently studying her first year at varsity and struggling with her day to day needs as they are not supporting her financially and close relatives has been told not to help her. Is there anywhere she can go for help and what are her rights.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi Vivi and thanks for your message,

Sadly, the situation you describe occurs daily and is a sad reflection on the level of prejudice, intolerance and ignorance in our society, in spite of our liberal Constitution. The most important thing is to ensure that your cousin is physically safe from harm, and that she feels physically and emotionally safe where she is staying now. I urge your cousin to make contact with the Gay & Lesbian Helpline, on (021) 4 222 500 any day between 1 pm and 9 pm. Simply leave a message and the counsellor on duty will return the call, so that you don't have to pay for the call. Alternatively, you can call the Pretoria-based Counselling and Information Line on (012) 344 5108 Monday to Thursday, and they do accept reverse-charge calls. The counsellor will speak your cousin through the situation and assist her to identify various options, in addition to offering her emotional support.

If possible, please inform us here on this forum in which city or town your cousin is living.

Currently there is no shelter specifically for the lesbian and gay community in South Africa. We often experience difficulty in placing lesbian or gay individuals in existing shelters, since these facilities are frequently homo-prejudiced or homophobic. Many are managed by churches that expose lesbians or gays to secondary trauma. A shelter for gay and lesbian people will be established in Cape Town soon, with the founding of the Pride Shelter Trust by Cape Town Pride.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: hey ya | 2005/07/27


Reply to hey ya
Posted by: Vivi | 2005/07/27

Thanks for the advice Shirley, I'll make a printout of this and give it to her.

Reply to Vivi
Posted by: Shirley | 2005/07/27

Unfortunately I doubt that her parents can be forced to pay for her tuition or help her in other ways since she's older than 18. My one friend is a lesbian too, and her mom kept on trying to change her mind. Now six years later, she's finally given up and accepted her.

For now, I'd advise that she gets back into the closet - wear girly stuff if it makes her mom happy. When she has her degree and a well-paying job it will be a different matter and she can get out of that closet again.

It might also be a good idea for her to go to church often. There are churches that are completely sympathetic to gays and lesbians, and won't try to change their orientation. Church leaders will just give them extra guidance in how to handle certain matters.

Reply to Shirley

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