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My name is Aomine, and I’m 22 years old from Zimbabwe. Growing up in Zimbabwe, being gay was illegal. To be safe, I had to be very discreet about my sexuality. So when I moved to Winnipeg, I tried to keep my sexuality private and could not express myself or say certain things. I did not want to hang out with certain people because there was an association with the people you hang out with and your sexuality.

A SAFE PLACE

But since I've lived in Winnipeg over the past few years, I've realized that one can be straight and have a gay friend. Therefore I can hang out in public with friends who are “out”. Right now I define myself as a gay man but then I am not always set in that box. Because I can be interested in a woman and I know I can find a woman. I occasionally have sex with women but consider myself to be gay. In those occasional encounters I see myself as “straight curious."

Winnipeg being open and safe, compared to my hometown in Zimbabwe, has provided me with the space to accept my sexuality. Now I surround myself with people who understand me and I feel are not homophobes and I can be friends with.