Mother nature is so amazing that she distinctively designs each of us with special uniqueness that together we can create a beautiful diversity on this planet. However, some misunderstand that others’ uniqueness is different or inferior, and that is completely wrong. Thus, today I am going to bring our readers to an unheard story Jerry Tour, an English teacher at an NGO in Siem Reap Province whose life is as ordinary as everybody else yet special in his own way.

Jerry, APTBY

Born as the youngest child, Jerry has 3 other older siblings who together form a family full of warmth, love and compassion. Jerry was a kid who adored learning, exploring new things as well as enjoying life just like the other kids do.  However, around the age of ten, he started to realize who he is as he preferred having fun with girls rather than boys. “I liked playing girl’s toys with my cousin who is also a girl,” said Jerry. However, when he went to school, he tried to hide who he is by pretending to be a boy as most of his friends are straight. “I tried to adapt to my environment because I do not want them to call me gay” Jerry explained. He had even tried several techniques to prove that he was not different by trying to date some girls but turned out it was not where his heart belonged. 

Luckily, when Jerry graduated he had the opportunity to move to Sihanoukville. For him, this is a new chance to start something new, to be in a new place and a new environment. Despite the difficulties living alone, Jerry manages to be who he is in this new land. In his eyes, the sun will always shine, and he has the choice to get up and smile to live the life he wanted and be the person he wants to be. Hence, Jerry managed to work harder until he graduated with a Bachelor of Tourism and Management, and majored in English Literature for two years, and some additional skills such as computer skill. With all the odds, Jerry made it, he becomes who he is and gains a new perspective on life. 

Having wholly support from his family and his intimate friends, Jerry is comfortable expressing himself to the world without any fear. “If you try to hide who you are, you are the one who lies to yourself and that hurts you more than anyone else does. That is when others start to look down on you as even you, yourself cannot accept who you really are” Jerry explained. He also encourages other LGBT people to come out from that closet and truly be themselves in this colorful world full of diversity. “Hiding the truth upsets us as it is against our genuine feeling, which is different from accepting the truth that lightens us up and gives us relief. That is the moment that we are fully free to do whatever we want undoubtedly” joyfully said Jerry.  

His story shows us that LGBT people share the same life simplicity just like us because we all are human beings. Therefore, I hope after getting to live a life of LGBT people through reading this article, you will develop a sense of compassion towards LGBT community and improve the way you see and treat them. Nobody should receive unkind remarks regarding their sexual orientation. Everyone on this planet deserves to be loved, happy and fully free to be who they are.

Last but not least, our wonderful interviewee, Jerry, has an extra gift in the form of meaningful words for our readers as a daily reminder that “Accepting the truth will set you free” quoted by Jerry hoping everyone will take this into practice no matter what situation you are in.

This article is written by Soleakena KOUN, a 1st generation participant of Story Corner 2020 which aims to break the stigma on LGBT+ through storytelling and the engagement of youths through dialogue and series of training on gay rights advocacy and basic journalism. Story Corner 2020 is hosted by Buzz Talk Cambodia

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