Aomine, a 22 year old young man from Zimbabwe told me that because being gay was illegal in Zimbabwe, he had to be safe and that meant being very discrete. So when he came to Winnipeg, he tried to keep his sexuality private and could not express himself or say certain things. He did not want to hang out with certain people because there was an association with the people you hang out with and your sexuality. But having lived in Winnipeg, he realises that, one can be straight and have a gay friend. This therefore meant he can hang out in public with friends who are “out”.
Aomine discussed his sexual fluidity noting that although at the moment of the interview (August 2015) he was into men, he may in the future be more interested in a woman. He noted that “right now I define myself as a gay man but then I am not always set in that box. Because I know I can find a woman. I can be interested in a woman.” He also pointed out that although he has occasionally had sex with women, he still considers himself as a gay man and that his occasional encounters with women was him being “straight curious”.
Winnipeg under the guise of being open and safe provided him with the space to accept his sexuality. He told me that he surrounds himself with people who understand him and he feels are not going to be homophobe and he can be friends with.