Brazilian photographer Nayara Leite has been exploring the lives of six Brazilian homosexuals who were expelled from their homes when they told their families they were gay.
Leite asked them to send her a happy photograph of them as a child, which she then burnt – an act she feels reflects the rejection they had experienced. One of them was unable to provide a picture, as everything was destroyed by her family.
“My mother judged me a lot. It was a tremendous emotional abuse. She said I could never have a family.
“My father asked me if I knew I was going to suffer from prejudice within society.
“I said that I knew I would, and that I was already suffering inside my own house – with the people I loved the most.
“It’s as if you die, and that all the dreams that the parents project onto their kids are over.”
“If it was a choice, I wouldn’t choose to go through all of that.
“The first time that my grandfather expelled me from home, he treated me like a prostitute.
“He shouted at me for bringing my girlfriends back to my house, and slapped me.
“I threatened to call the police, grabbed my things and left.”
“When my mother found out that I was gay, she started crying a lot and passed out.
“I took her to the hospital and when she came back she asked me to leave.
“She didn’t want me living with her any more, because she wouldn’t accept my sexuality.
“That was so painful for me. I could never imagine that my mother, my only family, would do that to me.”
“My father was no longer talking to me because he didn’t accept the fact that I was a lesbian. Then he expelled me from home and didn’t let me take anything with me. I had just turned 18.
“It’s really hard to explain what I felt when I got expelled from home, I only know it hurts.
“It hurts because you don’t have a reason why they did it.
“I realised that I was in hell for a long time.
“It drives me mad the way people think that being gay is a choice – that we are gay by influence.
“They barely know our struggle to survive through dark times.”
“The fact that I am gay really disturbed my parents.
“I wasn’t what they planned for me to be. I didn’t meet their expectations.
“My father beat me so much the day that he saw me kissing my boyfriend, that my clothes got torn.
“I don’t know how, but I ended up naked.
“He grabbed my arm and said: ‘Tonight you’ll sleep on the street’.”
“My father tried to kill me.
“He pulled me and started to hang me with a telephone cable.
“My mother saw that happening and threw a glass jar at his head. If my mother hadn’t intervened, I would have been killed.
“He even burned all my belongings. I only kept the clothes I was wearing.”
All photographs by Brazilian artist Nayara Leite, you can see more of her work on her website.
Source – BBC News